On the day the Philadelphia Flyers cleaned out their lockers following a disappointing season, Ilya Bryzgalov criticized reporters in what may have been his final interview as a Flyer.
Though he just completed the third season of a nine-year, $51-million deal, the team could use the amnesty clause on Bryzgalov, allowing them to buy out the remainder of his contract at about two-thirds the price according to the new collective bargaining agreement.
The enigmatic goalie, who has endured a rocky tenure in Philadelphia and frequently clashed with reporters, capped off another tumultuous season — in which the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six years — by taking shots at the media.
“Not anymore,” Bryzgalov said about whether criticism gets to him. “Not anymore. You guys are just here to blame someone. You never look at yourself in the mirror, right? You’re always good. You never make the mistakes. Your articles are always perfect. But, in reality, what have you done for the city, if you ask yourself? What have you done? Ask yourself that question. Besides to only criticize. Not much.
“You need to be fair. You need to see the whole picture. It’s easy to criticize. It’s tough to find something good.”
“It’s not like fair or unfair,” Bryzgalov said. “We’ve already had the conversation. It’s just ridiculous. It’s just ridiculous. Sometimes you’re reading and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, who’s this lunatic? What are they writing about?’ Because there was nothing close to the truth or close to related to hockey. You read it and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I have to deal with these people every day.’
“Like I said before, guys, before you write something you’ve got to read what you’re writing. Cause I never saw, I’m two years here, I never saw for two years good article where everything is like, OK, ‘The Flyers lose the game because this, this, this, this, this. Or they need to improve this, this, this or this.’ I never. That’s what to call professional, where you can say ‘This reporter knows hockey. He knows what he’s talking about.’”
Bryzgalov also reflected on his past play and future with the Flyers, saying that his contract situation is “out of my hands,” that he “worked very hard,” and that he had a “tremendous experience” in Philadelphia.