And how’s your Saturday?
Interesting column from Frank Seravalli of the Daily News today. He seems to be on a bit of a crusade lately to call bullshit on just about all the nonsense being spewed by Paul Holmgren and Rich Winter, Ilya Bryzgalov’s soupy-mouthed agent, about Bryz potentially being bought out by the Flyers. Seravalli doesn’t buy what Winter is selling because, earlier in the week, Winter told anyone who would listen that Holmgren assured him that Bryz wouldn’t be bought out (Homer promptly wielded his Lie Stick on Tim Panaccio by denying that he ever made such a promise), but now Winter has modified his story a bit. He told both Randy Miller and 960 The Fan in Calgary yesterday that Holmgren told him things could change with regard to Bryz.
It’s that interview with the Calgary radio station (are they broadcasting from a boat?) that is making some more news today. Among the things Winter said: the media is partially to blame for Bryz’s struggles in Philadelphia, the Flyers’ defensive system – which aims to block shots instead of clear shooting lanes – sucks, and that the Flyers outbid themselves in 2011 by being the only ones to make Bryz an offer (a ridiculous one):
“When you get only one offer on July 1, it becomes pretty attractive, right?”
[It should be noted that the Flyers signed Bryz, then a restricted free agent, before July 1 in 2011... so Winter is using some poetic license here. Or he's lying.]
Winter also said that even though Bryz would earn more by being bought out by the Flyers for $23 million and then signing another contract elsewhere, Philadelphia is the best opportunity because it’s a challenge, and Bryz likes challenges. Or something.
Just as in 2011, it’s the best opportunity for Bryzgalov because it’s the only opportunity. No NHL team will take a flier on a mediocre, expensive goaltender with a big mouth and a bad reputation.
That likely truth despite these supposed declarations from Bryzgalov:
Well, Bryzgalov has made noises that he does not like it in Philadelphia. Some Flyers said Bryzgalov bragged to teammates he might get bought out after the season.
“It’s OK, guys,” Bryzgalov said, according to a teammate, speaking on a condition of anonymity. “I will get bought out. I will get paid for this deal and I will get paid double to play for a new team somewhere else.”
That claim makes sense. I had heard as far back as last season that Bryz would joke (brag?) to teammates about already getting paid, and that the Flyers – both teammates and front office – have long been infuriated by his goofiness. [Though it may seem that Bryz is treated unfairly by the Philly media, there's more than meets the eye to many of those stories.] As such, this brief and unfortunate saga looks like it’s about to come to an end. Bryz will get a huge lump sum of money and then maybe, or maybe not, find a second paycheck.