Rich Winter, Ilya Bryzgalov’s soupy-mouthed agent, is on a crusade to both troll the Flyers… and find him and his client a second paycheck. Echoing the sentiments that he expressed last week on the radio in Canada, Winter told Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED in Edmonton yesterday the following [paraphrasing]: the Flyers’ defensive system sucks, their coach sucks, the media sucks, Paul Holmgren’s a liar, Philly’s not a hockey town, Philly’s a terrible place for goaltenders, oh, and thanks for the $40 million.
He’s right with some of these things… but, yeesh, what a dick. Here now, a good portion of his interview and the audio: [trolling bolded]
“Yeah, a little bit surprised because Paul indicated that’s something they weren’t going to do. But I understand a little bit of why the deception, because the Philadelphia media is very, very aggressive and they probably wanted to keep it quiet. So a little bit surprised because that, Paul and I have a pretty good [relationship], so a little bit surprised by that.
But I can tell you, when your player makes $40 million for playing two seasons in a particular city, you really can’t say anything other than, “Thank you very much, I’ll move on.”
“I suppose if he won the Vezina trophy, [buying him out] would have been re-thought. So it’s performance based to some degree. I sent out a bunch of information to a few teams today and included were quotes from six of the Flyers’ players who, when interviewed for the mid-season report by Philly.com, all suggested that Ilya Bryzgalov was, by far, the MVP of the team. [Editor's note: False-- three players.] So it’s not really performance related.” It’s just a situation where I think they concluded, based on the conversation I had, they wanted more flexibility, which they’re getting. They need to get fast– they’ve traded away Carter and Richards, and the cupboard’s bare there. It was a combination of things. At the end of the day, I just don’t think Ilya Bryzgalov fits in the Philadelphia, Broad Street Bullies type environment, and that’s kind of what Paul and I discussed. He’s a great goalie, he’s a good guy – Paul has no issues with him at all – he calls him “colorful,” maybe a little too colorful for Paul. But at the end of the day, he’s pretty well liked there and the media reports are quite a bit different than they are. I think it’s just a matter of the Flyers have some targets in the goaltending area, they have some targets up front. And they couldn’t do all of those things if they didn’t have that freedom. It’s simple, when anybody looks at it: Ilya Bryzgalov is not a Philadelphia Flyer.”
“[Style of play] is terrible in Philadelphia for goaltenders. They block shots, they don’t open up lanes, so the goaltenders can’t see the puck. Goalie coach has no authority, the head coach doesn’t listen to him. It’s an issue, and it’s a challenge. Ilya used to say to me many times: “They paid me $51 million because they seemed to think I was good at stopping the puck, and they never let you see it.” When you look at it, Ilya Bryzgalov comes in there as a Vezina trophy nominee, and he really struggles. Plays pretty well, but struggles. And Sergei Bobrovsky, who struggles, leaves Philadelphia and goes to Columbus and wins the Vezina trophy. So you say to yourself, “Yeah, Ilya has to take some responsibility for his performance,” and I think if he was on the line with us he would. But at the end of the day, I think there’s more wrong with Philadelphia’s goaltending than just the goaltending. As you and I know, goaltending’s about opening up lanes and defensive communication with goaltenders. It’s about back-checking, it’s about speed. It’s about transition game– it’s not just about the puck. But at the foundation of it all, if Dominik Hasek couldn’t see the puck, as much as I admire him and I represented him for his entire career, as much as Dom was maybe the greatest goalie that ever lived… that’s a real problem.“
“He’s never played in a hockey city. He’s had a good relationship with the media [in general]. As all of you guys know, he’s a fun interview. He’s a great guy. He’s got a great personality. He’s got lots of energy.”
“[Bryz said,] “Now I get to make a hockey decision.” And so, Edmonton would be a hockey decision that he’d be very, very much interested in. It depends on what they think of him. But Ilya will not be making a financial decision this time. He’s going to get in a position where he can play as well as he’s capable, and then evaluate how that year went.”
The audio. Hide the children: