Bryzgalov Not Speaking to Media, Writers File Complaint

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If a goaltender falls in the woods and refuses to speak about it, does it really happen? 

It’s official: The Philly media has already gotten to Ilya Bryzgalov… or at least his goalie coach, Jeff Reese. First, on Friday, Reese said that he thought Bryz was spending too much time talking to the media. Today, Sam Carchidi of the Daily News reported somewhat shocking news that Bryz would only speak to the media after games in which he plays. Wait, what? 


Through the team's public-relations department, Bryzgalov requested that he no longer talk to the media (and, in effect, the fans) except after games in which he plays.

The coaching staff and management supported the decision, the Flyers said. (The feeling here is they may have suggested it.)


A few hours later, the Flyers quickly reversed course and announced that Bryz would only be off-limits the day before games and day of games, not after every practice, as was first thought to be the case.

So, who had October 31st as the day Bryz entered the Mike Richards Zone?

There’s two sides to this: One, Bryz is hilarious, candid, and speaks in a perfectly ironic Russian accent which automatically adds a x1.25 modifier to his quotes. The day that foreign mouth gets muzzled will be a sad day.

Two, the outrage (and subtle digs) from the beat writers are intentionally (and unintentionally) hilarious:


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Jack McCaffery:

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Dave Isaac:

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Ryan Bright:

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Tim Panaccio:

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But Randy Miller wins:

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He's spitting out truth! Take cover!

They're all right, too. The new face of the organization (yep) can’t begin to selectively speak with the media– it’s a role that goes with the territory. The NHL, more so than any other league, grants media and TV unprecedented access to players. This practice absolutely helps the league market its product. And, as you saw above, there's the obvious inference that his new restriction will (or should) apply to HBO’s 24/7

Uh oh. Shit just got real, didn’t it?

You know who’s not going to like that? You’re not going to like it. HBO is most certainly not going to like it. And I can’t imagine Gary Bettman will, either.

The beat writers feel like this is coming from the team, not Bryz– right again. Lavs admits the Flyers are trying to protect Bryz:

"I’m just trying to give him a break … There’s just too much coming out. We’re trying to protect him."


There’s more (this is where the real fun begins).

Carchidi says the Philadelphia Chapter of the Hockey Writers Association filed a complaint, presumably with the league. There’s an NHL policy that says players must be available to the media daily, otherwise teams can be fined $10,000 each day, according to Miller

This is not a good start to Bryz's nine-year, $51 million contract. Here’s what I wrote on Friday, after Bryz got lost in the woods:

Just a few days ago, he jokingly complained about hearing the same questions repeatedly, indicating that writers are only going to give a guy a pass if they like him, anyway. Audio here.

"They go and do same thing: practice, game, practice, game, sleep, game, practice. You write. You ask questions, sit at a computer, and write it. And it depends, you bring your feelings, your judgement: No I don’t like this guy, I’m going hard at him. Oh I maybe like him, maybe I’m not going to go that hard at him."

Even though he was joking, there was a little bit of Mike Richards in that statement.

This has to work. There is no Plan B if Bryz is a bust. It’s wayyy early, and there’s certainly a lot more evidence that he’ll be just fine – stellar – for the Flyers, but all we can do right now is react. And it’s hard not to wonder, what if? What if he’s a glass case of emotion and can’t hack it here?


Whether it’s Bryz who doesn’t want to speak with the media, or the Flyers that think it’s affecting his play, this is a policy that needs to go away soon. After all, you know what being afraid of the Philly media gets you? This:

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4th Period Magazine pic via the Kings


22 Responses

  1. i hate how the media feels that they deserve respect. i also hate how they try to garner that respect from the fans by swearing that they are doing their job for the fans. the players don’t feel like talking to you, they (not unlike anyone else) want to go home after work.

  2. as a fan, i am not insulted if our franchise goaltender doesn’t want to speak with the media in the middle of a funk. The only people who really care here is the media.

  3. it’s not about the writers here, guys. the nhl has very strict rules about how available players get to be. in-game interviews, mics, 24/7, and yes, even Bryz’s humor are all things we enjoy and help round out the game experience. he or the flyers can’t just decide that he’s not speaking to the media. it hurts us all. even if you don’t like the media, they still, at the very least, provide us entertainment and info by the access granted to them. i think they’re a bit butt-hurt here, but it is THEIR JOB. when they lose access to the starting goalie, that’s a big void to fill in their daily job.

  4. You clearly have the same attitude as the rest of the media, which is to be expected since you are part of the media. They don’t respect the players – why should the players respect them?
    But, as a fan – and only a fan, I could care less if Bryz doesn’t tell the media why he didn’t make a certain play. The media thinks that they are as important to the fans as the players are; which couldn’t be any further from the truth. Go write a story about the game and stop whining that a player doesn’t want to talk to you.
    I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched a post-game show.

  5. He is a funny guy but if he can start consistantly stopping the puck… his play will “speak” for itself. HAHA! Get it?! I’m so clever…

  6. No your all about deaperately drawing a correlation between this move by Bryz to focus on his job and Mike Richard’s baby bullshit. This team has a captain to speak for it and he handles the media well enough to allow them to get thier job done.

  7. K- this has nothing to do with Bryz not liking them. He has gotten along with them just fine, but it seems like the team think the discourse, pressure if affecting his play. As a fan – yes, I don’t want that to be case. But, if that truly is an issue, then this isn’t going to work out here… Their job is to speak with players, and no matter how much we rip them or don’t like them (not saying I dislike them), those stories come from talking to players.

  8. Eh this has always been my view point. I love hearing things off the field/ice/court whatever. During the baseball season i love the interview beat writers post just after the games of interviews with players. At the same time if it’s going to effect his play then i don’t care if he NEVER speaks to the media. Of course if it’s the NHL policy then there is nothing Bryz can do about it. These guys get paid MILLIONS of dollars a year to play a game, this is part of it. the comment above that he just wants to go home after work. Well he isn’t done work yet, this is part of his job so he has to do it.

  9. I HATE the f*ing media in philly. They come in and f**k everything up. Who gives a shit when he talks to the media. I dont care. He is not used to this coming from Phoenix where there probably was no Media. The Flyers are trying to keep him protected until he can get used to it. This is not Phoenix or Anaheim. Here everyone in the media is a D bag and will do what they can to start controversy…
    This is new territory for Bryz and he needs to get used to it. The Flyers saw this after his statements of basically saying he sucks got thrown way out of proportion and posted everywhere. Everyone was up in arms and panicking about our $51 million dollar man lost in the woods. He speaks openly and in Philly YOU CANT DO THAT! because the media blows everything out of proportion. Till Bryz can get that he shouldnt be doing interviews. Let the man do his job and do what we paid him for STOPPING pucks. I dont care if he takes questions after a practice that is so f*ing stupid.
    My god I HATE PHILLY media and the way it handles sports. Just let the players play. Get off their backs. The media does not make or break this team or win us a cup, getting answers to questions half of us wouldn’t ask is pointless.

  10. I never said it was about Bryz not liking them, i said stop whining that he doesn’t want to talk.
    the media is full of j’offs.

  11. i dont care is bryz doesn’t talk to these dickbag reporters. all i care about is him stopping the puck and winning games.

  12. Hmmm, I wonder if the writers for site will have the same restrictions? Sounds like an overraction to the lost in the woods thing. (BTW, sometimes it’s good to be lost in the woods, to face nature, to be not as secure as we want to be, because nature knows nothing of security; facing dangerous situations make us appreciate life…) I think the Flyers Org will ease back a little bit, but the media needs to chill out on hounding him just because he’s a meaty source of quotes. They need to learn to respect his space if he’s not in the mood to talk about his hockey. Maybe they can arrange some sort of code word, like they do in BDSM.
    “There’s an NHL policy that says players must be available to the media daily, otherwise teams can be fined $10,000 each day.”
    Unless you can sight a legit source for this, I smell bullshyte on it. Besides, even if there was a policy, is it clear what they mean by “available”. For example, is he violating policy if he speaks to Broad Street Bull Sam Carcheesie but refuses to talk with Tim Panocha? Or can the Flyers org say, “Yes, he’s available to watch but he won’t take any questions”. And does every day mean days when he’s not at the WFC (or away rinks) and at the Vorhees Skate Zone (off-days, like yesterday)?
    Anayway, I’m not worried one way or the other, but as fans get to know him better, if he says anything like the “lost in the woods” thing, the’re just going to think, “That’s just Bryz being Bryz” and take it with a grain of salt. I wish the media would think that way. Like I said before, that was a fucked up game. Sure the Flyers let in 8 goals, but everyone seems to be forgetting that they only lost by one goal. The friggin Thrashettes goalies let in 8! Did the Winapeg reporters go batshyte over that?
    I still think 24/7 is going to be good. Besides, they’re not “Reporting” like the media. They are “Documenting”, so technically, sure they should get some sort of eception. It’s not a fair world, so stick it. Philly media.

  13. wow. a month into the season and bryz has already lost confidence and let the media get to him. this shall be fun

  14. If not speaking to this god awful philly media means winning, I’m for it. The media in this town is just terrible. They panic when teams slump, not us fans.
    Bryz, avoid the media. They’re not worth your time.

  15. What really needs to be addressed here is what kind of expectations/motivation Richards puts on himself. How much booze he can hold the night before a game?
    The guy is a lazy bum. Good riddance.

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