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Briere: Goalies are ‘different’ and Bryzgalov was no exception

Jun 26, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

Forward Danny Briere and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov have one thing in common: the Philadelphia Flyers have confirmed that both players will be bought out in the interest of freeing up cap space.

Bryzgalov has been a polarizing figure in Philadelphia, both for his performance between the pipes and the steady stream of interesting quotes he’s provided during his tenure with the club.

It got to the point where there were questions about whether his personality played a role in the Flyers’ decision to sever his nine-year, $51 million contract. With that in mind, Briere was asked if Bryzgalov was liked in the Flyers’ dressing room.

“It was split,” Briere told CSN Philadelphia. “Some guys liked him. Some guys did not like him, but that wasn’t really the issue … I think the Flyers felt it was better for the team moving forward.”

Bryzgalov got plenty of media attention in the lead-up to the 2012 Winter Classic, courtesy of HBO’s “24/7.” The Flyers eventually decided to give Sergei Bobrovsky the high-profile start and Bryzgalov chose to publicly reveal the “great news” himself.

“Goalies are all a little different,” Briere said. “Apart from Marty Biron, who was the most normal one, they all have different personalities and we all saw what Bryz’s personality was when “24/7” came on. That was Bryz. At the end of the day, he’s a goalie.

“It’s not the players’ fault or right to be bothered by what he says or does. Most of what we do has to be within the team concept. But if you think about it, the goalie is free. He doesn’t have to know what the forecheck or neutral zone trap is. He is on the spotlight every single shot. He has to be aware. Bryz was Bryz.”


Holmgren: ‘Costly mistake’ resulted in Bryzgalov buyout, largest in NHL history

  1. burgh916 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I kind of feel bad for Bryz.
    Reading about there being a split locker room on who likes him, sounds like playground cliques to me.
    Like, “That Bryz guy he’s so weird, I don’t like him, and you shouldn’t like him either!”

    Anyways, Briere is a cool cat, wouldn’t mind seeing him around here!

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Yeah! I feel bad for Bryz too. Who can live on 1.6m per year for the next 14 years without having to work?

      • burgh916 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Hmmm? I don’t feel bad that he got bought out. I feel bad that it sounds like he wasn’t in a very pleasant environment to begin with.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Well. There’s an old saying. You reap what you sow. He made his own bed, and he wasn’t able to back up his conduct with wins. Too bad. So sad. You have to respect your teammates, the history of the game, and those running the game. Never think you deserve the stage more than others. Getting to the top is sometimes easier than staying there. So. No! I don’t feel bad for this guy because he wasn’t liked in the dressing room.

      • no - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        it’s really best if we try to avoid responding to these valois guys.

        they post nothing based on fact, and everything based the gumption of a 68 year old shut in

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        No! :-)

      • yougotgirouxed - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Burgh916: Hmmm? I don’t feel bad that he got bought out. I feel bad that it sounds like he wasn’t in a very pleasant environment to begin with.


        It doesnt sound like Briere had a problem with the environment. He kept his mouth shut and performed, the way we like out athletes to do in Philly. Bryz never got that concept.

      • dku5 - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Yougo…I don’t think the Philly media has ever displayed a satisfaction in pro athletes that are quiet. Richards froze out the media for a month, and they were chomping to crucify him for it. BTW – I don’t think this conduct is reserved for Philly media. I don’t live on the East coast, and the local stations attack players thye don’t like just a viciously as they do in Philly.

    • laxman1944 - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      He had the same issues in Phoenix……he seems to be a tad on the eccentric side (to say the least) but obviousley we’re not in the room.

      He seems like a good person just a…..well…..a goalie….they all seem a bit off but whos isn’t??

      All in all it was a good move to buy him out but should NOT have signed him to that contract in the first place. Hopefully Flyer management has learned a lesson from all these silly 50 year contracts for a billion dollars…..

  2. kingsforever - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I remember Biron. Good guy.

    Yeah, they are all weird. Then again, who decides to play that high stakes position where everyone loves or hates you depending on the time of day, and is normal?

  3. sjsharks66 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    No surprise. Everyone thought the way the team treated Bryz in 24/7 was a joke. I guess it really was not.

    This just proves what I have been saying. The team never played hard enough in front of Bryz because of who he is. I think it is BS and very immature behavior from professionals.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      I’m pretty sure it’s a two-way street. It’s not some anomaly that the Flyers didn’t like him… remember when the Phoenix players came out (right after he was acquired) and said Bryz was a horrible teammate? The dude doesn’t seem to care about the team or winning. Remember his infamous dozing off after being pulled against Winnipeg (I think?)? Most goalies would be furious with themselves, but not Bryz. He lost the Winter Classic start and went with the childish move of revealing Bob would be in net, all in the name of self-pity. He’s a selfish player, that’s the bottom line. And I can understand how that wouldn’t endear him to teammates who were putting it all on the line for the team. But of course you would prefer to just play it off as immaturity of Flyers player’s, bc they’re not the Pens.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Great comment!

      • 19to77 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        You know, I had forgotten about his Phoenix teammates and what they had to say. Guess all the Philly drama kind of piled overtop of that. Phanatic’s got a point. Guy’s had a lot of people rag on him, but who’s ever stepped up and said “Bryz is a great teammate who gives his all every night” except for the standard mid-season BS during a bad slump? Who’s actually said good things about him and MEANT it? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ardently defend the man other than his agent. Bad sign, that.

      • micklethepickle - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        I hate to admit it, but I agree with sjsharks (throws up). They all get paid millions of dollars to play a game; personal feelings shouldn’t matter. If PIT can play with Cooke, and the Flyers (and now Pens) could play with Harry Z, PHI should have been able to give Bryz 100% effort, regardless of whether he was remotely likeable. Personally, I’ll miss his entertaining press conferences and quotes. WATCH OUT FOR THOSE BEARS, ILYA!!!!!

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        It’s not a game for them, it’s a job

  4. jaredphi - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I liked Bryz for his personality and humor. He genuinely seemed like a nice and funny guy, the type you’d enjoy the company of while out at the bars.

    What I did NOT like about Bryz was his tendency to let in soft goals, the “ducking” at times, his inability to play the puck well (Mason is good in this particular area) and his general see-saw style of play.

    I also didn’t like his massive contract, but you cannot fault Bryz for that.

    Summation – I’m glad he was bought out….but I wish him well and I hope he can find it in him to forgive the club and the fan-base in Philly.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      He should thank the Flyers’ management for the kick a$$ contract that will provide for his family for years to come, and the fans should forgive him for his poor play.

  5. hockeyfan28 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Bryz’s contract was just ridiculously long 5 years tops but 9 years was just insane

  6. jhisler - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Bryz could have been a great player here but he didnt want to live up to expectations. He didnt think his massive contract or fact that hes a professional sports should garner any attention or criticism. In the end he didnt want to be here. He showed it this season. Whenever he was expected to play big, he played lazy. He dodged pucks and didnt even try to stop breakaways. Unless you think Mason is an amazing goaltender, bryz played behind the same defense and rarely showed up to play.

  7. mrpinkca - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Goalies are weird.

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