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22 February 2013

Bryzgalov quits Flyers, hopes to go to outer space: Satire

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Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has resigned his post with the team, has sold his Haddonfield, N.J., home and has asked to be traded to a very small-market team forthwith, has learned.

The shocking move comes on the heels of Bryz’s worst performance of the year on Thursday night — where he gave up four goals to the Florida Panthers at the First Union/Corestate/Wachovia/Wells Fargo Center — including a penalty shot goal the goalie blamed on a faulty stick.

“Is stick, is stuck,” Bryzgalov said. “I buy stick just for use in penalty shot and shootout, and when I go stop the shooter, is stuck is stick.”

The Russian-born goalie came to the City of Brotherly Love from Phoenix on a whirlwind tour, signing a magnificent nine-year, $51 million contract. But as soon as he settled in Haddonfield — and began playing across the Ben Franklin Bridge — the normally sane goalie appeared to instantly lose it.

On HBO’s “24/7” last year, he really went crazy.

A bewildered-looking Ilya Bryzgalov last year during HBO's filming of '24/7 for the Winter Classic. 

“It’s a miserable market for goalies,” Bryz said, rightfully noting most goalies who come to Philly, fail miserably. “I don’t know right now as I, I’m very into-the universe, you know like how was created, you know, like, what is it, you know? Solar system is so humongus big, right? But if you see the like our solar system and our galaxy on the like on the side, you know, like, and we’re so small you can even see it our galaxy is like huge, but if you see the big picture, our galaxy like small tiny like dot in the universe like, and I think like, ‘and we have some problems heres on the earth we worry about?’ Compared to like, nothing. Just … be happy. Don’t worry be happy right now.”

If he’s not immediately traded away, Bryzgalov told he’d like to be considered for human travel into outer space, even though the cost is half a billion dollars.

“With my contract, like, I can do,” he said. “I want to be, how you say, no gravity. Maybe to be float I can learn to catch puck that float in air. Sometimes, gravity hurt me when I play goal — if there was not gravity, maybe more goals would not be goals, you know?”

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren says he’s hardly shocked by the trade demands — it was only a matter of time, he says.

Flyers' GM Paul Holmgren 
“He fuc**ing thought this was going to be like playing in Arizona,” Holmgren said. “They have 5,000 fuc**ing people a night at that arena. Our fans pack the Well every time we have a fuc**ing game, and there’s no doubt in my mind he wasn’t prepared to play in front of the most knowledgable, passionate, classy and patient fans in the National Hockey League.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in, too, saying he was disappointed in the Russian goalie’s decision to forfeit the remainder of his lucrative salary and contract.

“There’s no doubt, the Flyers have had a lot of trouble finding the right guy to play in goal for them for a long time,” Bettman said. “In fact, now that I think of it, it’s been an absolute cluster-fu*k since Ron Hextall left Philly. And now that I think of it even more, it wasn’t so hot when Hextall was there either — so I suppose we’d really need to go back to Bernie Parent to find the last time the Flyers had a goalie who could live up to the pressures of playing before the greatest fans in all of hockey. Man it breaks my heart to think of Pelle Lindbergh. What a tragedy.”

Meanwhile, head coach Peter Laviolette says he’ll start Brian Boucher in goal until the team can either trade for a new no. 1 goalie or convince Bryz to stay. But the latter, he says, seems doomed.

“I think it’s fair to say that after we fell down 4-0 in last night’s game, to one of the most futile teams in the league right now in the Panthers, that we saw Ilya play his final game in the most beautiful jersey one could ever wear in professional sports, the orange, black and white,” said Laviolette, a resident of nearby Voorhees, N.J., where the Flyers practice facility is. “And while we’re at it, I still get irked knowing our practice facility is in Jersey. Why the fu*k do we practice in an entirely different state than we play in?”

The Flyers' practice facility — in Voorhees, N.J., also the home to retired referee Kerry Fraser. 

Boucher, meanwhile, is thrilled to get to step up — again.

“Why the hell do you think I signed here?” a beaming Boucher said. “I knew it was only a matter of time before Bryz cracked. And I’ve been here, what, in seven other stints? I knew my chance would come — and I am going to make the absolute best of it, I can promise you that much.”

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