Blog Entry

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 6:42 pm
ibmediaBy: Adam Gretz

Less than a week after Ilya Bryzgalov faced the Philadelphia media following a 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets -- a game that saw him give up four goals on 10 shots -- and talk about how he has no confidence in himself and how terrible he is (his words, not mine), the Flyers organization is trying to put a muzzle on their $51 million goaltender by limiting the media's access to him.

This, of course, has sparked a bit of an outrage with the writers in Philadelphia for a variety of reasons. Travis Hughes at Broad Street Hockey has a collection of their complaints, and counters by asking why the focus isn't on WHY the Flyers are cutting back on Bryzgalov's access, which seems to be a valid question (more on that in a minute).

There are, of course, a number of reasons as to why the Philadelphia media is so upset about this. For one, Bryzgalov is one of the highest paid players in the NHL, a player that is now the face of the franchise after everything the team went through to acquire and sign him this summer, and a player that is supposed to solve what was considered to be their biggest weakness. He is one of the top players on the team and an important aspect of the team's coverage.

And he's also one of the best quotes and most interesting interviews in the entire league. It's bad news all around for the local scribes.

According to Flyers beat writer Tim Panaccio, the initial policy put forth by the Flyers was going to limit the media's access to Bryzgalov to only post-game interviews, but that has apparently already been revised. As per the revision, Bryzgalov will not be meeting with the press on the day of games before game-time, or the day before games. Sam Charidi said in a Tweet that the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association filed a complaint regarding the situation and the team could face fines for not giving access.

UPDATE: The dispute was resolved with the decision to make Bryzgalov on non-game days.

This all comes after the team's goalie coach, Jeff Reese, talked over the weekend about how Bryzgalov's daily interviews were a "distraction" and could be contributing to his slow start. Is it? And is that why the team is making this effort? If it is, it should be a major concern for the Flyers that a few minutes of his time each day answering questions is preventing him from making saves on game day. He's not the only player in the NHL that has to face questions from the media.

Bryzgalov was going to be facing quite a few changes when he joined the Flyers after spending the past few years having a lot of success in Phoenix. Not only would he be playing behind a different defense in a different system, he was also going from perhaps the most apathetic hockey market in the NHL (Phoenix) to one of the most difficult and intense (Philadelphia). Based on his post-game meltdown on Thursday, as well as the Flyers' efforts to limit the number of times he has to face questions, it would seem to indicate that particular transition isn't going all that well so far.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Since: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:09 pm

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

Will he still sit at home and send out twatts about how bad he is playing? I hope so!

Since: Aug 21, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:28 pm

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

Do writers really need a quote from Ilya saying " I played terrrible and I have no confidence" ?  I think player comments are overrated.  How about writers just make an honest open statement about what they see on the ice.  The fans see it.  Too many writers are afraid to write the truth, fearing they may upset a professional organization.  Show some courage writers.  And if Ilya can't handle attention, then fine, ignore him, and write about what he does on the ice.

Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:25 pm

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

He either looks terrible in games, or looks great. He responded well against the Canes the other night, with the only goal being allowed was when Hartnell slid into him, knocking him behind the net, leaving the goal wide open. I think the guy just needs more time and let's not kid ourselves, the defense has been attrocious at times as well. I have no problem with the guy not wanting to speak much, nor with the Flyers organization not wanting him to either. The media in this town (while not as bad as it is in Montreal or Toronto) is a big difference from what he was used to in Phoenix.

I have confidence that the guy will pick it up, the Flyers are taking the right course here. Let the sports writers and radio/TV guys whine about it, they just want to have something to bitch about. I'm willing to let his play on the ice do the talking for him, which let's hope is more like the games against the Bruins, Devils, Canes, etc. and not like the Habs, Caps and Jets.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:16 pm

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

Remember when the flyers signed this clown?  for 7MILLION A SEASON.  ohhh boy.  Hope for their sacks this guy can turn it around.  personally I hate Bryzgalov.  Guy is a low life.  Considering the Flyers traded Richards and Carter because they liked to have a few drinks... Im surprised the Flyers sought after a guy like this.  Notice how Phoenix is still playing well without this guy?  Yea maybe their GA per game has gone up a bit.  But look at the Flyers...Considering how little let let in for begin the year.... Horrible.  
If it wasnt for their still high powered offence... they'd be in a big trouble.   Bryzgalov
is a Friggin Clown.  Philly deserves better! 

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 7:00 pm

Flyers' Bryzgalov to be available more for media

The Flyers opponents dont need to hear Bryzgalov say he has no conifdence, they simply have to watch the film of his games. 

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:28 pm

Flyers trying to limit Bryzgalov's media access

I assume that the reason the club is trying to limit his access is that they'd like to avoid having opposing teams read that Bryzgalov has no confidence, or anything else that those teams might find a way to use against him somehow.  Whether there's any substance to such a fear on the Flyers' part I have no idea, but it does seem to fit in with, e.g., the practice--apparently sanctioned by the league--of secrecy regarding the nature of injuries.  Thus you have those silly euphemisms: "upper-body injury," "lower-body injury," etc.--as if the other teams weren't going to find out the nature of it through the grapevine anyway. 

In this case, I have no idea whether making him available for post-game interviews (and, apparently, on days other than pre-game gameday and day-before) is sufficient compliance with league rules.  But if it is, then the media can go hang.  As a fan, I'm more interested in what Bryzgalov does on the ice than what he says off it. 

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 5:04 pm

Flyers trying to limit Bryzgalov's media access

This article is not accurate and insinuates that the Flyers are blaming the media for Bryzgalov's recent struggles which is categorically incorrect, and that the Flyers are stepping in to stop Bryzgalov from speaking to the media which is also not true.

What kind of sports writer covers the struggles of other sports writers??  Anyone interesting in facts on hockey and the Flyers and Brzgalov can read them at any local news site such as   My constructive commentary to CBS would be to try to actually cover the team and the player, not the journalists complaining about covering the team or the player.  Unless there is a fantasy league where you draft newspaper guys that I don't know about, I think this would be well received by fans of cbs.

Bryzgalov has shouldered the blame for his recent games entirely on himself, and in doing so requested specific times to speak with the media, including after every game, which hardly seems restrictive.  The idea was supported by the team, and while it can obviously be speculated that the team and Bryzgalov came up with the idea together, it hardly represents a conspiracy or a passing of the buck as this article suggests.  

Bryzgalov has always been openly accomodating to the media and is an interesting personality.  In Phoenix, this hardly mattered, and in adjusting to his new digs in Philly, including defensive schemes and rival teams, the suggestion that bringing some structure to his pregame routine might help him focus is really not a bad plan. 

The notion that he is now under the duress of the media is silly.  The pressure that he is feeling is seen as something that he is placing on himself to perform, and that means taking things as seriously as he can.  The "Philadelphia Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association" is basically 4 guys in town who go for coffee and get all worked up and blog their face off.  


Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 4:22 pm

Flyers trying to limit Bryzgalov's media access

Gretz, if you're gonna go off of what Panaccio said, at least get his point correct. According to the Flyers, Bryzgalov is cutting down his own face time with the media. Bryzgalov is echoing the same thing. Now yes, Panaccio finds it fishy that Bryz is the one silencing himself, but nowhere does it say for sure that the Flyers are hushing him like your title spews.

I think Bryz is actually pretty funny. He jokes around, but he calls himself out, too. He's not pointing fingers at anyone else. Philly might not appreciate his present GAA, but they can at least appreciate he's not shirking blame.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or