Resting at his locker following a Flyers morning skate that would lead into a rare game night off, Ilya Bryzgalov turned a reporter joke tossed his way into one of his entertaining sideshows. With Steve Mason starting in goal Tuesday night for the Flyers, Bryzgalov was asked if he’d enjoy his off day by heading to Jones Beach, a popular Long Island vacation spot that is just 20 miles from Nassau Coliseum. The Russian goalie sat up straighter on his stool and went into a short sermon on nearby beaches. “You can call it whatever you want, but it’s not a beach,” Bryzgalov said. “A beach is somewhere in the Caribbean, somewhere in Florida where it’s warm and you can swim. Here is dark water.” Reporters laughed as Bryzgalov talked with a twinkle in his eye and a half smile on his face, then most walked away because head coach Peter Laviolette was ready to do his morning interview. Bryzgalov continued talking with the Courier-Post about being rested for the first time in 23 games and third time in 39 Flyers games this season, about his career-worst statistics ... and that potential offseason issue that has divided the franchise’s fan base—the amnesty buyout. Bryzgalov is just finishing the second season of his nine-year, $51 million contract, but could become a free agent after this season or next due to a clause in the league’s new collective bargaining agreement allowing franchises to buy out two players for two-thirds of the remaining contract. He’s a candidate, first and foremost, because the Flyers could have trouble next season getting under the salary cap, which is dropping from $70.2 million this season to $64.3 million in 2013-14. His thoughts? “To be honest, I don’t care,” he said. “Really, I don’t care. I have no control on this, so why should I care?” Bryzgalov was asked if he’d like to be a Flyer next season. “You know, I have no control in this,” he said. “I can’t read the people’s mind. I can’t project things what they’re thinking, that’s why I’m not worried about things I can’t control. I maybe want one thing and they want a different thing.”
Bryzgalov on staying a Flyer: 'To be honest, I don't care'
Courier-Post | Apr 10