With a second consecutive playoff ousting at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings behind them, Ilya Bryzgalov was more than willing to place a large share of the blame upon his own shoulders. Bryzgalov entered the playoffs on the heels of his second consecutive Vezina-calibre regular season, and with unrestricted free agency on the horizon many expected the Russian goaltender to turn in an elite post-season performance, thus securing a huge payday this summer. Alas, the Coyotes flopped in the playoffs and Bryzgalov’s underwhelming play has many questioning his perceived value on the open market.

Bryzgalov faced a barrage of questions in the minutes following the Coyotes playoff exodus, but none elicited a response quite like the probing he faced over the possibility of playing in Winnipeg next season. The Coyotes future is shrouded in uncertainty, that much we know, but there’s zero guarantee that the franchise will be transplanted back to the great white north and its UFA-to be goaltender had to field questions about it anyway.

Bryzgalov via Paul Friesen, QMI Agency:

“You don’t want to go to Winnipeg, right? Not many people live there, not many Russian people there. Plus it’s cold. There’s no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It’s going to be tough life for your family.”

“I’ve been there for just once, maybe twice, when I play[ed] in minors. It was really cold. I used the tunnels between the buildings to get to the arena. Because it was minus 40-something. Real cold.”

Bryzgalov didn’t stop there either, he would go as far to say that he’d prefer to play in Russia and probably wouldn’t listen to contract offers from ownership if the team lands in Winnipeg:

“Probably not. I better go to somewhere in Russia, KHL, to be honest. Because KHL is Russian people, it’s family, friends. Even as a cold place, I can speak to people in Russian language.”

The self-proclaimed “goat” may have just been sounding off out of frustration, which is completely understandable. Although, none of this should be a surprise to anyone that’s tracked Bryzgalov and his feelings on northern Canadian climate over the years:

Comments (11)

  1. Just saying what a lot of others are thinking. Not going to be a likely option for free agents.

  2. don’t forget bryzgalov, it’s -32 in edmonton. winnipeg isn’t much different from that. that was a great clip with him back when he was with the ducks.

  3. Players with NMC like Whitney and Doan should be allowed to get out of their contract if the team moves. They didn’t sign up for Winterpeg.

  4. Christ, you’d think Winnipeg was 100 miles above the Arctic Circle… It’s only +4 in Ottawa right now so it’s not like the other Canadian markets (exc. Vancouver) are tropical paradises either, or for that matter places like Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago, etc. I’m tired of these millionaires bitching about how they don’t want to play in Edmonton, Winnipeg, wherever. Suck it up, cash the cheques, and keep your mouth shut. You can still spend a couple months every off-season in Florida or wherever which is more than most working people can say…

  5. WOW… If Bryzgalov thinks it is cold in Winnipeg then he had best prepare for the frosty reception he will get the day he and what ever NHL team he signs with comes to town. Most european players found Winnipeg to be an outstanding hockey town with warm and friendly people and an incredible community spirit.

    Hey Bryzgalov! They would have loved you as a Jet, now you will never be welcomed there. And as someone who has always loved your work in goal, you just lost a fan.

  6. He just doesn’t wan’t to play in a Canadian market and actually be held accountable for his horrible play. No one cares about hockey in Pheonix, that’s why they lose money every year… but Bettman’s priority is still to keep them in Pheonix. He should go back to Russia, I’m sure it’s tropical there and they have those things called parks. He could not sound more ignorant in his apparent belief that Winnipeg is like living in a third world country situated on the North Pole.

  7. what a bunch on over payed pussies, you get payed to play hockey so shut up and play. so tired of hearing this shit from millionaires

  8. god forbid people should play hockey where it’s a bit cold outside…it’s hockey! Played on ice…played outside in Winnipeg, as was meant…8 year old kids can do it happily everyday but a multi-millionaire has to bitch about that….IDIOT

  9. After his play against Detroit and being a free agent who says Phoenix or Winnipeg or anybody else will want him and his preceived value? Its what you do in the playoffs not the regular season that means something to his team mates and he let them down. Maybe he won’t have a choice in where he plays and only Russia will want him next year. There are lots of Canadian kids playing goal in the minors that would have done as well at a lesser cost and they wouldn’t be mouthing off on the merits of Winnipeg.
    Canadian or US dollars look good to these guys but not the living conditions.

  10. did he actually say its cold in Winnipeg? Jesus man, is it not cold in Russia? and the last time i looked, the arenas these guys play in are indoors arent they? i sure hope his new team is not slated for a winter classic game outside.

  11. I love it how everyone is bashing Bryzgalov about how he is not worth it and never was a good player. You guys ever see him when his game in on? One of the best in the NHL. Who wants to go to Winnipeg when one can go to Vancouver or Montreal?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *