Through the team’s public-relations department, Bryzgalov requested that he no longer talk to the media (and, in effect, the fans) except after games in which he plays.
The coaching staff and management supported the decision, the Flyers said. (The feeling here is they may have suggested it.)
In this guy’s opinion, those words in parentheses are probably bang on.
Bryz is struggling, we know that - as Sam mentions, he’s 4-4-1 with a 3.16 GAA and .880 save percentage, and that’s after signing his 9-year $51 million dollar deal, so it’s understandable that they’d look to shake something up.
But whoever decided to make this change is incredibly short-sighted. As a player, you have to be comfortable in your environment to be your best. Bryzgalov is going to be in that Philadelphia locker room for 9 years, and it’s not going to work if he feels like he’s ducking the media, and worse, they feel like he’s ducking him.
He’s going to have to take this problem head on and beat it, or it’s going to be one hell of a tumultuous ride (and it’s not like someone is taking that contract off their hands if he’s struggling. Dude is gonna be in Philly for awhile).
It’s fairly well understood that regardless of contract, nobody is supposed to be better than the team. What are other players supposed to think about their focus being deemed non-integral, but that Bryzgalov’s is?
This decision started the roller coaster on it’s way. The media wasn’t going to take this sitting down, so here we are: 11 games into Ilya’s 1st year of the contract, and Carchidi tweets:
Philly chapter of Hockey Writers Assoc. has filed a complaint on Bryz situation. #Flyers could be fined for not giving access.
There’s an old saying in hockey dressing rooms that’s true in this situation – “winning heals everything.” If he’s playing well, he’s still talking to the media, they’re getting great quotes and enjoying him, and everyone is happy.
The guy just happens to be playing poorly right now. He’s a good goalie that won’t play poorly all year.
Now they’re in a situation where if he does play well, they’ll chalk it up to the new “no interview” policy, and everyone loses. Especially those of us at home who were just getting to know him through the camera.
I don’t blame the Writer’s Association. They’ve been handed a raw deal, so they’re playing the only card they really have.
UPDATE: The Flyers have revised the policy to say that Bryzgalov won’t talk to media the day before games, or on the day of games leading up to puck drop. So….still not on the exact days you’d like to hear from him. (Courtesy Tim Panacchio of CSN Philly, h/t Puck Daddy)