A message from Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to the people of Winnipeg, the same folks who took offence for his shots at our burg last April...
"You know, let’s make this straight once and for and all," began Bryzgalov Friday afternoon after Flyers practice at MTS Centre in advance of Saturday afternoon’s game against the Jets. "We were losing, I was disappointed, first of all. And second of all I didn’t want to move anywhere.
"I’m pretty sure good people, beautiful people, live in Winnipeg. I’m pretty sure there are passionate fans. I didn’t mean it and I didn’t want to offend anybody. Sincerely, I apologize if I offended anybody and fans in Canada and Winnipeg. I didn’t mean it."
It was last April when Bryzgalov, then a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, stated publicly he would not move to Winnipeg if the franchise had been relocated here.
"You don't want to go to Winnipeg, right?" Bryzgalov said at the time. "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 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 signed this summer with the Flyers as a free agent and since a 9-8 loss to the Jets last month has been solid for Philadelphia with eight wins, a 2.65 goals against average and .905 save percentage overall.