The legend of Ilya Bryzgalov continues to grow, and while it may be too early to say, the Philadelphia Flyers goalie isn’t doing much to prove he deserves to keep his contract and stay with the Flyers.
The latest escapade may be his most damning if it is indeed true. According to Philly.com, the Flyers netminder fell asleep during a team meeting. According to the report, Bryzgalov appeared to fall asleep in a meeting on Monday. That meeting came after a practice in which Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette told Bryzgalov and Steve Mason that Mason would be getting the start for the Flyers on Tuesday against the Islanders.
An original report from the team’s flagship radio station stated that Byrzgalov was benched Tuesday because he fell asleep. That’s been disputed by Laviolette, and if the chain of events in the Philly.com story are correct, the snooze came after Bryzgalov was told he was sitting Tuesday.
“Whether he was actually sleeping or not, no one knows for sure,” an anonymous player told Philly.com. “It seemed like he may have been doing it to get a rise out of other players. I’m not really sure why he did it, or if he was faking it. Either way, it seemed to catch and lot of people by surprise and angered a few people.”
It’s the latest in what’s become a growing line of distractions for the Flyers, who are in the midst of a very disappointing season. They dropped a 4-1 decision to the Islanders on Tuesday night, and they now find themselves in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, five points out of the final playoff spot.
Many have speculated or suggested that the Flyers should buy out Bryzgalov’s contract at some point. Bryzgalov is currently in the early stages of a nine-year, $51 million contract that isn’t set to expire until after the 2019-20 season. That deal comes with a $5.67 million cap hit per season.