April 18, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30) sits on the bench after being pulled against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of game four of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the at Wells Fargo Center. The Penguins defeated the Flyers, 10-3. The Flyers lead the series three games to one. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Yet again, Ilya Bryzgalov has opened up to the Russian media. In an interview with Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov, brought to a North American audience via a translation at Puck Daddy, Bryzgalov says that he'll play in Russia in the event of an NHL lockout this fall.
He didn't do that in 2004-05 and regrets the decision, calling himself "naive" for believing that the NHL and the NHLPA would agree to a deal on a new CBA before forcing the cancellation of the entire season.
"I was playing for Cincinnati in the AHL and was a naïve young man. I was waiting for the NHL season to start. I wanted to stay overseas not to change my style of play. Had the NHL season started, I would have made the Ducks team after three years in the farm club. I thought that the League and the PA would argue for a month or two. But the time went by and the negotiations carried over Christmas. I asked the club: 'Guys, maybe I should go home?' But they started looking for reasons not to let me go. So I decided not to do anything."
He's not prepared to make the same mistake again. Bryz also talks about a ton of other fascinating stuff in the article, as you'd expect. Among the chief points: Claude Giroux is afraid of playing in Russia, Bryz doesn't know what to expect with his contract under new CBA terms, he hates the league's initial proposal to the NHLPA, and he appreciates the fair criticism he received last season, saying he learned a lot in his first season as a Flyer.