Ilya Bryzgalov says it was fairly easy for him and the Flyers to find common ground in the contract negotiations. The Flyers were very eager to find a goalie.
"They've had problems in reaching their goal in the recent years, coming very close. They expect to have success every year; win the Stanley Cup, and they've reached the finals. It's very important for them because the management of the club wants to win. And once they got eliminated from of the playoffs, they decided that they need a good goalie."
"They started looking for a goalie right after they got eliminated. It's almost impossible to win the Stanley Cup without a good goalie, unless the team as a whole can compensate it. But in any case the goalie has to play well to win the Stanley Cup."
The Flyers signed Bryzgalov to a nine year deal. He will be 40 when the contract runs out. Is it realistic to expect that he will still be playing at that age?
"I love this game, I love hockey. I'm going to play as long as possible. I want to enjoy my job. There's nothing better than being able to enjoy your job."
The Bryzgalov deal was the first, but certainly not the last big move the Flyers made. It started a chain reaction of other significant moves as GM Paul Holmgren broke the team's core by sending Jeff Carter to Columbus and captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles while trying to keep the club under the salary cap. Whether some of the moves were direct result of the Bryzgalov deal or not, the goalie himself takes it cool.
"It's part of the business. No one should be surprised. We're all aware of the name of the game. Anyone can get traded at any time. If the Flyers decided that it was best for them, then they had to do it."
One of the latest moves by the Flyers was to sign veteran Jaromir Jagr. Bryzgalov says he's happy about getting the chance to play with the legendary forward.
"I'm very happy. He's a great player who will definitely help us."
"By the way, I know Jaromir. I went to Omsk after the lockout and trained with him at their training camp for two months."
Bryzgalov, Jagr and Chris Pronger are all known for their interesting comments in the media. What can we expect from that front next season?
"I try not to disappoint the press."
While Bryzgalov says he's familiar with Jagr, he's not as familiar with fellow Russian team mate Sergei Bobrovsky.
"No, we don't know each other. I think we have a decade of age difference. But I'm looking forward to meet him and getting to know him. I'm very happy that I get to work with a Russian guy."
Bryzgalov would like to see Bobrovsky's career handled with patience.
"He's still young. You need to go through certain levels in order to develop. I have no doubt that playing so many games in his rookie year was a great experience for him. But I also have no doubt that he is tired after that."
"When I arrived in the NHL, I thought that I was ready to play immediately, too. I spent four years in the AHL and now I understand that I simply wan't ready at first. I had played one and a half season in Russia before that."
"That's not enough. There are a lot of games in the NHL and some serious psychological pressure. You have to be at your best at all times. They pay you to see results. If you don't deliver, you get sent down."
From Ilya Bryzgalov summer hockey camp press conference on Dožd.