Of Course Someone Had to Ask Ilya Bryzgalov His Thoughts on Stalin

Of Course Someone Had to Ask Ilya Bryzgalov His Thoughts on Stalin

Couldn't they have just asked him about space? Or bears even? Maybe ask him to go into greater detail as to why he likes "new" cities like Boston (???) as opposed to "old" cities like Philadelphia? No. The Russian interviewer had to ask Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to explain his thoughts on Joseph Stalin. This should go over well.

The original interview was done by Russian language site Championat, which you can read a sketchy Google Translate version of here.

Dmitry Chesnokov, who often translates for Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy, more accurately translated the sure-to-be controversial quotes on Stalin.

All journalists try to interview you. And is there a person who you would like to talk to?

“A lot of them are not alive anymore… I would love to talk to Genghis Khan, Stalin, Einstein.”

Stalin is a very controversial figure. How do you feel about him?

“Positive. I see logic in his action. Not without going too far, of course. But he came to power in a country that had just lived through a revolution. There were so many spies, enemies, traitors there. A lot of people still had guns after the civil war. The country was in ruins, [people] needed to survive somehow. The country needed to be rebuilt, and in order to do that it needed to be held in iron hands. Then WWII began. A lot of people came back from that war with guns as well. There was devastation all around, the country had to be rebuilt, had to be able to defend itself. There were so many criminals.”

Stalin took Russia in with a wooden plow and left it with nuclear weapons.

“Yes, he knew what he was doing. He is described as a ‘bloody tyrant.’ But at the time it couldn’t be any other way. Yes, there were innocent people who were victims of repressions… But it happens. Not long ago in the US a person was released from prison, who spent 45 years there. It turned out he was innocent. Can you imagine, a person spent his entire life in jail for something he didn’t do.”

At least Einstein was a good choice, I think, right?

I'm not going to read into Bryz's desires to meet a dead tyrant too much. I suppose one could understand the desire to meet such a controversial historical figure to try and figure out why he did what he did to your native country, but to say you feel positively about him and see logic in his actions... tough to see logic in that.

To end on a lighter note, this Google Translate of "Broad Street Bullies" is just fantastic:

- Because of the street, which plays "Philadelphia," the team called "highway robbers." The club associate themselves with this nickname?
- It is in the past century. Now we do not like the "highway robbers." We can fight, but no more than other teams. Previously, it was like: there were teams that could play hockey. Against these players, "Philadelphia" is a tough game, all were beaten, and then started to score goals (smiles).

Could Flyers have trade partner in Avalanche or Kings?

Could Flyers have trade partner in Avalanche or Kings?

The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. next Wednesday.

As usual, the number of scouts at Flyers home games again reached double digits during a 4-l loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night (see game story).

Two clubs that have been in Philadelphia quite a bit this month are the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.

The Avs, who are dead last in the NHL, have been trying to move Gabriel Landeskog and/or Matt Duchene for quite a while. They would love to do a deal with the Flyers, according to an NHL source.

Colorado is looking for a top forward and defensive help. A number of NHL clubs realize the Flyers have a slew of young upcoming defensemen and not all of them are going to be able to play here, certainly at the same time.

The Kings are in search of a left wing who might be a nice fit with Anze Kopitar, but the Flyers don’t have a left wing they can part with and, frankly, would love to have a scoring winger themselves to pair with Claude Giroux.

Some of the 10 clubs here on Wednesday night are in need of a backup goalie for a playoff run. Perhaps even the Kings, if Jonathan Quick doesn’t return soon. L.A. waived Jeff Zatkoff on Wednesday.

Scouts say there is a market for Michal Neuvirth right now if the Flyers want to move him. He’s been playing a lot and he’s been very sharp and healthy, which is always a factor when talking about him.

Neuvirth made his fifth consecutive start in Wednesday’s game against the Capitals and is expected in net Saturday night at Heinz Field for the Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Flyers need a goaltender under contract to expose in this summer’s expansion draft and both Neuvirth and Steve Mason can be unrestricted free agents.

Zatkoff could be that guy if the Flyers claimed him and moved one of their goalies now.

If you’re general manager Ron Hextall, the Flyers' numbers offer a compelling reason to be a seller: 3-6-1 since coming out of the All-Star break and 9-15-4 since the club’s 10-game win streak in mid-December.

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on