Edmonton Oilers GM heard Ilya Bryzgalov is a ‘terrible’ person

Edmonton Oilers GM heard Ilya Bryzgalov is a ‘terrible’ person

Ilya Bryzgalov is back in the NHL after a brief conditioning stint with the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate. It’s somewhat surprising it happened so fast. Little more than a month ago, Bryz was being courted by an ECHL franchise.

Then again, I suppose Edmonton isn’t much better. The Oilers have a 5-15-2 record this season, good for the second-lowest point total in the league. And in the stacked Western Conference, it will be difficult to make up that ground.

Oilers GM and former Philadelphia Flyer Craig MacTavish is excited about the addition nonetheless, and according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, “The goalie battle is now officially on in Edmonton.” Good luck with that.

MacTavish must’ve heard about the killer party Philly threw when the organization bought out Bryz’s contract, because he admitted there was some trepidation before signing. The Oilers GM took some time to inquire about the cosmonaut’s reputation before putting ink to paper, and not surprisingly the responses were all over the spectrum.

"We did homework in terms of the character," said MacTavish. "You hear both ends of the spectrum. You heard people say, 'He's a good guy, he's not a problem, he's going to be very easy to work with.' Then you also heard, 'He's a terrible guy.' I've never seen this varied an opinion on a guy. Normally people focus in on the same conclusion. But this was quite different."

"Everybody likes an underdog story, and he can quickly get into that position here," said MacTavish. "He's a colorful character. If he plays well, he's got a chance to really resurrect his image and his game. There's a lot on the line. It probably won't be seamless, but he's got a chance.

I don’t know about you, but I’d put more weight in “terrible person” than “good guy.” It just seems more honest.

Or you could simply go by the fact that Bryzgalov’s previous employer paid $23 million to be rid of him.

MacTavish was quick to point out that signing Bryz didn’t cost his team much, and with his club’s season already circling the drain, he probably figured they had nothing to lose.

For what it’s worth, Bryz didn’t have much to say about his two-year stint with Philadelphia when he met the Edmonton press corps. Then again, the Flyers are paying him $23 million over the next 14 years to play hockey wherever he wants, so Bryz probably feels very content right now.

>> Oilers’ goalie competition heating up [ESPN]

Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

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Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella granted a request by the attorney general's office to tack on a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors said each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in Harrisburg in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The defendants sought permission last week from Boccabella for an appeal that could delay the trial. The judge has not ruled on that request.

They argue Boccabella erred when he declined to dismiss the child-welfare charges, arguing the statute of limitations expired, the defendants did not provide direct care for children and they are charged with actions that occurred before the law was revised.

Earlier this month, the judge dismissed charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, and last year the Superior Court threw out perjury, obstruction and conspiracy charges.

The three administrators fielded a complaint in 2001 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, then retired as an assistant football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower.

They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring children to the campus and they notified his charity for children, The Second Mile.

Sandusky currently is serving a lengthy state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Last week, a new judge appointed to preside over his appeals under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act scheduled a March 24 hearing at the courthouse near State College to "present and finalize the evidentiary portion" of the hearing.

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have released their Wall of Fame ballot for 2017 and Pete Rose is on it for the first time.

Baseball’s all-time hits king joins Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christensen, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo and Rick Wise on the ballot.

The Phillies had to receive permission from commissioner Rob Manfred to include Rose on the ballot. Rose was placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame last summer. 

Rose was one of the stars on the Reds’ Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was considered key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series. 

The Phillies’ Wall of Fame ceremony will take place Aug. 12 at Citizens Bank Park. 

Fans have a voice in the voting, which is has begun on the team’s website -- www.Phillies.com. Fans can select their top three choices and the five finalists will serve as the official ballot for a special Wall of Fame selection committee.