When three members of the Flyers' press corps tried to reach Ilya Bryzgalov by phone Tuesday, the goalie whose contract the Flyers elected to buy out hung up on them.
On Wednesday, via his agent Ritch Winter, Bryzgalov issued the following statement in a press release:
“As my family and I move forward to meet the new challenges ahead, I could not leave Philadelphia without publicly thanking Mr. Snider for the faith he showed in me when he committed to the long term contract that has secured my family’s financial future and acknowledging his passion for the game of hockey. Jeniya and I really appreciate his faith in me and what he has done for our family. Mr. Snider has an amazing energy for the deals he does and for winning. Hockey fans in this area should consider themselves lucky to have the team they cheer for led by a man who is as passionate about winning and doing whatever it takes to win as Flyers’ fans are. Getting to know Mr. Snider, has been a great experience. To see his passion for this game has been inspiring.
"I am grateful for teammates, to management and fans for the support I felt from so many of them through some very dark days and difficult situations. I have made many friends here – on the team, in the organization, among the media and throughout the community. Don’t ever think that I didn’t appreciate the kind comments of support made in the media by teammates and management and in private by so many very nice people I met on the streets of Philadelphia and in the surrounding area.
"I appreciate this experience more than many of you will know. I will learn from it. I have always said that a heavy sword makes a very strong arm. I intend to take this experience with me to my new team, to help me be stronger - a better player and, hopefully, a better person. At the end of the day, that is the challenge we all need to wrestle with.
"I look forward to the bright future ahead, but will never forget my time with the Philadelphia Flyers. For this time and this experience, I am grateful. “
Interestingly, Winter made it very clear that Bryzgalov will not be speaking to the media any further, placing the following note below the goaltender's statement (caps intact):
"FOR FURTHER COMMENT, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WALK UP TO ILYA BRYZGALOV NEXT YEAR AT TRAINING CAMP. HE AND HIS ADVISORS WILL HAVE NO FURTHER COMMENT UNTIL THAT TIME."
Of course, just where that training camp is located remains to be seen.
Later Wednesday, Ed Snider issued his own statement on the use of the Flyers' second compliance buyout:
"I fully support Paul Holmgren in his decision to use our final compliance buyout for Ilya Bryzgalov. It was a very difficult decision from a financial standpoint, but if Bryz remained a Flyer, the dollars would be far greater in a shorter timeframe. We now have cap space, which will allow us to improve our team. In the meantime, Bryz can try to find a situation where he can achieve true happiness."