Ilya Bryzgalov Has an Offer to Play for a KHL Expansion Team on the North Korean border

Ilya Bryzgalov Has an Offer to Play for a KHL Expansion Team on the North Korean border

Ilya Bryzgalov remains a free agent, so might he find a new home in his native Russia?

ProHockeyTalk has translated this report from Sport Express in Russia in which former NHL All-Star Alexander Mogilny claims he has made an offer to Bryzgalov. Mogilny is heading up a new KHL expansion team, Admiral Vlaidvostok, and is evidently interested in acquiring the former Flyer's services.

Bryzgalov spent last year's lockout in the KHL, playing for CSKA Moscow, posting a 2.13 GAA and .913 save percentage in 12 games. For what it's worth, his relationship with the Russian media wasn't much better than it was with Panotch and the gang*.

PHT uses Google Translate to decipher the report, but as you'll see, it's a little rough. Either way, you get the gist:

Q: Olympic list Zinetula Bilyaletdinov saw? It does not have goalie Bryzgalov …

Mogilny: List seen. And about Bryzgalov can only say good words. A great goalkeeper. You do not have to hang on him all the dogs for the defeat at the World Cup.

Q: But in “Philadelphia,” his case was abysmal …

Mogilny: Who told you that? You know how many games last season, he won and how many lost? Saying that his contract bought out – so it’s financial policy of the American team. Bryzgalov is now without a club, and I am pleased to have invited him to “Admiral”.

However, we are not a rich club, so I do not know whether he will accept our terms and conditions.

Location also seems to be an issue, per Frank Seravalli:

There are two potential problems: (1) Mogilny firmly acknowledges that his club may not be able to pay Bryzgalov’s require rate and (2) Vladivostok is in the middle of nowhere.

Vladivostok is now home to the KHL’s eastern-most club. The city of 592,000 people, while home to the Russian pacific fleet, is situated on the border between North Korea and China.

The list Mogilny and the reporter are referring to up above is the Russian National Team's 2014 Olympic roster. Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Evgeni Nabokov and two KHLers received invites, but not Bryzgalov.

Of course, the last time he was a member of the Russian National Team, he was playing Angry Birds: Stars Wars Edition.

Bryzgalov has no doubt enjoyed success in the NHL -- he owns the Flyers' all-time shutout streak and was impressive enough in Phoenix to get himself a nine-year $51 million deal -- but he's also coming to his next team with a lot of baggage.

Sound off: Will Ilya Bryzgalov play in the NHL next season?

*Potential name for a Flyers cover band?

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

BOX SCORE

For as much as the Sixers’ bigs are talked about, Richaun Holmes often is left out of the conversation. 

He’s not the centerpiece of the team like Joel Embiid nor was he heavily involved in trade talks like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. He is the backup center who bides his time on the bench and quietly stays ready when he gets the nod.

And on Friday, he was the standout player in the Sixers’ 120-112 win over the Wizards (see Instant Replay)

“He’s been sort of the person that people forget about because of the logjam of five men,” Brett Brown said. “We all sort of think, ‘Well, he should just accept it because he’s behind Joel and Nerlens and Jahlil. Good ol’ Richaun. Go to the D-League and it’s OK.’ And that doesn’t work. He’s a pro, he’s competitive. He’s handled it. He’s really been a wonderful teammate.”

Holmes was bumped up in the rotation following the trade of Noel to the Mavs. He moved into the second-unit role while Okafor started in place of the injured Embiid. 

Holmes recorded his first double-double with 12 points (6 for 9 from the field) and 10 rebounds (three offensive). He also blocked a career-high five shots, tying Embiid for the most by a Sixer this season. The second-year big man put together this impressive performance in 26 minutes off the bench. 

“Just play hard,” Holmes said of his approach. “Just go out there, show what you’ve been working on, play hard every second you’re out there. That’s the motto I’ve got.”

Holmes is averaging 16.1 minutes and has appeared in just 32 of the Sixers’ 57 games. This season he also spent time with the Delaware 87ers of the Development League to get playing time. Holmes embraced an opportunity similar to Friday’s a month ago when he scored 18 points in as many minutes against the Clippers. 

“I try to approach every game this season the same way, whether everybody was playing or people were hurt,” Holmes said. “Prepare like I’m going to play 30 minutes a game. I think having that mindset helped me to stay ready at all times and be aggressive when I had a chance.”

Brown did not rule out the possibility that Holmes could start at some point if he continues this production. The Sixers are limiting Okafor to 20 to 24 minutes per game, according to Brown. That, combined with Embiid’s injury, could lend itself to an increased role for Holmes. 

“I think in that environment, it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for Richaun to get a start from time to time,” Brown said. 

Even if he remains on the second unit, Holmes proved he can provide a spark off the bench. Dario Saric noted how Holmes’ impact on both ends of the floor bolsters the frontcourt in addition to a more offensively-minded Okafor (11 points, two rebounds). 

“I think he played unbelievably good in both ways,” Saric said. “Everybody knows he’s an elite guy finishing around the rim, and he stepped in Nerlens’ place, he replaced him unbelievably good. I hope he will get the same minutes for the next game because we have Jahlil, who is more like a post-up player, who likes more to score from the low-post block, and we for sure need some guy like Richaun who will play in both ways." 

Perhaps the person least surprised by Holmes' game was Holmes himself. It was the result he puts in long hours to produce.

“It’s all about the grind,” he said. “All about keep working, keep trying to move up, keep trying to get better every second and it’ll pay off.” 

Ilya Bryzgalov talks goalies playing in contract year, Las Vegas and more

Ilya Bryzgalov talks goalies playing in contract year, Las Vegas and more

Gotta love Bryz, right?

Former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was his usual humorous, unpredictable self in a recent interview with Sportsnet.ca's Luke Fox.

From what he's doing now to talking pressure as a goalie, here are some of the highlights ...

On a goalie's mental state when job security is up in the air (referenced to Flyers goalie Steve Mason)
“So many goalies take the job for a long time, so it’s easy to be out of game. You worry. You want to find a long-term job, pay bills. It’s not a secret. That’s why when there’s no [contractual] certainty and you don’t see 100 percent confidence from your team, it might affect your game. If the season’s not going well, you start thinking about it.”

On his son playing goalie
"He chose it. He’s the guy who gives his team a chance to win. Make some saves. But he plays as a player once a week, too. Shoots the puck on goalies every Wednesday pretty much.”

On being a hockey dad
“I’m pretty calm. I only get upset when I see the referees make the bad calls. The kids work so hard and play so passionately, you can’t take sides. Only when the referee’s unfair.”

On being a pro hockey player in Las Vegas
"I’m family guy, settled down. I’ve never been too emotional or casino-addicted. For me, no problem. For the young guys to play there, it causes trouble, man. Difficult trouble. … The young ones with the cash? Las Vegas can provide lots of scenes, know what I mean?"

The rest is just as good. For the full Q&A, read Fox's article right here.

Also, Bryzgalov will be a part of Sportsnet's trade deadline coverage next Wednesday.

And side note: Bryz remains active on Twitter. And remains random as ever.

Just look at his last tweet ...