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?

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid was a full participant Wednesday during the Sixers' first practice back from the All-Star break, but he's listed as doubtful for their games Friday and Saturday.

The Sixers host the Wizards Friday night (7/CSN) and face the Knicks Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (7:30/CSN).

If Embiid misses both games it would be 13 in a row and 16 of 17.

Still, it's a good sign he was able to practice in full Wednesday.

Ben Simmons, meanwhile, has a CT scan scheduled for Thursday in New York. The appointment should show whether his foot has healed enough for him to take the next step in his rehab.

Simmons did individual work at Wednesday's practice.

CSN Philly's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.

Sarah Baicker: I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

Sarah Baicker: I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

In late December, I was invited to play in a pick-up hockey game with some other members of the local sports media community. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was one of only two women there that day. Even now, female ice hockey players aren’t exactly common.

After the game, a reporter I’ve known a while — a guy I like a lot — said to me: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you skate like a man.” I didn’t take it wrong, of course; he meant it as a compliment. The reporter wanted nothing more than to tell me I’d impressed him.

I thought about this exchange a lot in the days that followed. Had someone told me I played hockey like a boy when I was 15, I would have worn that description like a badge. Hell yeah, 15-year-old Sarah would have thought, I do play like a boy. I’m as tough as a boy. I’m as fierce and competitive as any boy on my team. I would have reveled in it, just as I reveled in a similar label I’d received even earlier in my adolescence: tomboy.

Yeah, I was a tomboy. I hung around with the neighborhood boys, riding bikes between each other’s houses or catching salamanders in the creek that ran through town. I loved sports, and my bedroom walls — papered with newspaper clippings and photos of Flyers players — were a far cry from the pink-tinged rooms that belonged to the girls at school. 

As much as I could, I dressed like a boy too, even once cutting the sleeves off of an oversized T-shirt before I went out to rollerblade with our next-door neighbors. My grandmother, who was visiting at the time, pulled me aside to tell me I really ought to dress more appropriately. I rolled my eyes.

I was a tomboy, and I loved the word and everything it stood for. I felt pride in my tomboyishness, believing that the things I liked — the things boys liked — were clearly better than the things stereotypically left to the girls.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it was a conversation with a 15-year-old that changed my perspective, just a few days after my reporter friend had compared my hockey skills to those of a man. I sat down with Mo’ne Davis, the female Little League pitching phenom, for this very project. I asked her if she identified as a tomboy, and she shrugged. Not really, she said. Maybe other people wanted to define her that way, she suggested, but that wasn’t how she viewed things.

You know that record scratch sound effect they play on TV or in the movies? The one that denotes a sort of “wait … what?!” moment? That’s what happened in my head. Mo’ne Davis, the girl who played on the boys’ team and excelled, didn’t consider herself a tomboy?

Something clicked in my head after that. I’ve long identified as a feminist, and I’ve been a big supporter of girls in sports for as long as I can remember. I coach girls hockey, I’ve spoken at schools and camps about playing and working in sports as a woman. For some reason, though, it took a 15-year-old shrugging her shoulders at the label “tomboy” to take the power out of the word for me. Why does one have to be a tomboy, when one can simply be a girl who kicks ass? How had I never considered this before?

In many ways (and especially in sports) if something is male, it’s considered superior. It goes beyond just the things kids like to do, and it’s all old news. It’s also something I’m ashamed to admit I’ve bought into for practically all of my life. But no longer. How can I help change the narrative if I’m too busy playing along with it?

And if I could do it over, when that reporter approached me after our hockey game to tell me I skated like a man, I would have smiled, shook my head and said: Nah. But I skate like a darn good woman.