The Flyers starting goaltender says he hates the media, but he sure does love to talk to them. The outspoken goaltender is gaining attention again for comments he made about wanting to meet Joseph Stalin in an interview with the Russian sports website Championat.
The webpage and the google translation of the interview have since been taken down, but not before Deadspin picked them up. In the article, Bryzgalov talks about how he thinks people in Philadelphia work the system to stay on welfare, and about how houses in New Jersey smell of mildew.
The most controversial portion of the interview comes when he starts to talk about Communism and Joseph Stalin having been good for the country. Yahoo's Dmitry Chesnokov verified that the text is correct and he manually translated this portion of the interview due to its nature.
Bryzgalov sees Stalin in a positive light and said:
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...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.
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He even compares these innocent victims being murdered to a man being wrongly accused and having to spend 45 years in prison in America. It's not quite the same thing. When faced with either death or prison, the majority of people would settle for jail time.
Bryzgalov's comments come as a shock to us, and if you are a big history buff, you'd know that Stalin actually killed three times more people than Adolf Hitler did during the Nazi Holocaust. So hearing Bryzgalov's thoughts on the late dictator who did these terrible things to his own people is very disconcerting.
The news of Bryzgalov's comments is not going to sit well with the Flyers organization. With the rumors and speculation that Bryzgalov will be amnestied this offseason, will the organization take into consideration that he's a walking PR disaster? Bryzgalov is also costing the team a huge hit in the salary cap, so they could be ready to cut ties with the eccentric goalie.
The only problem with getting rid of Bryzgalov is that if they do amnesty him, they will need to search for another starting goaltender this offseason. The Flyers have confidence in backup Steve Mason, but his abilities are not quite there yet to give him the starting position.
One thing is certain, if Bryzgalov wants to keep his job, he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.