Fans aren’t the only ones who don’t want the Phoenix Coyotes to relocate to Winnipeg, their goaltender isn’t fond of the idea either.
After his team was eliminated — both from the playoffs and possibly from ever again playing in the city of Glendale — by the Detroit Red Wings, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was asked if he’d want to play for the team if they relocated to their former home in the Great White North. His answer was what you’d call, definitive.
“You don’t want to go to Winnipeg, right?” Bryzgalov told reporters Wednesday night. “Not many people live there, not many Russian people there. Plus it’s cold. There’s no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It’s going to be tough life for your family.
“I better go to somewhere in Russia, KHL, to be honest. Because KHL is Russian people, it’s family, friends. Even as a cold place, I can speak to people in Russian language.”
Although Bryzgalov didn’t exactly shine in the Coyotes series versus the Red Wings — he had a 4.36 goals against average and an .878 save percentage — he was a huge reason for the teams regular season success. He recorded a 36-20-10 record, with a 2.48 GAA.
The netminder is a free agent this offseason and, regardless of where the franchise is located next year, it would be a huge loss if he played for someone else. But honestly, can you blame Bryz for not wanting to play in Winnipeg?
Hopefully, for his sake and the fans, the biggest save made this spring involving the Coyotes isn’t from their goalie but rather the city of Glendale and Matthew Hulsizer.