“If you kill a tiger like this? Death penalty. If you kill a tiger, and they find you? You’re dead. That’s it.”
Alright, there are three important things I have to talk about regarding this quote from the HBO 24/7 coverage. One, it is objectively hilarious that Ilya Bryzgalov rambles on about tigers while getting checked out based on a picture on a flask of alcohol. Two, I’m fairly confident that Bryz is actually wrong about this? I haven’t researched it obsessively, but based on some quick Googling I can’t actually find anything that says this is even remotely the case. What I did find though, and this is point three, if you Google “penalty for killing tigers in China”, guess what you find as the first result? Us! I tried it with an incognito window, so I think it works for everyone, if you type that into your search bar, you find a nine-year-old article from the Broad Street Buzz! Isn’t that kind of neat?
“I’m not afraid of anything. I’m afraid of bears. But bear in the forest.”
In an interview with Sportsnet before the 2012 playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins (yes, that one) Bryz was asked who on the Penguins lineup actually scared him. Bryz laid it down confidently and then went on to beat those same Penguins four games to two in that violent, goal-filled series. And by the way? Me too Bryz.
“It’s only hockey, you know. It’s only game. Why you have to be mad”
Ilya Bryzgalov fans had to know that this one was coming. During a post-game interview with The Score, Bryz was asked his opinion on Chris Pronger, and Pronger’s trade request to get away from the Edmonton Oilers. Unknowingly launching a meme that would one day have him enshrined as a voice line in the 2017 video game Overwatch, Bryzgalov just expressed confusion about people’s anger reminding us all hockey is really just a game.
“I don’t know. Right now I’m very into the universe you know. Like what is it? Like how it was created. The Solar system is so humongous big, right? But if you see like our solar system, our galaxy on the side right it’s so small you can’t even see it… and you think like, we have some problems here on the Earth we worry about? Compared to like? Nothing. Just be happy. Don’t worry be happy right now”
Full disclosure, I cut out some of the middles of this quote. He begins to ramble and repeat himself, and the quote itself has enough content to deserve an entire article in and of itself. But this is purely just an artistic statement. It has everything. A hopeful, beautiful final note? It’s got it. A hilarious pronunciation of the word “humongous”? It’s got that too. It’s haunting. It’s flawless. It’s pure poetry. Ilya Bryzgalov could have written “Romeo and Juliet” but Shakespeare could have never written prose as majestic as this.
So, there we go. What does that leave us? Ultimately, nothing. After kicking around the league for a few years Bryzgalov retired. He visited the All-Star game and Cup Finals for the Players Tribune a few times. Outside that, things have been pretty quiet for Ol’ Ilya.
He reportedly still lives in the Philadelphia area, and he’s definitely still getting paid by the Flyers, but other than that there isn’t much more to say.
Things certainly didn’t go as well from a playing perspective as we all may have hoped when the Flyers signed Ilya Bryzgalov way back in 2011, but man, he certainly was a fun interviewee.