Flyers goalie Bryzgalov to spend lockout playing in Russia

Posted: September 21, 2012

TURNS OUT, the universe really is "humangous" big.

On Wednesday night, Ilya Bryzgalov reportedly boarded a flight to Moscow - some 5,000 miles away - to begin his quest at redemption in the 2012-13 season. He will start the season in Russia's KHL.

Bryzgalov, 32, signed a temporary contract to join Moscow's CSKA franchise. The deal was first reported by The Fourth Period magazine. Bryzgalov could be in CSKA's lineup as soon as this weekend.

Bryzgalov posted a 33-16-7 record with a .909 save percentage and 2.48 goals against-average last season in the first season of a 9-year, $51 million deal. He has been informally practicing with his fellow locked-out teammates in South Jersey but did not participate on Wednesday.

Bryzgalov will join teammates Jake Voracek (HC Lev Praha) and Ruslan Fedotenko (HC Donbass) in the KHL. All three players remain property of the Flyers, as their Russian contracts will automatically terminate at the end of this labor stoppage.

Preseason canceled

While most of the Flyers' season-ticket holders probably rejoiced on Wednesday, the NHL announced the cancellation of all preseason games up until Sept. 30. That included the league's well-publicized "Kraft Hockeyville" game in Belleville, Ontario.

For the Flyers, that meant lopping off their annual contest in London, Ontario, at the John Labatt Centre on Sept. 26 vs. Toronto and two other home games: Sept. 25 vs. Chicago and Sept. 29 vs. New Jersey.

Slap shots

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ($8 million in 2011) and deputy commissioner Bill Daly ($3.97 million in 2011) have agreed to not collect their paychecks during the lockout. Similarly, NHL Players' Association head Donald Fehr has not been paid since July. Less than a week old, the lockout is already affecting NHL staffers, who were notified on Wednesday during a staff meeting that their pay will be reduced by 20 percent to a 4-day work week starting on Oct. 1. At this point, the Flyers said they have no plans to reduce staff or pay . . . Rangers forward Rick Nash predicted on Wednesday, prior to joining his new team in Switzerland, that the NHL's lockout will cause the entire season to be lost.

Contact Frank Seravalli at or @DNFlyers on Twitter. Read his blog, Frequent Flyers, at


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