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This Flyer's got an eye for fashion
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has already carved out a niche as one of the more quirky athletes in sports. After all, this is a guy who trained as a cosmonaut in Russia during the NHL lockout — and that might not be the weirdest thing he’s done.
But Bryzgalov’s latest antics, which took place in the Flyers’ locker room on Wednesday, may be his best, if creepiest, work yet.
In a moment of levity during his media session Wednesday in Philadelphia, in advance of the Flyers’ final home game Thursday, Bryzgalov paused after a question about his future with the franchise and shifted his focus toward Comcast Sports reporter Lisa Hillary.
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov when asked if he wanted to return next year. Turning to female reporter he said, "Nice blouse."— Rob Parent (@ReluctantSE) April 24, 2013
Q: Do you want to stay here next year? Bryzgalov: (randomly to female reporter) Nice blouse. (long pause) What? (pause) Of course!— Frank Seravalli (@DNFlyers) April 24, 2013
The off-hand compliment seems harmless, especially when you watch the video to get the full context.
But it was, perhaps, a riskier move than usual, given the other recent controversy regarding NHL players and female reporters this week. On Monday, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith caught heat for taking a few verbal swipes at a female Canadian radio reporter, with some perceiving his remarks as sexist. (He has since apologized.)
In Hillary’s defense, she seemed to take Bryzgalov’s compliment Wednesday in stride.
@ heyitsbrenno No no.. Not offensive at all. I think he liked the blouse, it was genuine, but he was being silly at the same time.— Lisa Hillary (@LHillaryCSN) April 24, 2013
And that’s probably the right approach to take when we’re talking about the charming genius responsible for these fantastic moments during HBO’s 2011 series with the team.