Rich Winters did not mince words when he spoke with Chuck Gormley.
“The fact is there will be no disclosure by the Bryzgalov camp,” said Winters, the agent for prized goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov. “Anybody that guesses at this point will be proven only to be one thing: a guesser and misrepresenting things to the public.”
Around that time, Winters put a kibosh on public comments relating to negotiations between his client and the Philadelphia Flyers. So, it caught many people off guard when Bryzgalov joined Twitter yesterday and wrote this in his second tweet:
Negotiations Negotiations Negotiations # Flyers
Although the account is not verified through Twitter, Russian reporters, the local media, and friends of the goalie all confirmed that the account actually belonged to the goalie.
Bryzgalov, who tweets in both Russian and English, comes off as very optimistic about the process of negotiations. In one of his earlier tweets, he wrote:
# Flyers Wait for the news! Soon, soon
In reply to @ChrissyTravs, he said:
@NHLFlyers I think everything will turn !!!!!
Technically, he isn’t actually revealing and it’s hard to be sure exactly what he meant by the last tweet but, at first glance, things seem to be positive.
This is strange, though. How is it that Winters allowed his client to join Twitter, resulting in the sort of speculation he previously spoke out against?
We could come up with a million different ways to rationalize this. As a naturally skeptical person, I wonder if this is a negotiating ploy, drawn up to put pressure on Paul Holmgren. As a desperate fan, I want to believe this means that they have a deal in place that works out for all involved parties.
If the Flyers do, in fact, have a deal in place with Bryzgalov, it won’t be the first piece of news we’d like to see here. The salary cap has yet to be announced for next season and the Flyers have not made any trades to clear up cap space to fit in Bryzgalov.
“As for now, we both know each other’s position and have agreed to speak again next week,” said general manager, Paul Holmgren.
I would imagine that is the absolute earliest we could hear news about a potential deal for the goalie. In the meantime, if you hear Bryzgalov mentioned as a Flyer, whether it be by him or a member of the media, temper those expectations. The team owns his rights right now.
He is a Flyer, at least until July 1, anyway.