The Russian men's national hockey team recently removed Flyers' goalie and philosopher Ilya Bryzgalov from their roster before the start of the Channel One Cup, an annual tournament for Europeans playing in European leagues. During the NHL lockout, Bryzgalov has been playing for CSKA Moscow of the KHL. And he hasn't been doing particularly well—his .907 SV% would be
third-worst 28th in the league, if he hadn't been benched too much to qualify.
Still, the Russians cited a health issue when explaining Bryzgalov's absence from the Channel One Cup. Sports Express in Russia called Bryzgalov to get his comment and he hung up on them, though not before announcing he had become a cosmonaut (via Google Translate):
- Why are not you on the team? You have really a health problem?
- Sorry, but, unfortunately, I'm not ready to talk in detail with the press.
- Why not?
- The thing is that now I am in the Mission Control Center, you wrote about in our last interview. Astronaut suit on me. And you will understand that it disturbs me to communicate.
Presumably, Bryzgalov was not really sitting, helmet in hand, ready to launch off into space (though you never know). Perhaps the reference to his last interview with Sports Express had to do with this earlier Sports Express story from May, also dealing with Bryzgalov's fondness for the great beyond:
After a recent workout "pilot" a reporter asked about Bryzgalov, whoever he was, had not chose to be a hockey player. Goalkeeper thought, then, in all seriousness said, "astronaut."
After that discussion with the journalist went to the space theme: Bryzgalov has compared the American and Soviet space exploration program, and demonstrated confidence in the fact that the first animals to visit space, were two domestic dogs. In addition, Ilya briefed the audience with his views on sending monkeys into space. "Since they have a lot of problems. They press the wrong button," - said the Russian, and then turned the conversation to the topic of the Roman Empire.
So either Bryzaglov is living out his childhood dream of visting space, or he's mad at Sports Express for previously printing that dream. If it's the former, be careful out there, Bryz. Space is humongous big, and we'd hate to lose you.