THE BRYZ WITCH HUNT BEGINS

Wanye
November 18 2013 03:44PM

New Oilers tendy Ilya Bryzgalov faced the media for the first time this afternoon after practice. A great many questions lobbed in his direction were cringe worthy as the assembled scribes baited the newest Oiler to say something colourful and give them the quote they had all trudged down in the snow to get.

IS THIS HOW IT IS GOING TO GO?

We have spent a good amount of time watching Bryz interviews since the Oilers announced that they were bringing him in on a one year deal. The guy is clearly a different breed and his interviews on HBO's 24/7 are the stuff of legend. And it is embarassing to watch the reporters in this scrum try and pry out quotes of a similar ilk.

Bryz seems genuinely happy to be in Edmonton and grateful for a chance to be back in the NHL. Is Edmonton is first choice? No. But is he sounding like someone trying to make the best of things? Yes. He pumped the Oilers "great heritage" wisely lumping in Lowe and MacT in with Gretzky and Messier and seems be a happy go lucky fellow fighting through English as a second language to make himself understood.

But this wasn't a Dany Heatley type attitude - the guy doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body. This didn't seem to make any sort of the impressions on the hostile crowd of mics who wanted him to diss the city, the fans or anything really and asked only questions of the sort.

It's clear everyone covering the team is looking for him to say something crazy asap. "Do you think you suck?" "Don't you hate Philly?" "Isn't Edmonton crappy?" "Are you mad you were bought out?" The awkward questions just came at the poor guy rapid fire. We can't think of any other Oiler being raked over the coals in such a fashion - much less in his first day on the job.

You can hear Ryan Rishaug trying to be a tough guy asking the hard questions of the newest Oiler throughout the clip. It would be grand if he would take a similar approach with MacT, Eakins or Lowe who actually have had an impact in the product on the ice not a guy who hasn't even suited up in a single game but there you go. 

Bryz wasn't having it. He stayed positive, stayed classy and made it through the gauntlet unscathed.

FOR THE RECORD

We saw a panel over the weekend on one of the networks suggest that Bryz was being brought in as a designated dressing room distraction designed to take the heat off the underperforming mega studs. If the Oilers are going to get things righted again reclamation projects are going to be a key part of the re-re-rebuild. The Oilers need to be a place where players can come to turn things around in a positive place - not in some hostile environment like what we see in the scrum above. Hopefully Bryz's new team mates are a bit more welcoming.

Not everyone in Edmonton wants you to fail. In fact some of us want to see you dominate. I'll say it again: Не каждый в Эдмонтонских желаниях Вы, чтобы терпеть неудачу. Фактически некоторые из нас хотят видеть, что Вы возглавляете.

Good luck to you Bryz.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 D
November 18 2013, 03:49PM
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Certain members of Edmonton's media are straight up bush league.

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#2 Oilers Coffey
November 18 2013, 04:04PM
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What's crawled up Rishaugs _____ ??? The guy used to be pretty cool but the way he's gone after the Russians is really uncool! First Nail beauty Yakupov now Bryzgalov... He's gone way too personal.

NOT COOL

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#3 Robin Brownlee
November 18 2013, 04:24PM
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I first met Bryzgalov during the 2005-06 season.

I won't pretend to know him, but my impressions are he is definitely out there and a bit of a kook. That said, I have yet to see or hear any indication of a mean or "I'm a jerk" bone in his body. He actually seems like a guy who'd be a laugh riot to hang out with.

I don't care if he's a bit of an oddball or if he's a helluva great guy with a nutbar edge, which I suspect he is. All that should matter from the team's point of view is that he can stop pucks and that he's a good teammate.

Lots of guys who were a bit bent have had nice runs in Edmonton -- Janne Niinimaa, Georges Laraque and Marty Reasoner, to name just three.

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#5 Todd
November 18 2013, 04:16PM
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I love near the end when Rishaug asks him if he needs to change anything he is doing "off the ice". And he pauses awkwardly long than says "what you mean, like what I'm going to eat in the restaurant or what?".

I completely agree Wanye. Its a travesty that the media in this town have big balls when its time to grill the new kid in town, but they haven't asked any hard questions like that to President Klowne.

Its probably because they know Lowe will be here for another 25 years no matter how bad he does his job, and the organization will bully anyone who doesn't tow the line.

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#6 Wax Man Riley
November 18 2013, 03:55PM
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Bryz is saying all the right things though. My favorite is when he said "Judge for yourself at the end of the season"

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#7 Cynic
November 18 2013, 04:11PM
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The only thing that would have made that scrum better would have been Bryz looking at Rishaug and saying, "I heff $23 million. How much you make? Peanuts?"

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#8 PaperDesigner
November 18 2013, 03:52PM
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D wrote:

Certain members of Edmonton's media are straight up bush league.

...I can't tell if that's a criticism of the Edmonton media, a joke about Majeau's hair, or both...

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#9 Craig1981
November 18 2013, 04:06PM
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After watching this my like for Bryz has gone way up. Hope he does well.

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#10 John
November 18 2013, 05:24PM
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I also found Rishaug's questions to be very distasteful. I hope that these players start shutting them down and just give them cliche's if that is how they are going to conduct themselves. Every time he asks a question he might as well open with, "I mean this with the least amount of respect possible".

I was actually embarrassed for the Edmonton media today, and happy that Bryz was ready for it and didn't give them anything.

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#11 Young Oil
November 18 2013, 04:19PM
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Bryz handled this interview perfectly. I have lost all respect for Ryan Rishaug. I don't care about Ilya's past, and the media should be ashamed of constantly trying to antagonize him. This better not go on for every single interview. Bryz is an Oiler now. Why question his morals and integrity in the very first conversation you have with him? Its like they're chasing him out of town before he has a chance to even get accustomed to everything. Be professional, treat him just like how you would treat any other new player. Welcome him to a great city with open arms, don't give him a terrible first impression.

Welcome to Edmonton Bryz, hope you have all the success in the world here, and enjoy your time!

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#12 jeanshorts
November 18 2013, 04:08PM
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This is what I get for thinking in my own head a few months back "At least the Edmonton media isn't as bad as most other big hockey markets, trying to manufacture controversy and all that".

I'm not mad Edmonton media, I'm just thoroughly embarrassed and YOU ARE GROUNDED MISTER!!

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#13 -30-
November 18 2013, 05:26PM
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Rishaug. And they say it's the fans that drive players out of Edmonton.

Totally classless questions from "shauger". LOL

All of these dumbass mainstream media types try lead the interviewee with loaded questions.

Rishaug, with this and the rant about Yak I have totally lost any kind of respect or interest in what you have to say.

-30-

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#14 Hits from the BoNg
November 18 2013, 07:42PM
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Ryan Rishaug is a Gossip Girl. His tactics are more TMZ than TSN. Congrats Rishaug, you giant douche bag, media card revoked...Papparazzi card issued !

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#15 Wax Man Riley
November 18 2013, 03:54PM
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Some of it sure does sound bush, not gonna lie.

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#17 Mac962 Russian Vodka Version
November 18 2013, 04:05PM
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This City loves its tough guys and Characters [ Gizmo etc ] If he play's remotely well , the Fans will embrace him whole heartedly.

I for one - am pulling for him. Not sure if he got my invite yet for a helping of my wifes perogies and a shot or two of Russian Vodka.

Can you imagine Bryz half looped and the stories he could spew ?

Kick Butt Bryz and welcome to E-town.

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#18 Wax Man Riley
November 18 2013, 04:06PM
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Oilers Coffey wrote:

What's crawled up Rishaugs _____ ??? The guy used to be pretty cool but the way he's gone after the Russians is really uncool! First Nail beauty Yakupov now Bryzgalov... He's gone way too personal.

NOT COOL

He's trying so hard to find a quote to make himself relevant again... kinda like Craig Custance when shared Larionov's feelings about Yak.

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#19 He Who Knows
November 18 2013, 05:32PM
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Ryan Rishaug is where he is because he sold out a long time ago. Mainstream media is a propaganda machine.

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#20 Racki
November 18 2013, 05:55PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't have a major issue with the questions. The ones you thought were tough, were about what happened in Philly.

Bryz was bought out for a reason. I think he has to answer for his past for one day. Now it turns to him playing.

I liked his responses. He stood his ground, answered them and said judge him for what he does here. I respect that.

If he plays well, people will notice and talk about it. He was paid $23 million to leave a team, so I don't think it was unfair to ask him he feels like he has something to prove.

We're not that naive to think that the questions weren't asked with some hope of getting a rise out of him. Good on Bryzy for answering the questions well, but I think when you ask a guy "how does it feel to be paid not to play for a team" and then "did it make you angry" you're looking for a certain type of response.

It wasn't that bad, I suppose, but I don't really see how Bryzgalov has to answer for his past. He's here, it's a new start, why can't we just think of it as that? Why is it necessary to poke the beehive to see if that great quote will drop out?

Hopefully you media folks actually do just move on and focus on his current game though now that he's gone through this unnecessary media initiation.

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#21 Serious Gord
November 18 2013, 05:12PM
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"...You can hear Ryan Rishaug trying to be a tough guy asking the hard questions of the newest Oiler throughout the clip. It would be grand if he would take a similar approach with MacT, Eakins or Lowe who actually have had an impact in the product on the ice not a guy who hasn't even suited up in a single game but there you go."

This ALL DAY LONG.

How about robin? How about going after MacT in the next presser, relentlessly, point by point?

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#22 Walter Sobchak
November 18 2013, 05:06PM
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Rishaug is a hack.

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#24 Greenlingj
November 18 2013, 04:52PM
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"I sleep on a pile of money with many pretty ladies" or "I sleep on a pile of pretty ladies with many money"

Bryz say that and Rishaug's head will explode.

God I hate Rishaug.

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#26 Racki
November 18 2013, 06:31PM
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DSF wrote:

The media's job, in a case like this, is to represent the general public and to ask questions that many of them may have.

Had it been a press conference which focused solely on what Bryzgalov brings to the Oilers, I am sure he would have been happy to tell us he knows the teams' "back is against the wall and he will "give 110 percent" to make it all okay.

Pablum.

The feeling that I'm getting from comments here is the general public wasn't actually looking for answers to the questions asked.

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#27 Bryzarro World
November 18 2013, 04:57PM
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Rishaug should stick to playing his guitar at shinny games...

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#28 Chainsawz
November 18 2013, 07:33PM
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Asking about the weather and personal feelings about another team are irrelevant questions for a new goalie that just joined the Oilers.

It would be like asking a new GM what he thinks about drinking and driving.

Unless you were baiting for a quote.

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#29 BIGDAWG
November 18 2013, 04:01PM
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WHO CARES!!!! Can he stop the puck? that's what I am worried about. Looks like the hint of signing Bryz has lite a fire under Duby... Which is good cause I was really starting to look like an idiot defending Duby everytime.. lol So, Lets hope the Oilers can soon put a full 60min together and turn this beotch around!!!!!!

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#30 LoweBlow
November 18 2013, 04:57PM
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Classy interview! I'm very impressed with how he spoke. All this media nonsense is infuriating. I can't imagine how I'd handle it. He shrugged them off and was pretty much the only adult in that scrum.

Welcome Ilya. Been a while since we had a real man on this team.

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#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 18 2013, 04:43PM
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Naky wrote:

Yeah, sure, Edmonton always has -32 temperatures in November and winter for 8 months of the year. He wasn't wrong at all.

Stop apologizing for him.

october-may = snow or possibility of snow.

it is freeze your pecker if you dare try and write your name in the snow cold for stretches in november - early march. everyday? of course not

it is a winter city. those who live here joke about it all the time. embrace it. love it.

why you heff to be soo mad?

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#33 Rama Lama
November 18 2013, 04:08PM
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I for one like that he has a personality.......he will lighten thing up in the dressing room, that is a given.

What is most refreshing is that he will not give canned answers or throw around typical cliches that most hockey players do.........sort of like that commercial where the guy is responding to his wife as if he is being interviewed, halarious!

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#34 gr8one
November 18 2013, 04:46PM
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I think it's fitting that sideshow bob was in the background for the entire interview.

That being said, I personally like his "oddball-ness", I think it's refreshing to hear ANY NHL player say something other than the generic canned answers that we constantly hear.

Like others have said, only two things matter to me, and those are that he is a good teammate and stops pucks.

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#35 Bryan in SK
November 18 2013, 05:28PM
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Just win. Then you can say anything you want and I'll have it printed on a T-shirt.

Welcome to Edmonton. Now stop the puck.

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#36 Eddie Shore
November 18 2013, 08:36PM
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Hey DSF, is there any question you don't have the answer for?

...asking for a friend.

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#37 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 18 2013, 04:25PM
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Naky wrote:

Sorry Wanye, gotta disagree with you on the media being hard on him and trying to make him slip up being a bad thing. He stood in front of a camera just a few years ago and crapped all over this city and its fanbase all the while laughing about it and talking down to the reporters. He had no problem speaking his mind then.

It's about karma. It always comes back to bite you in the ass. Right now, it's biting him in the ass. Hard. He never thought he'd ever be in this position, forced to sign with the one city he publicly trashed because nobody else would give him the time of day. He's eating humble pie and should swallow every little crumb of it.

So no. I welcome his discomfort. I want him under fire and mad. I want him itching to prove everyone wrong all the time because that means he's going to play harder - and perhaps more importantly, become a better person for it in the end.

He's learning a hard lesson. Let's find out if it sticks or if it's just lip service in the end.

he didnt crap all over the city. what he said wasnt wrong.

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#38 John
November 18 2013, 05:13PM
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I am pretty sure that there is no video with Bryz trashing Edmonton, he is talking about Winnipeg.

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#39 Pouzar99
November 18 2013, 08:58PM
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As a former non sports (with one massive exception) journalist with 30 years experience I am in favour of asking very tough questions to authority figures. It is the job of the media to challenge the powerful, which means the politicians, the police, corporate leaders, and, yes, even sports figures. For the most part those tough question should be addressed to the general manager or the coach, however, but in some circumstances of athletes as well, usually in relation to controversial incidents.

Grilling an athlete who has not even played for the team, and is in now way responsible for its struggles is pushing things a bit, but I think it was absolutely right that Bryzgalov was asked about what went wrong in Philadelphia last season. After he made it clear that he did not acknowledge that his play or his allegedly "flakey" behaviour were part of the problem in Philadelphia, there was really no point in continuing to ask the same question in increasingly blunt and, frankly, insulting terms in an apparent attempt to goad Bryzgalov into an angry response. Listening to the scrum on the radio while driving I admit that I started to cringe a bit. As someone who cut his teeth as The Journal's only real investigative reporter for years I have had a lot of experience in asking tough questions to genuinely powerful people, but this was just inappropriate, amateurish behaviour in my opinion; the behaviour of someone who wants to be seen as a 'real' journalist, but doesn't real know how to be one. Bryz was asked and he answered. Now it is time to, as he asked, give him a chance to show what he can do.

How does a real sports journalist behave? The tough questions asked by Journal columnist John MacKinnon of Kevin Lowe at the press conference when MacTavish was appointed as GM were examples of real journalism and asking them takes real stones, believe me. His questions were pointed but absolutely fair and Lowe's angry reaction gave us some real insight. That is how you do it.

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#40 Johnnydapunk
November 18 2013, 04:34PM
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I also do hope the media let up a bit on him as the baiting was a bit much. After an interview session like that, who would want to come here?? I understand that the media needs stories and quotes and all that, but it was his first practise day with the team and it gonna take him time to get a bit settled. There was no need to ask the same questions over and over again and just word them differently.

I hope the media lets up on him a bit, if anything ask some easy questions, let him enjoy the hockey and hopefully find the form he had a few years back. It could turn out alright.

It's not that easy to get players here as it is, no point in trying it make it harder.

(Before people go off on my last statement, it's sad but true that Edmonton isn't one of the top destinations for an NHL player, it might be again one day, but right now I kind of doubt it)

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#41 merlen
November 18 2013, 06:39PM
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As per Wikipedia - Selling out is the compromising of integrity, morality, or principles in exchange for personal gain.

Sound like most of the reporters in that room, all looking for the next youtube video response.

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#42 Will
November 18 2013, 04:32PM
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I hope he pushes Dubnyk for the number 1 spot. If he plays good though, he'll likely be the guy moved at the deadline since he'll likely want to go to a team not in 'Siberia', leaving us with the exact same problem next year. Hopefully he has value at the deadline.

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#43 exsanguinator
November 18 2013, 05:07PM
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Best part of the interview:

Do you think you have to change anything off the ice?

*pause* *heavy sigh*

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#44 camdog
November 18 2013, 04:48PM
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Wasn't a fan of bringing the guy in, but he's here now. The media trying to goat breeze into a quote was sad.

At the end of the day I hope both DD and Bryzgalov play lights out so that the excuse makers in management can no longer scapegoat our teams poor performances on the goalies.

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#45 Hockey Problems
November 18 2013, 08:47PM
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If I were Yak and Bryz, I'd just start answering questions in Russian. "There you go Rishaug, decrypt that cypher ... you goof"!

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#46 **
November 18 2013, 09:51PM
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if anything, Dubnyk has been playing far superior since the announcement Bryz was coming to town.

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#48 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2013, 05:55PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't have a major issue with the questions. The ones you thought were tough, were about what happened in Philly.

Bryz was bought out for a reason. I think he has to answer for his past for one day. Now it turns to him playing.

I liked his responses. He stood his ground, answered them and said judge him for what he does here. I respect that.

If he plays well, people will notice and talk about it. He was paid $23 million to leave a team, so I don't think it was unfair to ask him he feels like he has something to prove.

I think this is fair.

You have to answer some of these, esp. his play and being bought out (or at least, how he feels about it, Philly has to answer for it at the end of the day, it wasn't his decision after all).

These are by and large fair questions. But asking them over and over isn't very helpful, even if you massage the language to try and get a different answer.

The ones that seemed silly were about whether he was going to change his attitude, how he carries himself off the ice and specifically his relation to the media.

All of these are insidious. We aren't talking about Torts, or Avery here. We're talking about a guy who's is a little more interesting than others. Giving the 5th degree about it seems totally out of perspective and desperate.

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#49 Rob...
November 18 2013, 06:00PM
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@DSF

Though I agree that, in principle, the questions weren't inappropriate, the phrasing was about as awkward as an Oiler's D trying to clear the puck out of his own zone. It made me almost wish for a Bob Stauffer 'canned answer built into the question' type question.

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#50 james_dean
November 18 2013, 09:58PM
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@-30-

I agree 100%

Hope tsn dumps you rishaug. Tasteless

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