Ilya Bryzgalov

Flyers scrap silence policy, let Bryzgalov talk whenever he wants

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In one of the shortest and most futile gag orders in the history of gag orders, the Philadelphia Flyers have decided to let G Ilya Bryzgalov talk to the media whenever he pleases.

The kerfuffle began yesterday when it was announced Bryzgalov would no longer talk with the media except after games he’d played in. When that was met with outrage, the Flyers amended it so that Bryzgalov would not talk the day before or the morning of games. When that was met with outrage (most notably by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers association, who filed a complaint), the Flyers finally threw their hands up in the air, said screw it and just let Bryzgalov talk all the time.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette tried explaining the idea behind the silence policy to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I’m just trying to give him a break a little bit,” Laviolette said, explaining why the no-talking days were (then) going to be implemented. “We just talked. There’s just too much coming out. We’re trying to protect him, just to let him focus on the game.”

But by protecting Bryz, Laviolette and the Flyers also tried to control the media — and if there’s one thing the media doesn’t like, it’s being controlled. (The media also doesn’t like airport security, password-protected WiFi and missing the Holiday Inn’s complimentary breakfast bar.)

The biggest question to come from all of this is: Do the Flyers know something about Bryzgalov we don’t? Sure, he’s a quirky guy…but he’s always been a quirky guy. In fact, he’s been a quirky guy throughout his 10-year career. He’s played in over 300 regular season games (27 more in the playoffs) and been available to talk both prior to and after them. There’s a long history of Bryzgalov saying crazy stuff to the media before Philly gave him $51 million.

Also, he’s 31 years old. He’s married, he’s got two kids. A full-fledged grownup.

If I had to guess, the Flyers quickly realized they were treating a seasoned professional like an 18-year-old draftee from Moose Jaw, and pulled the plug. The PHWA complaint probably played a role, but give the organization credit for balking on what was a bad idea in the first place.

Ducks sign former first-rounder Noesen to one-year extension

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Forward Stefan Noesen has agreed to a one-year contract to stay with the Anaheim Ducks.

Anaheim confirmed the two-way deal Monday.

Noesen (NAY-sun) appeared in one game in each of the past two seasons for the Ducks, who acquired him from Ottawa in 2013.

The 2011 first-round pick by the Senators has spent most of the past three seasons in the AHL with Anaheim’s affiliates in Norfolk and San Diego. He scored 32 points in 65 games for the Gulls last season.

The 23-year-old Texas native’s pro career has been hindered by two major injuries. He missed practically all of the 2013-14 season with torn ligaments in his left knee, and he missed four months of the 2014-15 season after an opponent’s skate blade nearly severed his right Achilles tendon.

Twitter unveils plan to stream NHL games

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.  (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Twitter will live stream for free one Major League Baseball game and one NHL game per week under a new deal.

The agreement announced Monday will allow viewers to watch games nationally that would normally be available only in the two teams’ home markets. Users will not need to be logged into Twitter to see the games.

The baseball games will also be available outside the U.S., with some exceptions. Twitter did not announce the game schedule Monday.

The social media network is attempting to move into live sports streaming through “over-the-top” broadcasts, which do not require a cable subscription. In April, Twitter reached a deal with the NFL to stream 10 “Thursday Night Football” games this fall.

Former Flyers goalie Heeter signs with Detroit’s AHL team

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The Red Wings added some goalie depth on Monday, agreeing to terms with journeyman Cal Heeter.

Heeter, 27, broke in with the Flyers organization a while back and made his big-league debut in ’13-14, appearing in one game.

Since then, he’s bounced around the ECHL, AHL (with the Toronto Marlies) and, last season, split his time between Hamburg of the German League and Zagreb Medvescak of the KHL.

By itself, this signing isn’t especially noteworthy, as Heeter projects to be an American League mainstay next year.

But the contract is kind of interesting when looking and the big-picture goalie situation in Detroit. The Wings now have Heeter, Petr Mrazek, Jimmy Howard, Jared Coreau, Eddie Pasquale and Jake Paterson all under contract for next season, which is an awful lot of goalies.

With that in mind, remember that Howard’s name has been in trade talks for quite some time.

 

Ex-NHLers Bellemore, Collins sign with KHL’s Chinese club

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HC Kunlun Red Star, the Beijing-based expansion team that will begin playing in the KHL next season, has added a pair of former NHLers.

Sean Collins, who appeared in a pair of games for the Capitals last season, and Brett Bellemore, a veteran of over 100 contests with the Carolina Hurricanes, have agreed to join the club, per Russian news outlet R-Sport.

Bellemore, 28, was originally drafted by the ‘Canes in 2007 and spent most of his professional career with the organization. He signed on with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence last year, and appeared in 56 games.

Collins, 27, broke in with the Blue Jackets before signing with the Caps last season. He spent the majority of the year in AHL Hershey and fared well — 16 goals and 39 points in 75 games — and scored three times in the playoffs, helping the Bears advance to the Calder Cup final.