Ilya Bryzgalov: full-time dad, mathematician, media member

Ilya Bryzgalov is a Stanley Cup champion. Many people forget that. In fact, he was pretty important to the Anaheim Ducks run for the Cup.

Before the end of the regular season, J.S. Giguere became a new dad. When his infant son experienced medical issues, Jiggy took time away from the rink. That’s when Bryz stepped in.

In the first round against the Minnesota Wild, Bryzgalov was 4-1, and Giguere returned to his spot as the No. 1 goalie in the second round.

Ten years later, Bryzgalov is still in awe – in his own Bryzgalov way – of all that the team accomplished.

“We’re going to walk for rest of life together,” said Bryzgalov at the Ducks 2007 reunion. “It’s a huge accomplishment to win the Stanley Cup. It’s nice.”

Bryzgalov’s playing career may or may not be done. He’s always joking (possibly serious?) about getting ready to play for Vegas or another NHL team that may come calling. Until that day arrives, he is keeping himself busy in a new role – full-time dad.

He as two kids: Vladislav, 11, and Valery, 12.

Vladdy is a goaltender just like his pops. Bryz is the coach of his team. He also says he ‘helps out’ with his daughter’s burgeoning figure skating career.

They remember their dad winning the Stanley Cup.

“When I bring the Stanley Cup home, Vladdy, my son, he’s like hugging [the Cup] and pushing people away. He was like one year and six months, push everyone around ‘it’s my Cup.’ Same thing as the daughter. It’s awesome.”

When he’s not with his family, he’s dabbling in a the dark arts of sports media. Puck Daddy encountered this first hand at the 2017 All-Star media day in Los Angeles.

While interviewing Ryan Kesler and Cam Fowler, a distinct Russian voice came booming through the crowd. “OUT OF THE WAY! OUT OF THE WAY! REAL MEDIA COMING THROUGH!”

It was Bryzgalov on assignment for The Players’ Tribune.

“I’m sorry. I apologize. I wait, I wait for long,” said Bryzgalov of the incident. “I staying, waiting, BUT I’m not a media kind of,” he added. “I was more like a ‘one man show.’”

That was absolutely true. He was, by far, the most popular attraction at media day; at least of those not speaking entirely in sports cliches.

According to Bryzgalov, he ‘loved’ being on this side of the microphone minus the waiting. Mainly because he could ask the ‘edgy’ questions, such as the one he asked above: 2 + 2 x 2.

The correct answer is six.

“In Russia, this is the math [long pause] I have to say it right, said Bryzgalov. “Everybody in Russia know the trick. I was being surprised that’s why every Russian answered it right. Here in North America it’s like they all answer it wrong. I guess they doesn’t know the trick.”

[Author’s note: The ‘trick’ Bryz talks about is ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’ from math class? It stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. That’s the order you complete equations. Multiplication first (2×2=4) then addition (4+2=6). Most of the North American educated players Bryz talked to completed the equation: 2+2 = 4 x 2= 8]


After his one go at media day, he’s got the itch to do it again, but first he has to “got to ask the employees.”

Huh? How does a one-man show have employees?

“Somebody get me invited to some event, and give me full freedom to do that,” answered Bryzgalov.

“Maybe, maybe I going to do the, uh, The Players’ Tribune again [at] NHL Awards. We work on that. I got already some edgy questions in my head I prepared and I hope it’s gonna work out.”

Sidney Crosby, Erik Karlsson brush up on your math. Bryzgalov is coming for you.