Bryzgalov sorry for remarks

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov allows a goal to the Winnipeg Jets during the third...

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov allows a goal to the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of their NHL ice hockey game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:25 PM ET

Ilya Bryzgalov is sorry and didnít mean to offend the good people of Winnipeg.

Bryzgalov created a bit of an uproar when he spoke to Winnipeg Sun columnist Paul Friesen about the prospects of the Phoenix Coyotes moving to Winnipeg after the Coyotes were swept from the playoffs by the Detroit Red Wings last spring.

ďYou don't want to go to Winnipeg, right? Not many people live there, not many Russian people there,Ē Bryzgalov said at the time. ďPlus it's cold. There's no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It's going to be tough life for your family.Ē

Understandably, the message wasnít well received by the patrons in this province and as Bryzgalov made his first trip to Winnipeg on Friday with his new team, the Philadelphia Flyers, he tackled the subject head-on.

Bryzgalov approved of the mild temperatures that greeted him and was also quick to offer an olive branch.

ďLetís make this straight, once and for all,Ē said Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year deal with the Flyers for $51 million as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. ďI was losing, I was disappointed first of all. Second of all, I didnít want to move anywhere.

ďIím pretty sure itís good people, beautiful people live in Winnipeg. Iím pretty sure itís passionate fans. I didnít mean it and I didnít want to offend anybody. Sincerely, I apologize if I offended anybody in Canada or in Winnipeg. I didnít mean it, to be honest. Thatís it.Ē

The Winnipeg Jets host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at 2 p.m. (CBC, TSN 1290) and even with his apology, Bryzgalov is likely to be greeted by a chorus of boos if heís in goal for the visitors.


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