Ilya Bryzgalov to Take Year Off, Going to Mars in Russian Space Shuttle

“All you do is this and the rocket goes to space!” Bryzgalov told reporters.

In a highly unexpected move, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has announced he will not play in the 2012-13 season because he is going to Mars.

“I have always been interested in outer space,” Bryzgalov said as he was repairing a Russian space shuttle with a screwdriver and duct tape. “So when my country called me up to take this shuttle to another world, how can I say no? This is a dream. Hockey is a dream, too, yes, but hockey is a dream-game and this is a dream-space, which is bigger and more infinite. Therefore, I must accept my fate as a space traveler and explore other worlds, other perceptions of being, and other levels of our universe in order to experience the vastness of this thing we call ‘The Human,’ which is the ultimate goal in life, no?”

The Russian native added: “Also, if Tim Thomas can take a year off to talk about Chick-fil-A, I figured I could take a year off to go to Mars.”

With Bryzgalov becoming the first man to go to Mars, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren again has to find someone to man the net, a seemingly perpetual task for the Philly GM. But it did not take long for rumors to start up about scorned Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo to be headed to the Flyers.

“My sources #CONFIRM Luongo is going to #PHILLY! #CONFIRMED!” tweeted Hockeyy Insiderr, the Eklund of Hockeybuzz impersonator and lover of extra letters.

However, when asked if there was any truth to the rumor, Holmgren denied it.

“Luongo’s contract is too short and not enough money,” Holmgren said while lighting a cigar with a hundred dollar bill. “If he had another 12 years on top of the 10 or so he has left, maybe I’d consider it. But until then, there’s just not enough money being wasted for Philadelphia to consider it.”

Whatever the rumors are, the fact is that the Flyers are now in a tough spot. But when asked if he regrets leaving his team in a weakened position, Bryzgalov said that the team will be fine.

“I believe it was Nietzsche who said – and I’m paraphrasing the Russian translation of the German into English, so bear with me – ‘What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,’ Well, I haven’t killed the Flyers, so they should be stronger, no?” Bryzgalov said while inventing a new form of meditation for space travel, designed to calm the mind and empower the body.

The Russian astronaut/NHL goaltender continued: “I believe it was the beautiful Gloria Gaynor who said, ‘I will survive. I will survive.’ So, if the Flyers listen to that song before every game while reading Nietzsche, I believe that they will be a great team.”