Ilya Bryzgalov was actually a Cosmonaut, and has the spacesuit to prove it (VIDEO)

We first learned of Ilya Bryzgalov's fascination with the universe during last year's HBO 24/7 series leading up the 2012 Winter Classic. Later, he revealed that had he not become a hockey player he would have been an astronaut, and then informed the world why monkeys can't be trusted in space:

"The problem with monkeys, they push the wrong buttons." Too true. Even the IKEA monkey would agree.

On Tuesday, Bryzgalov was given the opportunity to train like a Russian Cosmonaut as he visited the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and saw what it took to be a monkey in space.

During his tour, Bryzgalov met famed cosmonaut Valery Tokarev, who walked in space twice before he retired in 2008. Tokarev gave Bryz a tour of the facility before the Philadelphia Flyers and current CSKA Moscow netminder found out what it's like to don a space suit.


Afterward, Bryzgalov said, via Google translation, "I'm interested in space and I did learn a little bit, but more by the stars - as infancy universe, how it all happened."

Now the question is how soon until Bryz gets that guest spot on Big Bang Theory, or at least a starring role in a "2001: Space Odyssey" reboot once his Flyers' contract finally comes to an end ... or gets amnestied.

Stick-tap @afetherolf via BroadStHockey

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy