The story behind one Flyers fan's Ilya Bryzgalov bear quote tattoo (Photo)

@TheMightyResist / Twitter
@TheMightyResist / Twitter

Ilya Bryzgalov, the patron saint of hockey quotes, has made a comeback or sorts. Not on the ice, but in the media, through his work at the All-Star Game and on Sportsnet’s Trade Deadline show, as well as his social media comedy.

He’s left an impression on the hockey world with his many, many colorful quotes. One of those quotes, which he uttered during the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2012 playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, stuck with Marisa, a Flyers fan who wanted to get a special tattoo to celebrate her 30th birthday.

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After scouring through random Bryz quotes Marisa came across one that stuck with her and that she found inspiring.

“I took it as fear is natural but don’t let it rule your life. I couldn’t get it out of my head and thus, it had to be the subject of my tattoo,” Marisa wrote in an email to Puck Daddy on Wednesday.

The ink was done by artist Jason Maybruck of the Noble Heart Galley in Jenkintown, PA. For spatial reasons, the quote was modified but still ended up getting a good reaction from Marisa’s friends and family.

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“A mixture of polite nods and outright hysterics,” she wrote. “My father isn’t a fan of any tattoos but had the reaction ‘it’s your body and I can’t stop you.’ My mom was surprised how large it turned out. It is rather big. All of my friends loved it!”

She did, however, get one key response, which came from the bear-fearing man who delivered the quote.

All these years later, Bryz is slowly beginning to get over his fear of bears. He started in January meeting with Boston Bruins mascot Blades in an open setting during All-Star Weekend. Baby steps.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!