Kukla's Korner Hockey
Looking ahead, if the Atlanta Thrashers don’t sign Ilya Kovalchuk by next summer, the KHL probably would offer to make him the highest-paid player on the planet.
Right now the KHL is inflicting pin pricks on the NHL, but if they ever landed a prime player such as Kovalchuk, it could turn the league into a foreign version of the World Hockey Association.
-Kevin Allen of Mucking & Grinding at USA TODAY. More on the KHL from Kevin…
After a 16-year NHL career, Sergei Zubov is heading home as the 39-year old blueliner has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
from .Frolundaindians.com (translated),
Frölunda Hockey Club and forward Per-Johan “Pebben” Axelsson has signed a contract for four seasons.
via Hikej.Sport (translated),
Czech hockey attacker Jiri Hudler apparently heading to Continental League. Pětadvacetiletý player has agreed a new contract terms with Detroit and, according to unofficial information should still be on Wednesday to sign a new contract with the Moscow dynamo. Hudler called the evening press conference.
added 9:36am, It is my understanding the press conference will be at noon ET. I will try to update when more information becomes available.
added 9:49am, Nothing on the Dynamo (translated) website about Hudler.
added 10:04am, from Hokej (translated)
“Jirka’s all a long time considered. On the one hand, the NHL field difficult, is not written anywhere that they can not return in two years,” responds Maršoun. Czech representative admits that the Hudlera was really strong interest in Russia.
added 11:46am, via the Dynamo website (translated),
Czech striker Jiři Gudler signed two-year agreement with Moscow’s Dinamo. Holder and Stanley Cup finalist the last two seasons had a contract offer from the Detroit, but eventually chose to pursue a career in the Moscow club.
added 11:50am, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“It’s a real possibility he’s going to take this (Russian) offer,’’ Holland said. “He’d be taking a lot less money to stay in the NHL.’‘
added 12:09pm, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
There’s a report out there that Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler has signed a one-year deal for $2 million with Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League, but this shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than a negotiating ploy by Hudler’s camp.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Mark Gandler, the agent for goaltender Karri Ramo has signed a two-year deal to play for Avangard Omsk of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. Gandler said Ramo, a restricted free agent who was to be the backup for Mike Smith, has been told he will be Omsk’s No. 1.
“Of course,” Gandler said. “He wouldn’t go over there otherwise.”
Gandler said Ramo’s contract (he would not divulge the value) has an option that would allow Ramo to opt out after one season.
from Russia Today,
Two players from the Pittsburg Penguins, who took the Stanley Cup last week in a dramatic seven-game thriller against Detroit, may leave the U.S. for KHL this summer, Sportbox.ru reports.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk is interested in Czech Petr Sykora, who played 76 games for the Pens this season, scoring 25 goals and 21 assists.
The club’s contract with the player has expired and, according to his agent, the team is not going to offer him a new agreement….
Another Stanley Cup winner, Miroslav Satan, is wanted in Kazakhstan by Barys hockey club. The Astana team has ready offered a two year contract worth $6 million to the Slovak player.
From Darren Dreger at TSN:
Another bizarre twist in goaltending may soon unfold in Philadelphia.
Sources tell TSN former Flyers goaltender Robert Esche is on Philadelphia’s radar and may be lured back from the Kontinental Hockey League where he was playing with SKA St.Petersburg.
Philadelphia is one of a few teams believed to be interested in Esche, who spent four seasons with the Flyers before moving to Russia following the 2006-2007 season.
Barry Smith, the head coach for SKA St.Petersburg confirms the NHL interest in Esche, but says he won’t be able to let Esche out of his contract, which has one year remaining, unless he can find a suitable replacement in goal.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Both (Barry) Smith and Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry, say the KHL was no summer vacation. It was serious hockey with primitive conditions outside the rink that most NHLers wouldn’t have the fortitude to tolerate.
“To go overseas to Russia to play, to me, means you really want to play,” Smith said. “It’s not easy. It is the hardest place in Europe to go and play hockey – for sure. So he chose the hardest place to play and he played very well, taking his team to first place.
“I think this speaks volumes for a kid who wants to get back in the league [NHL].”
Playing in Russia was very different than North America. Emery would have to show up at 5 p.m. – more than 24 hours before his game – at a gymnasium with other team members where they would bunk-in overnight.
“Forget what these guys were earning, they slept on cots in a gym before the game,” Barry said.
The Flyers will be announcing today the signing of Ray Emery. Good move?
added 11:16am, Official release from the Flyers on the signing…
from Russia Today,
The Continental Hockey League (KHL) will become equal to their American contemporary the NHL in the next five years, says hockey legend and KHL CEO Vyacheslav Fetisov, Sport-Express newspaper reports.
The KHL officials have officially closed the 2008/09 season, giving a press-conference on Friday.
“I congratulate all of you on the successful conclusion of the KHL season. Everything we were talking about in the past seven years has now become a reality. You all see interest among fans which the league attracted from the very start of the season and the impact that caused by the final series,” Vyacheslav Fetisov said.
“When people do their job from the heart, the result is great. If we continue this way then within five years we will be able to compete with the National Hockey League. We are ready to catch up with Americans as to the quality of the game, and the level of the games organization. But there is, of course, a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.
via the IIHF,
KOSICE, Slovakia – Kosice police arrested 23-year-old forward Ladislav Scurko on Thursday. The Slovakian player is suspected of murder and has confessed to it, the police announced at a press conference on Friday.
Scurko is suspected of having killed referee Marek Liptaj with 14 knife stabs in January 2008 at a highway roadhouse. The corpse, buried in a forest, was discovered in December 2008.
The police didn’t reveal the motives for the crime, but announced that Scurko will face a jail sentence of 15 to 20 years.
The 2004 sixth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers played for his hometown club, Spisska Nova Ves, and the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds before beginning his professional career with HC Kosice of the Slovakian Extraliga. He won the league title with his club earlier this spring.
Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer and Takng Note has some information on this too.
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