Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
via Russia Today,
The 44-year-old goaltender signed a contract with HC Moeller Pardubice for next season.
Pardubice is Hasek’s home town, and he started his career in the colors of the local club.
“I’m really glad I could sign a deal with this club,’’ Hasek said. “It’s a club where I spent the most years. I’ve never even thought I could play for any other club in the Czech Republic. I’m looking forward to the next season.”
From Risto Pakarinen at The Hockey News:
With just seven days remaining until the opening games of the 2009 World Championship in Switzerland, the top four European teams are sizing each other up at the Ceska Pojistovna Cup, the fourth leg of the Euro Hockey Tour between Finland, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
In the first game of the tournament, Jaromir Jagr made a comeback to the Czech nationals and led his team to a 2-1 win over Sweden.
and much more with an eye on European hockey
Kontinental Hockey League Press Release:
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and Viasat are proud to announce a three year agreement for broadcasting rights.
The KHL grants Viasat the legal right to broadcast Kontinental Hockey League games for the 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons, as well the current season’s playoff games.
from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey ,
Jiri Slegr – remember him? – might be ending his career … and not the way he’d like it to end.
In a game against Liberec in the Czech top league, Extraliga, the Litvinov stalwart fell down on the ice with about 90 seconds to go to the final buzzer. Fully conscious, but unable to move, he was carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance and taken promptly to a hospital in Most, to be transferred later to a bigger hospital in Usti nad Labem.
“My back and legs stopped working all of a sudden” Slegr recalled in a conversation with the idnes.cz web site. “As my legs turned off, I fell. I felt pain both in my head and my legs, I knew I was down, and I was terribly scared. One never knows what’s going on inside.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We had arranged to interview the KHL president and oil magnate through a league spokesman. We thought the timing was right given the Jaromir Jagr rumors, the Ray Emery situation, the world economic crisis, the nose-diving Russian ruble, falling oil prices and, well, the KHL’s survival.
An Edmonton Journal blog had the industry chirping Tuesday when it speculated the Oilers were taking another run at Jagr (they tried to sign him last July). The Oilers denied it. As we pointed out Tuesday, Jagr can’t leave his Russian contract with Omsk Avangard; and besides, if he did somehow sign with the Oilers, he’d have to clear NHL waivers first.
“Mr. Jagr played today for Avangard,” said Medvedev, who was in New York to take in the Capitals-Rangers game. “Legally, he has a contract. It would surprise me if it was really true that Edmonton tried to negotiate a deal with Mr. Jagr. I don’t like those rumors. But Edmonton publicly announced it wasn’t the case.”
Besides, continued Medvedev, Jagr is signed for “two years plus one [option].”
“And there is no-out clause [in the contract],” added Medvedev.
From Pierre LeBrun at his ESPN blog:
We have an update for you on that Ray Emery situation we first told you about this past weekend. The former Ottawa Senators goalie has had a change of heart and returned to his Russian hockey club in the KHL.
“I talked to Ray on Monday, and we made the decision that he should go back,” his agent, J.P. Barry, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I felt that he should finish what he started and that we would continue to work out the compensation issue.”
Emery didn’t report back to Mytishchi Atlant last week after the league’s break, citing a breach of contract with the club. Emery and Barry believed the Russian team has been using the wrong exchange rate to pay the goalie, and by their count, they were down about 33 percent in pay throughout the course of the season. Emery threatened to stay home in Ottawa until the matter was resolved, but he arrived back in Russia on Tuesday.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com