Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On a recent Friday night, an unseasonably warm night for northern Russia in late November, Emery was a world away from the scrutiny and was asked what kind of mood he wakes up in most mornings.
“At the start I do the old, `Where am I?’ when I open my eyes but now I’m used to it,” he said. “Sometimes I’m still confused or feel a bit homesick when I wake up. It’s been a pretty good break for the most part. I’m just relaxing. It’s nice not having that microscope on you, being able to live.
“I miss a lot about Canada, North America, just living there, conversing with people. But at the same time, I don’t miss not being comfortable at dinner because people are watching you and you feel eyes on you all the time.”
read on as Westhead continues with stories from Russia…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
“There’s no question the hockey is a lot different,” Jagr said. “You’ve got to skate a lot more here, playing on the larger Olympic ice, and there’s more room. Even if you take a shot from near the boards here, you’re really not that close to the net.”
Game programs are free and there are no air horns, organs or vendors walking the aisles. But rock music reverberates through the stadium during breaks in play and over centre ice an NHL-quality video board shows replays.
Between periods, spectators line up at concession counters, and for about $4.50 at one concessionaire called “Chicken Next Door,” they can buy chicken nuggets or kabobs. A pint-sized beer costs $3.80 and Pringle’s potato chips are available for $6.70 for a large, or $3.60 for a small. Jagr and Cherapanov black home jerseys – they bear a resemblance to those worn by the Buffalo Sabres – are available for about $70 apiece.
From Canwest via the Ottawa Citizen:
The inaugural Continental Hockey League All-Star Game will have an NHL ring to it.
The KHL announced on its website that the all-star game - which will be played outdoors at Moscow’s Red Square on Jan. 11 - will pit “Yashin Team” vs. “Jagr Team.”
The Yashin Team, headed by former Ottawa Senator and New York Islander Alexei Yashin, will feature players from Russia and former Soviet republics. Jagr Team, headed by former Pittsburgh Penguins great Jaromir Jagr, will be made up of non-Russian players.
The format was decided by fan voting on the KHL website. The KHL announced Wednesday that 50.13 per cent of voters favoured the Yashin vs. Jagr format, while 49.87 per cent favoured a more tradition West vs. East format.
The KHL’s Vice-President of Hockey Operations Vladimir Shalaeva and others addressed the media at a press conference today in Moscow, with updates surrounding the investigation into Cherepanov’s death.
“Today November 14, 2008, there was a move to close the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Aleksei Cherepanov, however the prosecutor ordered that the criminal investigation continue.
“A comprehensive forensic study, conducted by additional medical specialists is underway to more deeply and thoroughly analyze the case. We will not be able to share the cause of death of Alexei Cherepanov until this examination is completed in full.”
Shalaeva also noted that the New York Rangers have provided their own medical records on Cherepanov to the KHL.
Last week the KHL announced it was undertaking medical evaluations across the league and invited media members to observe the process.
Today, after the first round of evaluations have been completed on some 67 players under the age of 20, some preliminary results were made public:
Based upon the first round of examinations, three KHL players were found to have heart problems. These athletes were referred to cardiologist specialists to undergo more testing.
The KHL’s Medical Center won’t be banning players as yet; the cardiologists will make that determination.
Full text of the press release is below:
The KHL recently dealt with the fallout from Alexei Cherepanov’s death by adopting a list of resolutions in hopes of avoiding such tragedies in the future.
Today they’ve issued another press release related to those issues, this one inviting members of the media to observe their medical evaluation process. Presumably this openness is meant to reassure current and prospective players of the KHL’s commitment to their welfare.
Full text of the press release is available below.
From Bill Meltzer at NHL.com:
[Patrick] Thoresen elected to play this season Europe because he was unable to get a 1-way contract in the NHL and stood to make more money playing in Switzerland than he would have on the minor-league end of a 2-way deal in the NHL. But his ambition is not to win the Swiss scoring title. He has made clear all along that we wants to return to North America.
“My goal is to play well enough to get a 1-way contract and become an NHL player again,” he said.
Thoresen has 31 points in 19 games this season.
From the Associated Press today the allegation from Col. Vladimir Karpenko, a spokesman for the commander of Russia’s Railway Troops, that Alexei Cherepanov (who, of course, recently died during a game) was in fact playing “illegally” and should have been serving his mandatory military service at the time.
The full story is here.
The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF.
Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:
Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.
After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.
“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).
“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”
From the IIHF:
The IIHF Disciplinary Committee is reviewing a report that was received on 21st October 2008, which outlines that player Matt Murley, 28, (home IIHF member national association USA Hockey) has played without a valid IIHF International Transfer Card (ITC) for the Russian club Amur Khabarovsk.
The IIHF Disciplinary Committee has informed the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, the Hockey Club Amur Khabarovsk and the player, Matt Murley, that the committee has opened an investigation with regards to this matter.
Amur Khabarovsk is participating in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) of Russia, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR).
As Stu Hackel at the NY Times Slap Shot blog notes, Murley is still under contract to the Carolina Hurricanes, and as recently as October 15th the KHL’s President Alexander Medvedev stated that Murley was not yet cleared to play in their league. Nonetheless, Hackel points to a Russian stats site that indicates Murley has played in four games thus far.
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.
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