Kukla's Korner Hockey
Back on January 9th, we cited a report indicating that the former Flames assistant coach was fired by Avangard Omsk of the KHL, mid-game. The following day, Darren Dreger of TSN noted a “power struggle” seemed to be going on, with Fleming acknowleding that “I guess they didn’t fire me.”
Well, for anyone keeping up with the trials and tribulations of Wayne Fleming, today brings this news from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:
Wayne Fleming, the Canadian-born coach of the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League’s struggling Avangard Omsk team, is out again as coach – this time for good, it would appear.
Russian hockey sources confirmed Friday Fleming was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this week…
Peter Forsberg says if he plays this season, it will be in Sweden this year.
Read about in an AP story via Sports Illustrated.
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
Friday night, they broadcast the Ducks’ game played here against Tampa Bay.
Saturday morning, they broadcast an all-star game played in Moscow.
Yeah, thatMoscow, the one in Russia. Not the one in Idaho.
Estimated travel time from Southern California: 12 hours.
How did they do this, exactly? How’d they leave Honda Center at 11 p.m. and, six hours later, call a game 6,000 miles away?
“Three cups of coffee,” Brent Severyn said, “and two doughnuts did it for me.”
It also helped that NBC was able to bring Moscow to them, to Severyn and partner John Ahlers, the two taking a red-eye drive, just 45 minutes up the freeway, transatlantic carpooling.
According to the Calgary Herald, Swedish club Vasteras was under the assumption that Backlund would rejoin them after the World Junior Hockey Championship.
‘‘Mikael Backlund has not been given permission to play for another club,’’ Vasteras official Anders Eklund told the Swedish media. ‘‘There is nothing in his agreement with us that allows him to play for a club in North America and we don’t think it’s right that he did this without communicating with us.
‘‘We are very disappointed in Backlund’s conduct in this case and do not think he acted honestly.’
Backlund suited up for the Calgary Flames last week. Read on.
Update 3:05pm ET: Here’s the original report in the Calgary Herald.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
A bizarre power struggle continues to unfold in the KHL between Omsk management and head coach Wayne Fleming.
Fleming, who was (according to russiatoday.com) reportedly fired in-game this week, met with Omsk general manager Anatoli Bardin on Saturday and was told he hadn’t been fired even though Bardin asked Fleming not to coach the third period of game on Thursday night.
“I guess they didn’t fire me,” Fleming said. “But I told him at the time, if I’m not coaching the third period obviously I’m fired.”
Fleming says he didn’t return for the final period, changed his clothes and left the arena under the assumption his KHL days were over.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
As Jaromir Jagr got ready for the latest unique experience in a season already full of them, he said he has no regrets about leaving the N.H.L. to play in Russia, despite watching a teammate die on the bench, having his coach quit in the middle of a game and playing in a league whose financial situation is said to be faltering.
“You could write a book about it,” Jagr said of his season during a telephone interview from Moscow. “But I’m fine. I’m doing good. I’m happy.”
On Friday, Jagr was getting ready to take center stage for the Continental Hockey League, or K.H.L., All-Star game on Saturday at an outdoor rink in Red Square. There, Jagr is the all-star of all stars, the biggest name in a league marketing itself around him.
added 5:33pm, from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Jaromir Jagr said he has no designs on returning to the NHL in the short term, but if he ever did return he would be happy to go back to the Pittsburgh Penguins to play for his former idol, Mario Lemieux.
“I was thinking about it and if Mario would call me and say, ‘I’d like you to play for our team,’ I would think about it a lot,” Jagr said in a telephone interview from Moscow where the Kontinental League will hold its inaugural All-Star Game outdoors at Red Square Saturday. “I would play for the minimum salary. I would play for $350,000 just for him because I owe him my hockey life. I want to pay him back because he has made me what I am…besides my parents.”
from Russia Today,
The coach of Avangard Omsk hockey team didn’t return to the bench for the third period of his team’s home game against Vityaz Podolsk. Canadian specialist Wayne Fleming couldn’t do so as he’d been fired during the break.
After the second period Avangard were losing 1-0 to lowly Vityaz and the club’s bosses had just had enough of the team’s poor performance in the current KHL season.
I hope the NHL doesn’t pick-up on this marketing idea. It sort of spooks me out.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As with all start-ups, it has not exactly been smooth sailing for the KHL in its inaugural season. On Saturday, the league’s board of directors met to ponder an idea that had been floated the week before – a 30 per-cent across-the-board contract rollback to cut costs for some of the most under-funded franchises.
Amid heavy opposition from the newly formed players’ association (run by Andrei Kovalenko, a former NHL, nicknamed The Tank in his playing days), the proposal was put on the shelf at least for the duration of this season. KHL president Alexander Medvedev decided, according to sources, that trying to force a rollback would cause more headaches than it would solve problems….
The KHL salary cap will almost certainly be reduced next season; and Medvedev – a major emerging force in the hockey world - went to great lengths to warn teams that were in arrears in paying player salaries that those agreements needed to be honored. He went so far as to say the government might even intervene if promises weren’t kept.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Here’s what sets (Kirill) Kabanov apart from most other 16-year-olds: he can afford to shop on Tverskaya.
The young hockey prospect is paid $20,000 (U.S.) a month by the fabled Russian hockey club Spartak Moscow, a princely sum next to the room-and-board stipend for stars in Canada’s major junior leagues.
Several scouts say the Moscow native, the Kontinental Hockey League’s youngest player, stands a good chance to become the No.1 pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft.
J.P. Barry, the agent for Mats Sundin and Evgeni Malkin, said Kabanov’s quickness is comparable to Alex Ovechkin at the same age and other agents and scouts are similarly complimentary. Three years ago, when Kabanov was 13, NHL super-agent Don Meehan flew him and his father Sergei, a former Russian army special forces major, to Toronto in an unsuccessful bid to sign Kabanov to a representation contract, Sergei Kabanov said.
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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