Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
The new Medvedev league isn’t going to create anymore interest in hockey in Europe. The existing Russia Super League is widely considered to be the second best level of competition circuit in the world behind the NHL. There is also a second league in Russia, the Premiere League. There are leagues throughout Europe and the National Hockey League has been hiring players from European countries for decades.
Getting players to perform in a new and what appears to be an eastern European league will not be a problem; there are more players than jobs available always. Getting teams properly financed is a major challenge. With the exception of London, Europe does not have North American style arenas with luxury boxes and club seats and in-house eateries that produce extra revenues. If Medvedev is serious about challenging the NHL financially, he better have deep pocketed owners who can afford to lose a lot of money.
from Allan Maki of the Globe & Mail,
Dave King can see the possibilities because he’s seen the way hockey is changing in Europe and Russia - the emergence of rich owners, the advent of new arenas and now Russia and Sweden refusing to go along with the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement, one they believe doesn’t reward them enough for the players they produce.
So a new European hockey league rising out of opportunity or even defiance? Having coached throughout Europe and with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, King knows the mindset, can see it happening.
He can also see the NHL doing little if anything, as a new league proposed by Russian energy mogul Alexander Medvedev is being planned for Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Ukraine and perhaps Finland.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
A Russian tycoon with a lifelong love for hockey has hired former NHL Players’ Association head Bob Goodenow to help start a new pro league in Europe that would compete for players with the NHL….
The likelihood of a new European league has increased in recent years as hockey federations in Russia and elsewhere in Europe have grown disenchanted with the NHL over its recruitment of their best players.
At the same time, Medvedev has ample dollars to start a competitor to the venerable NHL. In an interview from Russia, Medvedev confirmed that former Russian NHL star Igor Larionov and Goodenow are members of a so-called “working group” that’s starting the league. Goodenow travelled to Moscow this week to discuss the prospective league, Larionov said.
from the Peoria Journal Star,
Juuso Riksman is gone again. And this time, without permission.
The veteran Peoria Rivermen goaltender abruptly quit the AHL team late Saturday night after Peoria’s loss to San Antonio, saying he wants to head back to Europe….
“Juuso Riksman told us last week he wanted to come back and play for Peoria, so we dropped Jason Bacashihua to No. 3 on the depth chart and traded him to Colorado,” St. Louis Blues director of pro scouting and Rivermen general manager Kevin McDonald said Sunday. “Then last night he told us he was going home. We want guys on this team who want to be here. Riksman will be suspended.
“I don’t know where he’s going to play. Jokerit (the Finnish team Riksman played for in 2006-07) holds his rights in Europe and does not need a goaltender. And we retain his NHL rights and control of him here.”
I asked Carol Alt about hockey, but blanked on the name of her boyfriend, Alexei Yashin. Not my fault, I am a Western Conference guy. She mentioned that she talks to Yashin daily, and that he is enjoying the season with Russian Super League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, where he has 5 goals and 9 assists in 19 games.
more on Yashin and PJ buys a hotdog from Jennie Finch…
Eddie Belfour has arrived in Sweden.
You can watch the video (will open wmp video) of the press conference.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
VIENNA—The rink organist doesn’t dress like Mozart in a powdered wig, but club hockey in Austria is still something special.
Inside the naturally lit Albert Schultz Eishalle, near the Danube River, a slap shot from the centre of Europe’s “most livable city” is the best of both worlds.
The appeal of Viennese culture is obvious, but so is the rapidly improving 10-team Erstebank Liga, which has caught the attention of many on both sides of the Atlantic.
There has been some doubt if Eddie Belfour was really going to Sweden this fall to play.
The Vail Daily had a story about some NHLers gathering for some conditioning this past week and Eddie was there…
Belfour, donning his signature mask with an eagle — he’s been long known as Eddie “The Eagle” — looked sharp in net during drills, and was his always-competitive self. At the other end of the ice, a goalie with a similar style moved around the pipes. Dayn Belfour, who plays Junior “A” in Canada, got a chance to work alongside his father at the end of Friday’s session in a shootout. As Eddie left the net after stopping a shot, he skated to Dayn for a quick chat.
“We wanted to stop everything so we’d win,” Eddie said.
The Belfour’s came up on top.
In October, Eddie, the sure-to-be future Hall-of-Famer, will be heading to Sweden, where he’ll play for Leksand, a second division team in the Swedish Elite League.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and opportunity,” he said.
Sounds like Belfour is indeed heading to Sweden.
added 10:21am on 8/27/97, A limited translation from Leksandsif confirming Eddie in Sweden,
The previous season played he 58 games in Florida Panthers in NHL.
This autumn, he plays pursues Leksand’s IF.
This season gets the hockey audience in Sweden possibility to make more detailed acquaintance and to take part of an off the sport’s really big profiles over time.
Curse” Eddie The Eagle” Belfour has typed on for Leksand’s IF.
- I see the as a renown that few to play for a so classic klubb as Leksand, says you when we sheep a chat with him.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Former Oiler defenceman Daniel Tjarnqvist, who battled injuries last year after an impressive start to the season, has signed a one-year deal for $1 million US to play for Ak Bars Kazan, one of the top Russian Elite League teams.
Tjarnqvist’s contract with Ak Bars is tax-free, which equates to about $1.5 million US in the NHL.
from Expressen- rough translation follows:
NHL star Janne Niinimaa has [received] a serious inquiry [from] the Swedish championship finalist [Linköpings HC].
“[We may have] the possibility [to recruit] him so is he clearly interesting,” Linköping’s says sports manager Johan Hemlin.
...“We have contacted his agent, but they await enough [for] few [contracts] really from NHL first,” says Hemlin.
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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