Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Charlie Teljeur at The Hockey News,
What would be a good analogy to describe the current state of Euro-NHL relations?
Maybe a chess match, in which one side – the NHL – has three Queens, five Knights, 12 Rooks and an infinite number of pawns. Europe is represented by a pair of rogue, but nicely dressed Bishops who feel they can move any direction they damn well please.
The National League – they’re the white side – have been hungrily swallowing up unlimited European talent since it was discovered Inge Hammerstrom wasn’t female and that she, er he, had a nice backhand.
Europe – playing the evil black role – occasionally jumps a pawn or two or sign a broken-down seen-better-days Queen (sorry, Jaromir) and waves said contract in the face of the “shocked” NHL, something akin to a pirate who steals your spare set of car keys.
Former Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott has signed to play with Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).
Westcott was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets this summer, meaning he’ll earn $600,000 plus from the Jackets over the next four years. He tried to get a one-way contract in the NHL, but found no takers.
from the blog of Risto Pakarinen,
Backed by Gazprom, the world’s third-largest corporation, measured by market capitalization, and a company that made almost two billion dollars in profit last year, the Russians have expansion plans of their own. Last February, they announced the formation of the Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga - the Continental Hockey League - or the KHL, and at stake is simply: world domination.
The KHL has reportedly tried to attract teams from Sweden and Finland to join the newly set-up league that currently only has two non-Russian teams, the Dynamos of Kiev and Riga, in Belarus and Latvia, respectively. None of the Scandinavian teams have taken the bait. Not just yet, anyway.
Martin Rucinsky will be playing for Sparta Prague next season according to a report from the AP via the International Herald Tribune.
From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News,
It was just last week that I warned that Russia’s nascent Kontinental Hockey League represented a legitimate threat to the way that the NHL did business.
Now, here we are just a week later, and the brewing competition between the two leagues over hockey talent—in particular Russian-born hockey talent—is threatening to escalate into a full-scale war.
Eric reviews the events of the past week, then further explores the long-term impact all this might have on the NHL.
from Snapshots at Mlive,
In the attached articles, Larionov seems intent upon not only helping SKA build a winning team, but also working on restoring some of Russia’s status as a country that can develop solid hockey players. He’s going to be a member of the KHL’s board of directors, and as such, he adds a somewhat moderate and nuanced viewpoint to a group of owners who are, by and large, economic oligarchs, and a set of GMs and coaches who are comprised Russian hockey veterans and the last of the Soviet hockey machine.
from the IIHF,
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – New hall of famer Igor Larionov returns to work in ice hockey and was named director of hockey operations of SKA St. Petersburg.
The club of the Russian KHL announced that Larionov signed a one-year contract with the possibility of extension. The 47-year-old, who was working as a wine merchant in the last years, is expected to arrive in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
A Winter Classic is the best way to settle the score.
I see beautiful retro sweaters. The NHL is wearing orange, and the KHL is wearing black. All black, from head to toe. The NHLers have mullets.
I see a European sized rink.
Because I see that the venue is in Russia.
My vision carries me over the Atlantic, over Europe, over Moscow, high over the Red Square because the WCIII will be played in Siberia. Of course.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post via Faceoff.com,
Brathwaite was not ready to be a cheerleader. So when Omsk called and offered him a half-million dollars—or twice what he was making with the Wolves—he jumped at the opportunity. Sort of.
“It was a very tough decision for me, but I still wanted to play at the highest level I could,” Brathwaite said.
The Avangard fan club was waiting at the airport when he arrived.
“I don’t know if there is nothing else to do there,” Brathwaite said, “but they are definitely European-type hockey fans.”
They would sing fight songs, bang drums and turn the stands into a carnival during home games. But it was away from the rink where Brathwaite suffered his most shattering culture shocks.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
via Slap Shot at the NYT,
Sergei Brylin has signed a three-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg, the club’s coach, Barry Smith, said Monday night. Smith’s remarks were reported in the Russian daily Sport-Express.
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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