Kukla's Korner Hockey
Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin said Tuesday he is still not at full fitness despite playing almost two months of lockout hockey in his native Russia.
Semin was one of the NHL’s first big names to move abroad when the lockout took effect, joining his hometown junior team in late September before moving up to the KHL with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod two weeks later.
“Without doubt, I still need to improve my physical condition,” he said on the Torpedo website.
from Slave Malamud at the Toronto Sun,
Ultimately, Fetisov, 54, dreams of creating the KHL's Far Eastern division by expanding the league into China, Korea and Japan, he told Sport-Express in an interview.
The KHL already features teams from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Italy scheduled to join next year, and Fetisov says the league should push ahead with a global-domination strategy.
In the interview, in which he calls NHL commissioner Bettman "a local lord-ling" and proposes to offer the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin "material incentives" to stay in the KHL, Fetisov envisions a hockey universe no longer dominated by the North American league. He thinks that if $1 billion were offered immediately to the NHL's brightest locked-out stars, it would create an exodus of players into the KHL that would pound Bettman into submission.
Most importantly, he sees a single global hockey enterprise, with tight regulations on player transfers, an annual showdown between the Stanley Cup and Gagarin Cup champions for the world bragging rights, and a unified calendar which would accommodate semi-annual slots for the Olympics and the World Cup with the best players participating for their national teams.
Nick Cotsonika recently returned to the US after spending 2 weeks in Europe, looking for hockey...
It was romantic, like stepping back in time – old arenas, low prices, few frills, less distance between the players and the people. When you're starved for hockey, any hockey seems great, and when rich men are fighting over money, it's refreshing to go back to basics. That's what made this so fun.
But that's also what made this so fleeting. At one game, I tweeted that you could see Chara, Jakub Voracek, Lubomir Visnovsky and other NHLers, paying only $16 for a VIP seat on the blue line and $1.75 for a beer.
"If only we all lived in Prague," I wrote.
Michael Gould, a Blues fan from St. Louis responded: "If we all lived there, it'd be $1,000 [for a VIP seat] and $9 for a beer. Enjoy it, man!"
He was right, and so I did.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He defected. Remember that. Remember that as Sergei Fedorov does a TV interview surrounded by CSKA Moscow memorabilia – red stars on the sofa, a red star on the banner looming behind him. Remember that as he sits in his office at the Soviet arena on Leningradsky Prospect, the new head manager of what once was literally the Central Sport Club of the Army.
This is a story about evolution. The country has changed. Fedorov has changed. Look at them now: Moscow's streets are choked with the fancy cars Fedorov once left to drive in America, and Fedorov has returned to the club he abandoned to build a modern professional hockey organization upon that Central Red Army foundation – with guidance from none other than Viktor Tikhonov, the legendary Soviet taskmaster....
It was spy novel stuff. In 1990, still before the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Soviets came to play in theUnited States. The Detroit Red Wings, who had drafted Fedorov in the fourth round the year before, hatched a plan to sneak him out of the team hotel, a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Portland, Ore.
The Wings hired a Russian-speaking journalist to communicate with Fedorov during media availability. The operation was a go. On his way to a game, Fedorov discreetly dropped his room key in the lobby. The journalist picked it up, went to Fedorov's room and gathered his belongings – what there were of them, anyway.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin may stay in the Russia-based KHL if the NHL lockout does not end in a generous enough deal for players, he suggested to R-Sport on Wednesday.
After the last NHL lockout in 2004-05, Semin stayed in Russia the next season amid a lengthy legal dispute over his contract and Russian military service obligations.
I'll look at what contract they actually sign. I like it here overall,” he said.
Semin’s fellow Russian Ilya Kovalchuk has been another to suggest quitting the NHL if the eventual deal is not to his liking, telling R-Sport last month that many stars could abandon North America.
continue for more on Semin...
from Matthew Fisher at Canada.com,
The Russian-led Kontinental Hockey League is rumoured to be considering adding teams in the searing desert of Dubai and in fashionable Milan. NHL President Gary Bettman yearns to place new NHL teams in Seattle, Kansas City and Milwaukee. That says everything about his narrow American-centric vision for the game.
Bettman’s circuit is asleep. Except perhaps for a few weeks every two or four years and only then if it controls how well it is paid for freeing its players to play for their national teams, it has little desire to be part of the international game that Canadians are so interested in. It is lukewarm if not hostile to the idea of putting more teams in Canada although teams from there now pay so many of the league’s bills. Now it seems intent on frittering away what’s left of its good name again by getting involved in a protracted labour dispute with its employees.
The Russians, who were not so long ago regarded as stolid, humourless automotoms, now swagger and dream. They are also inclusive. As well as about a dozen teams from the distant hinterlands, the 26-team KHL has franchises in oil- and gas-soaked Astana, Kazakhstan as well as Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
from Matthew Fisher of PostMedia News at the Vancouver Province,
With the NHL shut down by a labour dispute, some Russians have bragged that their Kontinental Hockey League is now the best hockey circuit in the world.
There is even giddy talk that the 26-team Russian league, which also has teams in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Latvia, will be primed before too long to challenge the North American circuit for global hockey supremacy.
There is something to the first boast. Half a dozen top NHL players, including two of the best – the sometimes mercurial Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the totally unpredictable Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals – are not sitting out the strike but playing in what Russians call the Motherland.
These stars are ably supported by a fast-skating, technically proficient cast of more than 500 mostly Russian players, including several dozen who could play in the NHL if they chose to. Most of the players may not forecheck, shoot or go to the net often enough, but they nevertheless play compelling hockey.
But any suggestion that the KHL will match the NHL any time soon is absurd.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
For further proof things are radically different over in the KHL, we defer to Calgary goaltender Jeff Glass, who plays in Siberia where he sees new things every day: "We played Omsk Avangard the other night, who is captained by Alexander Frolov, formerly of the L.A. Kings. With a few minutes left in the second period, they threw the puck on goal and crashed the net, as hard as guys do in this league. There was a little controversy, but the puck was under me, not in the net. Frolov was convinced he had scored and was insisting they go upstairs to review the play. I told him and the ref not to waste anyone's time, because 100% it was not in. He asked me how much I wanted to bet that it was a goal. Knowing that he probably uses a salary like mine as spare change, I didn't say much. He stuck out his hand and said "$100." I didn't know what to do, other than take my glove off and shake it right back. The play was reviewed and the call on the ice stood, no goal. No more than five minutes after the game their stick boy had 3,200 rubles, the equivalent of $100, delivered to our room."
read on if you want to know what Brent Sutter is up to these days...
“Guys from the NHL — Bobrowski, Varlamov, and Bryzgalov - have amazing confidence in their abilities. They play a much bolder game than our boys. It's a healthy kind of arrogance, which our players would be wise to adopt.”
-Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Russian Hockey Federation, the NHL players now playing in the KHL. More from Ilya Desiaterik at Russia Beyond The Headlines.
Locked-out NHL stars coming to play in the Russia-based KHL should learn the league's rules rather than complaining about referees, the head of the KHL refereeing department told R-Sport on Tuesday.
The NHL declared a lockout last month when pay talks between owners and players foundered, causing players such as last season’s MVP Evgeni Malkin and big-scoring forward Alex Ovechkin to come to the KHL.
Both have since found themselves disagreeing with referees over on-ice incidents.
“In every country there are certain nuances, however the player’s obligation is to know the rules,” referee supervisor Alexander Polyakov said.
“You can find the KHL rules on the league website, by the way, so a player who’s come to play in the KHL should go and read them.”
Some players complaining about referees were just sore losers, Polyakov suggested.
“No-one likes to lose, but if the game isn’t going your way either, then these types of comments emerge,” he said, adding that there would be no tolerance or “special permits” for stars.
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