Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I know for a fact Russians will probably stay, I can't blame them either. The Russian league treats players a different way. For them to play in their home country and not have these (labor) disputes every other year … and they honor the contracts over there. If you sign a deal, that's the deal you get.''
-Henrik Zetterberg who announced today he is headling to Switzerland to play during the lockout. Much more from Zetterberg via Ansar Khan of Mlive.
Minimum of seven games to be carried exclusively in the US, including the KHL All-Star Game
Games will also air on ESPN in UK
ESPN today officially announced that it will deliver a minimum of seven games from 2012-13 season of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) exclusively on ESPN3 in the US and on ESPN UK. Coverage begins Tuesday, October 9 at 1 p.m. ET with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy and NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose calling the Lev vs. Dynamo Moscow game live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. The game will re-air in primetime on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET and will air on delay on ESPN in the UK (Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. BST).
Confirmed games through the end of the month feature an all-star lineup of hockey players, including Alex Ovechkin (Dynamo Moscow), Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA), Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar (Metallurg Mg).
thanks to Puck Daddy for the pointer...
from Dave Cunning at The Score,
In our interview, Mike talked very candidly and at length about everything from hockey, his time in jail, how he’s turned his life around for the better, his thoughts on other ex-con pro athletes, his feelings on being denied entry to the UK to play, his family, and what the future holds for him. Without a doubt, the responses that he gives will at least make you reconsider the opinion you’ve come to form about him. Enjoy....
When you look at Mike Tyson – who went to jail before you did, and resumed his career after being released – and you think about your perception of him at that point in time not having gone to jail yet yourself; and then you look at Michael Vick – who went to jail and was released right around the same time you also did and were – what is your perception of those guys as they resumed their athletic careers, has it changed since going through the same experience they did yourself, and do you have a level of empathy for them?
...What I say is, where’s my break? Vick, Tyson, and Heatley all got breaks, where’s my break? Is it that I’m still allowed to play hockey in Sweden’s third league or an elite league in Austria? It’s not in the AHL, or the NHL. I’m going to have to make a decision in a couple of years as to whether I want my son growing up in Europe following me around from country to country, and if I don’t want that, I’m going to have to quit hockey, and do something else. I don’t want to quit hockey. I’ve got lots of playing time left.
I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys that have made mistakes in their life and have come back to their sport, like Vick. I’m not so respectful of Tyson because of the way he handled himself. But if people can look past Mike Tyson and his issues, how can they not look past mine? Legitimately, I didn’t kill anybody. If that had been carried out, yes, I understand the ramifications; however, that’s a hypothetical situation. You can’t imprison or punish somebody for situations that didn’t happen. Vick did what he did, Tyson did what he did, Heatley did what he did, I did what I did. I didn’t kill anybody, and I didn’t rape anybody. I’m sure you can catch my point.”
Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin is close to agreeing a move to KHL team Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod just a week after joining his hometown junior team, Torpedo president Oleg Kondrashov said Thursday.
Semin agreed last week to play for his boyhood team, Sokol Krasnoyarsk, in Russia’s second-tier VHL league during the NHL lockout and has since scored three points in two games.
“We expect that Alexander Semin will join us in the next week,” Kondrashov said in a website statement.
He did not specify why he thought Semin, who is not collecting a salary in Krasnoyarsk, would leave Sokol for Torpedo.
Defenseman Anton Volchenkov of the New Jersey Devils is another target for Torpedo and the team is looking to sign a third NHL player, Kondrashov said.
“We expect Anton Volchenkov at Torpedo this weekend,” he said.
“We’ve got our eyes on one more player from the North American league,” he added.
KHL team Lev Prague has released lockout signing Jiri Hudler after the Stanley Cup-winning forward picked up an abdominal muscle problem, the team said Wednesday.
Doctors examined Hudler, a Calgary Flames player in the NHL, and found he could be out for a month with the muscle problem after already missing two games, Lev said.
Hudler played four KHL games for Lev, based in the capital of his home country the Czech Republic, making one assist and finishing with a -4 rating.
How long do you think the NHL lockout will last?
“For some reason, they’re still refusing to talk about the serious problems, but instead talk about some borderline issues. The main thing is that all the guys have now shown the team owners that they can go and play somewhere, do their favorite thing and not just stay home. If you stay home then you can start getting depressed and clearly the team owners are hoping for that, but I think that this time things will be a little different.”
How would you feel about playing a full season in the KHL?
“I really don’t care, the main thing for me is hockey. I really like it here and if there isn’t a season there, then I’d be delighted to play it out here and try to do it as well as possible.”
Why haven’t stars like Sidney Crosby or Steve Stamkos come to the KHL?
“Maybe they’re a bit worried and hesitant about coming to Russia, but it’s a personal thing. If the lockout lasts a year then I think we’ll see a few more people in the KHL.”
from Chris Smith of Forbes,
Many are hoping that, in addition to making NHL stars available to American viewers, ESPN’s deal might also be a sign that the network will finally begin covering hockey in other formats. The “Worldwide Leader” has famously avoided hockey coverage in the past, and the NHL still goes without mention on SportsCenter despite the league being on the verge of cancelling regular season games (meanwhile, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s Twitter coverage of last night’s Bears-Cowboys game gets a full breakdown).
The theory is that ESPN will be more inclined to give the sport broader coverage if it has an actual investment in hockey’s popularity. In other words, more hockey coverage could translate to more hockey viewers on ESPN3. Unfortunately, that optimism is likely misplaced. There is little sense in covering the European hockey league when American KHL viewership is minimal and NHL players’ tenures are temporary. Also consider that ESPN3 has been streaming the ICC’s World T20 cricket tournament since mid-September; when’s the last time you caught a cricket highlight on ESPN?
This isn’t to complain, of course. It’s welcome news that ESPN will stream the KHL adventures of hockey’s top playmakers, and it’s even somewhat enjoyable that the NHL and NHLPA are forced to watch another group – especially one that has a contentious history with the league – profit on their protracted negotiations. So let’s simply enjoy our overseas glimpse a tentertaining hockey, just don’t expect it to have any great impact on the sport’s popularity.
from the CP at TSN,
Yakupov, the No. 1 pick by the Edmonton Oilers at this year's draft, was suspended earlier in the week after it was revealed he didn't secure a transfer card to join Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
The International Ice Hockey Federation ruled he played illegally when he suited up for his hometown team in two games earlier this month.
Hockey Canada, which refused to sign off on Yakupov's transfer, and the Canadian Hockey League both believed he belonged with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.
But Hockey Canada has since changed its tune.
"Hockey Canada and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation have announced that the OHL has determined that Yakupov had no independent legal advice when, at the age of 17 years old, he signed his contract with Sarnia," the Hockey Canada statement read. "His release goes into effect immediately."
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“The hockey’s different,” Maurice added. “How they view it is different. The travel’s different. How everything moves is different. It’s so difficult to describe. Your first month, you notice everything that’s different, and everything seems to be different.
“Then after you’re here for a while, you start to notice some of the similarities, and you realize there’s not much difference in a lot of areas after all. And I guess you get to the point where you realize, just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Maurice is coaching Metallurg Magnitogorsk, a perennial KHL powerhouse that was in a rebuilding year until the NHL lockout became official. At that point, Magnitogorsk received three valuable reinforcements: Evgeni Malkin, the NHL’s reigning MVP; Sergei Gonchar, the Ottawa Senators’ defenceman; and Nikolai Kulemin, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward.
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.
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