Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Henrik Manninen at IIHF.com,
A standout both on and off the ice in his native country, 19-year-old Yuto Osawa opted to travel west to Sweden to continue his development - a move set to pay dividends for Japanese hockey in the future.
When Ronald Sätterman scrutinised his roster ahead of this season, a kid from Hokkaido surprised the newly appointed head coach of Mora IK:s under-20 team.
"I must admit I didn't know enough about hockey in Japan and it was a deal that had been done before I arrived to the club," said Sätterman about the transfer of Osawa to Mora. "So when I saw that there was a Japanese player in our under-20's, I expected him to end up with our affiliate team, Orsa Hockey in division two, but when I then during our first practises I very quickly realised that this kid was good."
The story of how a teenage Asian prospect ended up in small town Sweden has its beginnings at the tail end of last season. The Oji Eagles had then approached Mora about the possibility of sending over one of their youngsters, a highly-rated young playmaker, overseas to develop his game in Europe. With the Japanese club taking care of all costs, the two teams shook hands on a gamble that has since benefited both parties.
via the CP at TSN,
Defenceman Chris Campoli will play the rest of the 2012-13 season with a team in Switzerland, according to Swiss media reports.
The Geneva Tribune and Swiss Hockey News reported that Campoli, who helped negotiate a new NHL collective bargaining agreement, has signed for the balance of the season with Geneva of Switzerland's top league. Geneva used its eighth and last foreign-player license to sign him.
Campoli, a 28-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native, played for the Montreal Canadiens last season, recording two goals and nine assists, but his contract was not renewed. He was an unrestricted free agent while serving as a member of the NHL Players Association's negotiating committee during the lockout. He had been seeking a new team since the lockout ended in early January.
from The Voice of Russia,
Ice hockey legend Sergey Fedorov is mulling over a return to competitive hockey at the age of 43, says CSKA Moscow’s interim head coach Vyacheslav Butsaev.
Fedorov, who has not played a game since leaving Metallurg Magnitogorsk at the end of last season, is currently plying his trade as CSKA’s general manager.
“We’ve talked to him about it [returning to ice rink],” the R-Sport news agency quotes Butsaev as saying. According to Butsaev, Fedorov has been training recently and is now in “excellent condition.”
via Reuters at Yahoo,
Finnish hockey player Semir Ben-Amor was ordered by a district court to pay a fine of 3,540 euros ($4,700) for knocking an opponent unconscious during a European Trophy game between the top two Helsinki teams.
The court said Jokerit forward Ben-Amor in September tackled HIFK's Ville Peltonen, a former NHL player, from behind with his elbow and kept hitting Peltonen with his bare hands as he lay on the ice.
Ben-Amor, in a letter to the court, confessed to his role in the incident. He was earlier suspended by the Finnish SM-liiga for 18 games and the league also handed out smaller punishments to both teams and their coaches following the heated game.
"The whole situation was only my fault and it was caused by my overreaction during the game. I have a son who plays hockey himself in a junior team of Jokerit, and I can't justify what I did in any way to him," Ben-Amor told the court, according to Finnish media.
You can watch the incident below...
from Adam Steils of IIHF.com,
“I have never had the chance to play in Poland because I grew up in Canada. I felt that this may be the only opportunity for me to play in Poland so I didn't want to pass it up,” he said.
It’s been an adjustment for the 26-year-old. Going from the capital of the U.S. to a Polish town of approximately 43,000 souls has been an interesting move to say the least.
“It’s a very big difference from living in any of the cities I have played in. It has taken some time to get used to but is very peaceful and reminds me of being up north somewhere in Ontario,” said Wolski.
Wolski’s arrival to Sanok caused quite a stir in a country not necessarily known for hockey. He landed at the airport to a gaggle of reporters and TV crews, but since then the buzz has died down and he has been able to focus on hockey and at the same time soak up some of the European lifestyle.
“It certainly is a different lifestyle across Europe compared to North America. Here people work to live, not live to work. Family is truly the most important thing.”
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...
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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