Kukla's Korner Hockey
Many in the hockey world are still reeling from the events of Wednesday morning that saw a plane crash take the lives of all but one member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team that was en route to the first game of its season in Minsk. Watching the pain and suffering of all involved as been tough for all of us, but no one has felt it worse that the many Russian born NHL players that have intimate ties to many of the teams in the KHL and specifically Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
From Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy:
This morning, the KHL’s Vice President Ilya Kochevrin spoke exclusively with Puck Daddy regarding the plans for the future of the League and for Lokomotiv.
“Our priority right now is also to keep hockey in Yaroslavl. We can tell you that more than 30 current active players who have played for Lokomotiv in their careers have announced that they want to come to Yaroslavl to play,” he said, “and the League is setting up an option where those players selected by the new head coach of Lokomotiv and will come to play there, their salary will be paid by their current KHL clubs, those where they are under a contract right now. At least for this season.”
You read that right: The KHL’s other franchises will fund the roster for Lokomotiv under the current option for the League.
“This will be done to alleviate the financial burden that Lokomotiv has right now because the team still has to pay out the entire contract of each player, coach and personnel who died yesterday. They just don’t have this sort of a budget,” Kochevrin continued.
It has been years coming, but it has finally happened. The Edmonton Oilers’ (second) first round draft pick in 2004, and ex-prospect Robbie Schremp has packed his bags for Europe. Schremp will be playing for MODO of the Swedish Elite League.
from Dmitry Chesnokov of PuckDaddy,
Kovalev arrived in Russia today and joined his new team in the suburbs of Moscow. During his interview, Kovalev candidly discussed the hockey media, saying Ottawa journalists “don’t watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer.”
I asked Sergei Gonchar(notes) what game model Ottawa had. The defenseman could only throw his hands up.
“In two seasons I still couldn’t understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston. It seemed that he scoffed at some players.”
What do you mean?
“You have to treat players kindly. If you leave someone on the bench you should explain why it happened. This is coach’s job. But when a player is benched and doesn’t understand what is happening, he becomes lost.”
You were then traded to the Penguins, where Malkin and Crosby didn’t play due to injuries. Why didn’t it work out there?
“Everything was fine. I had played for Pittsburgh before. The atmosphere doesn’t change there. But my style didn’t fit with the game coach Dan Byslma was implementing. There is nothing else to explain it with.”
From Sporting News:
Alex Kovalev and Nikolay Zherdev, two talented forwards who signed deals with the KHL’s Atlant Mytishchi in recent days, both say they turned down NHL offers in the process.
The 38-year-old Kovalev, one of the greatest Russian-born players in NHL history and a veteran of the country’s other professional leagues, signed a two-year deal with on July 29.
An unrestricted free agent, Kovalev said he had two NHL offers but turned them down because of the KHL contract’s extra year, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov.
Defenceman Brent Sopel is heading to Russia to play hockey.
The veteran NHL blueliner said through his Twitter account and blog on Friday that he’ll be playing for Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL this fall after signing a two-year contract.
Sopel, 34, ended the 2010-11 season with Montreal after a trade from the Atlanta Thrashers.
Just signed my first pro contract in 8 years. I’m off to Sweden for the 2011-2012 season. Thanks to everyone for their support.
We’re very pleased to introduce you to Risto Pakarinen, who has graciously agreed to contribute a regular column to KK this coming season, a weekly feature covering European players, both outside and inside the NHL.
Many of you are probably already familiar with Risto’s work, but for those who aren’t, we asked him to tell readers a few quick things about himself…
I’m a Finnish freelance writer, based in Stockholm, Sweden. That’s right, I’m deep behind the enemy lines.
I’m also a regular contributor to IIHF.com, NHL.com, The Hockey News, and several publications in Finland and Sweden. I’ve also covered four World Championships and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics for the IIHF.
And since I foolishly hoisted the Stanley Cup in my twenties, I wake up every morning knowing I will never be able to win it.
Risto’s posts will start in September.
Over at The Malik Report, George has details of the agreement available. And here is the KHL’s press release on the broad strokes of the newly-signed memorandum:
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and National Hockey League (NHL) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that regulates player transitions between the two bodies, respects the professional contracts of players from both leagues and forces both sides to complete a range of procedures to avoid hostility in the transitioning of players from one league to the other.
The MoU’s conclusion marks an important step forward in the relationship between the two most respected hockey leagues in the world. The nine points of the agreement will be effective for the next 12 months and can be reevaluated at the end of that period. Terms of the agreement include the exchanging of lists of contracted and free agent players, each league providing the other their standard contract templates and agreeing to appoint official representatives to conduct negotiations in person in Toronto or New York to resolve any player contract disputes.
via Darren Dreger tweet,
Rob Niedermayer leaving NHL. Signs with Lugano, Switzerland.
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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