Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
“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.
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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