Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

“Not The Great One”

from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

It's a Friday night at the hockey rink, and a dozen kids rush to the first row of the 100 level and begin calling for their hero. "Gretz-key! Gretz-key!" they yell, waving pens and asking for autographs.

No. 99 finally walks over. He's lanky, at 6-foot-4, with long, angular features but a boyish grin. He's still getting used to fame and adoration. No, it's not The Great One, but the greatly named one: 23-year-old Vyacheslav (Slava) Gretsky, a forward for HC Dinamo Minsk who has become the Kontinental Hockey League's biggest cult hero.

Gretsky is just a rookie, adjusting to the speed and physicality of the KHL, the world's top pro hockey league outside the NHL. He was a minus-3 in his first game, so coaches shaved down his ice time. He played just three shifts, for 3 minutes, 4 seconds, in Game No. 3. After that, he was scratched twice.

Fans didn't care. By his eighth KHL game (when he had yet to record a point), Gretsky had received 2,992 votes over a two-week span to be named to the KHL all-star game.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, vyacheslav+gretsky

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com