Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/29/13 at 10:21 AM ET
The KHL must dodge outside influence from the Russian hockey federation and make “serious concessions” with its stringent roster policies if it wants compete with its North American counterpart, the NHL, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk head coach Vladimir Krikunov said Wednesday.
Krikunov, who has coached in the KHL since its inception five years ago and guided Russia at world hockey championships in 2005 and 2006, called the eight-country league “half-amateur” and wholly reliant on the federation.
The comments are unusually strong for someone with close ties to the league and the federation, both of which benefit greatly from state funding.
“Now it’s a half-amateur league that depends on the Russian hockey federation,” Krikunov, 63, told R-Sport.
The coach said contentious rules limiting teams to five foreign players and mandating each carries two players born after 1992 should be abolished because they weaken the quality of play. He also said the four-country Euro Hockey Tour, which halts the KHL’s schedule for two weekends in November and December, has to go.
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