Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: khl
It’s a horrible day in the neighborhood. It’s already been a brutal summer for hockey fans. Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, known for their roles as enforcer, all died this summer. All had played as recently as the 2010-11 season. Today, there was a huge tragedy when the entire KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl were lost in a Russian plane crash. Two passengers survived the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff. All but one Lokomotiv player died. The surviving player, Alexander Galimov, is in serious condition, with burns to over 80% of his body. This is, by far, “the darkest day in the history of our sport”, said Rene Fasel, president of the IIHF.
Today was opening day in the KHL. Only one game was on the docket, and it was in progress at the time of the crash. The league suspended the game and will postpone games scheduled for tomorrow.
Among the dead are several former NHL players. Closest to home, this list includes Josef Vasicek, who would have turned 31 on Monday. He played the majority of his career with the Hurricanes. The entire hockey-loving world is in shock, and I’d be a fool to suggest that this hits us any harder. While we mourn the loss of 43 people, we knew and loved Josef Vasicek, so we mourn especially for him.
Last week, rumors circulated that 23-year old Oskar Osala of the Hurricanes had signed a deal to play with HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk “Petrochemists” of the KHL. He vehemently denied the rumors, saying that he had gotten some calls but hadn’t signed anywhere. He gave all sorts of indications that he wanted to come back to play for the Checkers next season, but I saw some red flags. He tweeted about wanting to get rid of a lot of “extra” clothes, and that seemed to me like the actions of a person who’s about to leave the country.
Today, the announcement came that he had, in fact, signed with the Petrochemists. The rumors were true.
The native of Vassa, Finland was one of the most promising players in the Hurricanes system. He had just five (3/2) points in the playoffs, but 42 (13/29) points in 59 regular season AHL games. He played in one NHL game for the Canes in 2009-10, with no scoring points.
Osala tweeted today “I’m excited to move on, but hope to be back one day”. I think Jim Rutherford learned a lesson (although it took getting burned twice to learn the lesson) from the Anton Babchuk situation. Obviously, the Babchuk situation was different because he bailed for the KHL while still under contract, but it’s still walking away.