The Short, Spectacular, KHL Career of Mr. Linden Vey


Linden Vey (#19) and Nigel Dawes celebrate a Barys Astana goal earlier this season. (Image Source)

It is not unusual to see a note in the KHL news about a player’s contract being cancelled by mutual consent of the parties, nor is it often a surprise when we see who the player is.  Sometimes guys do not meet expectations (on or off the ice), and sometimes a foreign player is let to free up an import slot for a more promising replacement.  It’s part of the business, in other words.  However, today’s contract termination was indeed a shock: Barys Astana have cut ties with forward Linden Vey, despite the fact that Vey sits third in the KHL scoring race with a stat line of 50 gp, 17-35-52 (he is also third in the league in assists).  And there was no hideous off-ice scandal, either, that might have contributed to to the move.  So what happened?  Read on, for that, and for a look at the East Conference playoff race.

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Women’s Hockey Update: January 17th, 2018


Women’s Hockey League action earlier this week between Tornado Moscow Oblast (in black) and SK Sverdlovsk Oblast. (Image Source)

With the Under-18 Women’s World Championship finished up, there was a bit of lull — though not a complete one — in the on-ice action this week.  However, that does mean that there was no news at all!  Read on, for recaps of a couple of re-scheduled Women’s Hockey League games, plus a transfer move involving a fairly big-name player.

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Tough Times for Admiral Vladivostok


Fetisov Arena, home of Admiral Vladivostok. (Image Source)

What was already a dire, unpleasant, season for the KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok team took a turn for the worse — if that were possible — this past weekend with the unexpected resignation of Head Coach Andrei Razin after just five games behind the bench.  Longtime Belarusan national team defenceman Oleg Leontyev steps up from his assistant coaching position to take the reins, becoming the team’s FOURTH Head Coach of the season (Razin had replaced Fredrik Stillman, who himself had been serving as interim Coach since the firing of Alexander Andriyevsky in early October).

Meanwhile, Admiral are already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for only the second time in the team’s five-year history, December saw the departure of nearly all of the team’s “big” players due to arrears in wages, and just a week from now the team faces an appearance in bankruptcy court.  No surprise , then, that the club’s once-impressive reputation for fan attendance has also taken a serious hit this season.   All this, at a club that just a couple of seasons ago was considered a highly successful project, and generally a credit to the KHL.  How could things have gone so dreadfully wrong?  And can the situation be salvaged?  Read on…


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Wrapping Up the Under-18 Women’s Worlds


Russia’s Ilona Markova (in white) battles her opposite number, Alexie Guay of Canada, during the bronze medal match at the 2018 Women’s Under-18 World Championship. (Image Source)

The 2018 Women’s Under-18 World Championship came to an end on Saturday in Dmitrov, Russia, as the United States collected its fourth straight gold medal at the event with a 9-3 victory over Sweden.  Not that the Swedes need be embarrassed; the tournament saw them become the first non-North American team to make it to the gold medal game.  As we have mentioned here before, the tournament had earlier seen some history made by Team Russia, who became the first squad from outside North America to beat one of the continent’s two women’s hockey powerhouses.  However, in the end the Russian players may leave their home tournament (the first top-division women’s hockey Worlds held in Russia) with a sense of an opportunity missed, as they dropped the bronze medal match to Canada by a score of 5-1.  Read on, for a recap of how Russia’s tournament ended, and for some thoughts.

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Women’s Hockey Update: January 11th, 2018


The East’s Alexandra Vafina salutes the crowd after the 2018 Women’s Hockey League All-Star Game.  (Image Source)

This is the “non-U18 Women’s Worlds” update for this week; you can check out yesterday’s post for how that tournament is going along!  But read on here for a recap of the Women’s Hockey League All-Star Game, which took place yesterday, and a look at what the senior women’s national team got up to last week.  And there are a few bits and pieces of Olympic news as well.

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U18 Women’s Worlds Update!


Diana Farkhutdinova celebrates as Russia advances to the U18 Women’s Worlds semifinals.  (Image Source)

There are just four teams left standing at the Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Dmitrov, Russia!  The host side, coming off its massive upset of Team Canada last Saturday, are indeed one of them, but there have been some bumps along the way.  Read on, for an update on how Team Russia has been getting along!

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Wrapping Up Russia’s World Juniors


Coach Valery Bragin keeps an eye on the Russian bench during the quarterfinal of the 2017-18 World Juniors. (Image Source)

This past Friday, Canada secured a 17th World Juniors gold medal with an exciting 3-1 victory over Sweden, silver medalists for the 11th time.  A few hours before that, the United States had secured the bronze, the country’s sixth, by beating Czechia 9-3.  However, for Team Russia the tournament was long over by that point; a disappointing quarterfinal exit to the host U.S.A. team meant that Russia’s run of seven straight podium appearances came to an end.  Read on, as the we look at the whys and wherefores.

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What a Day!

Well!  I had intended to take today to write a wrap-up piece on the just-completed World Juniors, which saw the Russian side miss out on the podium for the first time in eight years.  However, sometimes history gets in the way, so that piece will have to wait!  Why?  Because on Saturday, Russia’s Under-18 women’s national team opened the 2018 U18 Worlds, at home in Dmitrov just north of Moscow, with a 3-2 victory over Canada.  It was the first time at this competition that Russia had beaten a North American team — in fact, it was the first time that any team from outside North America had defeated either Canada or the U.S.  Read on, for a look at how it all happened (and above is the video of the entire game)!

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Team Russia at the 2018 Women’s U18 Worlds


The Russian Under-18 Women’s national team for this year’s U18 Worlds!  (Image Source)

Starting tomorrow, for the first time ever Russia will host a top-division women’s hockey world championship, as the 2018 event for the Under-18 age group gets going in Dmitrov, just north of Moscow.  That fact, in and off itself, makes this a momentous event for women’s hockey in the country, even before the first puck is dropped.  But drop it will, so read on for a look at Team Russia’s roster for the tournament!

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A Very Quick Women’s Hockey Update!


Biryusa Krasnoyarsk defender Irina Kuznetsova will be among the Russian national teamers contesting this week’s Nations Cup tournament in Germany.  (Image Source)

As noted, this will be a short piece!  There will be a full post here looking at the Russian roster for the U18 Women’s Worlds, which start in Dmitrov on Saturday, in the next couple of days.

However, there is one bit of news to pass along: the senior Russian women’s national team is in action this week in Germany at the 2018 Nations Cup tournament.  This is a six-team tournament, and Team Russia finds itself in Group B along with Finland and Canada (the latter represented in Germany by an Under-22 team).  Russia takes on the Canadians on Thursday and the Finns on Friday, with Saturday’s placement game wrapping up the competition.  Group A, by the way, includes Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.

You can see Team Russia’s Nations Cup roster here.  Unlike for the recent pair of games against Japan, this Russian roster includes most though not all of the “big names,” and should be fairly close to what the coaching staff would like to take to the Olympics, should that whole situation be worked out satisfactorily.  The goaltending, in particular, appears to be set firmly as the trio of Nadezhda Morozova, Valeriya Tarakanova, and Nadezhda Alexandrova.  There are still some slots to be filled on defence and up front, however, and these next couple of games may give us some clues as to how that task will be accomplished!

A full recap of the Nations Cup, news from the U18 Worlds, and a look ahead to the Women’s Hockey League All-Star game will be included in next week’s update!