2019-20 KHL Team Previews Updates (Pinned Post)

Trying something here to deal with the phenomenon, very frequent, of KHL teams making player moves after I’ve written their season previews. Below the jump, you’ll find a list of such transactions, with a very few words about each. Read on!

Last update: August 14th (Dinamo Minsk, Sibir).

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Salavat Yulaev Ufa in 2019-20

Ufa-Arena, home of Salavat Yulaev, on a winter’s evening. (Image Source)

Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the KHL’s representatives in the Republic of Bashkortostan, took a rather wandering path through 2018-19, but finished up in a good place. They started very well, came back to the pack to finish sixth in the East Conference, then got red-hot as the post-season commenced. By the time all was said and done, Salavat Yulaev had defeated Sergei Mozyakin and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, then had knocked off Conference top seed Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, and they only fell to Avangard Omsk after six very hard-fought games in the Conference Final. Read on…

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A Couple of Blog Notes

Notes on a couple of the blog pages:

  • The big Russian Hockey Map is up-to-date for all leagues for 2019-20! The KHL, MHL, and Women’s Hockey League (ZhHL) had been updated earlier for this coming season, but I have now gotten the VHL, PVHL, and NMHL fully current as well.
  • Further to that, I am not sure that I have all of the arenas for the new teams in each league completely correct (specifically, I am not sure about KRS-Beijing, in the VHL). However, I’m confident in about 98% of them, and I’ll keep an eye on the others in case they need fixing.
  • And I at long last have added the Asia League, since that circuit does include one Russian team (PSK Sakhalin)!
  • The Russian Hockey on Social Media page will be coming down temporarily in a few days, since it requires some work that I cannot do on it in situ. It will not be gone long — a week or so, at the outside, and will be back up again in time for the 2019-20 season-openers.

HK Sochi in 2019-20

The Bolshoi Ice Dome, Sochi. (Image Source)

HK Sochi’s 2018-19 season can best be described, I think, as satisfactory. They’ve never been among the league’s big-budget outfits, but for the fourth time in five seasons the Black Sea outfit made the playoffs, and though the second round remains terra incognita, HK Sochi got to six games in the first round for first time ever. Nothing special, but a satisfactory-enough performance. Will 2019-20 see them take a step forward, or a backwards tumble? Read on…

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That Went Well!

At this time yesterday, it had been 24 years since the last time that Team Russia won the Hlinka Gretzky Cup* — seven years longer than any of the players on the current edition of the squad have been alive. But the wait is over for Russia at the summer’s most prestigious international hockey tournament. Coach Sergei Golubovich’s U18 Russian national team defeated Team Canada today in the Final, winning the Hlinka Gretzky Cup for the first time since 1995, and as you can see from the embedded tweet above, the players understood how much it meant. How did they do it, and who stood out in Slovakia and Czechia this past week? Read on…

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Spartak Moscow in 2019-20

Spartak Moscow’s current residence at the CSKA Arena (formerly the VTB Ice Palace), while they wait for construction of a new home in their traditional Sokolniki Park setting. (Image Source)

Since Spartak returned from the financial abyss in 2015, having missed the entire previous season, the famous red-and-whites have shown steady progress year-over-year. Two missed playoffs were followed by two post-season appearances, with the second of those more impressive than the first. Spartak were swept, brutally, by CSKA Moscow in the first round in 2018, but this spring they put a real scare into SKA St. Petersburg before succumbing in six games. And now, in as clear a signal as you would like that Spartak want to get up and play with the big clubs, they have hired Oleg Znarok as head coach. It’s going to be a fascinating season for the former Soviet champions — read on…

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Women’s Hockey Update: August 7th, 2019

Dynamo St. Petersburg players out for a run as preparations for the 2019-20 Women’s Hockey League season continue. (Image Source)

This is short update, but the news is big news: we have a 2019-20 Women’s Hockey League Schedule! No particular surprises in it, but there are a few points of interest, and we’ll take a look at those below. And read on also for some details on an upcoming international women’s club tournament, and a look at how things went today for the Russian U18 women’s national team, who were in game action in Calgary!

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Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in 2019-20

Torpedo’s home at the Trade Union Sports Palace, also known as the KRK Nagorny. A new rink for Nizhny Novogorod is in the planning stages. (Image Source)

In the summer of 2018, Torpedo left behind both the West Conference and the coaching era of Pēteris Skudra, but the end result of the season was what we have come to expect from the famous old club: a playoff appearance, albeit a brief one. However, it was a close thing in the end, as a hideous second-half slide nearly dropped the Nizhny Novgorod side out of the playoff picture amid some dismal rumblings on the financial front (they did, to their credit, give second-seeded Barys a heck of a fight in the first post-season round). Torpedo, with now-sophomore head coach David Nemirovsky again behind the bench, find themselves back in the West this season, and the question is whether they can make it seven playoff appearances in a row. Read on…

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Vityaz Moscow Oblast in 2019-20

Vityaz Ice Palace, Podolsk. (Image Source)

You may know the Vityaz saga by now; once the laughing-stock of the KHL, the little club from the Moscow-hinterland city of Podolsk emerged from an evil past to become a respectable competitor in the lower reaches of the West Conference. 2018-19 saw a continuation of that pleasant process, as Vityaz made the KHL playoffs for the second time ever, and the second time in three years. However, both their playoff appearances have ended in first-round maulings by the eventual champions, and now Vityaz have ambitions for better than that. Read on…

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Team Russia at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov will be one of the most-watched players at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. (Image Source)

The 2019-20 under-18 men’s international hockey season gets underway on Monday in Břeclav, Czechia, and Piešťany, Slovakia, with the opening games of the annual Hlinka Gretzky Cup! It’s a major tournament, and a famous one; although most of the eight teams will experiment with their rosters a bit as they being preparations for next spring’s U18 Worlds, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup also gives us what amounts to a first look at some players who will become household names before too much longer. Read on, for the Russian roster at this year’s event, and some notes on players to watch!

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Dinamo Riga in 2019-20

Dinamo’s Arena Riga home. (Image Source)

While it ended in a fifth consecutive missed playoffs, the 2018-19 season must go down as a qualified success for Dinamo Riga; expectations were exceeded without any doubt. Lifted by the play of a young goalie, the scoring of an import defenceman, and a career season from a KHL-veteran forward, the league’s Latvian entry climbed seven places up the overall standings, and missed the playoffs in the West Conference by only a single point. However… all three of those key players will be elsewhere in 2019-20 — have Dinamo found adequate replacements? Read on…

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