The KHL & Other Leagues Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Shougang Arena, Beijing, home of the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star. (Image Source)

Much news this week about the outbreak of a coronavirus in China, particularly in the central province of Hubei. It is unclear yet how serious the outbreak is, and how worried we should all be, but the Chinese government has restricted travel to, from, and within the worst-hit areas. And the four Russian-based hockey leagues that include at least one Chinese team have also taken note of the situation, with one eye on the possible necessity of relocating some games. Read on, for a quick run-down of what steps the various the KHL, ZhHL, VHL, and MHL have taken so far, and what they might do if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

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Congratulations Are In Order…

Hugs all ’round for the Russian U16 boys’ team, after they won gold at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland earlier today. (Image Source)

I haven’t written anything about the Winter Youth Olympics taking place right now in Lausanne, Switzerland, but I do need to pause briefly here to tip the hat to the Russian U16 boys’ hockey team, which picked up the gold medal today! Team Russia defeated the U.S.A. 4-0 in the Final, on the strength of 15 saves from Metallurg Magnitogorsk prospect Sergei Ivanov and two goals plus an assist from Matvei Michkov of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl youth system. Michkov was also the top scorer in the boys’ tournament, scoring 14 points in four games, so we’ll definitely file his name away for future reference.

Sadly, there was no Russian girls’ team at this tournament — hopefully there will be at the next Winter Youth Olympics, in South Korea in 2024. The girls’ tournament in Lausanne was won, intriguingly, by the Japanese U16s, who defeated Sweden 4-1 in the Final.

Congratulations to the Team Russia boys and the Team Japan girls on their gold medals!

A Major Political Development for the KHL

KHL President Dmitri Chernyshenko — now a Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. (Image Source)

There was major breaking news for the KHL today, with the announcement that league President Dmitri Chernyshenko has been named as one of nine Deputy Prime Ministers of the Russian Federation. The appointment was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the recommendation of the country’s new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The appointment means that Chernyshenko is now, for all intents and purposes, a very high-ranking advisor and aide to the Prime Minister; per Wikipedia, the role of the Deputy Prime Ministers is “to coordinate the activities of federal government bodies and carry out other tasks in response to particular issues or events.” Read on, for a few thoughts on what it all means.

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Playoff Pictures

CSKA Moscow have secured a KHL playoff spot, but who will join them? (Image Source)

The various All-Star Festivities are out of the way (a very good time seems to have been had by all), and for the various Russian hockey leagues, it’s a straight drive from here to the end of the regular season, and thence the playoffs. So time now to set the various playoff scenarios, and see how the races are shaping up in the KHL, Women’s Hockey League, VHL, and MHL. Read on!

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Deadline Developments

Teemu Pulkkinen’s move to Dynamo Moscow was one of the 2019-20 KHL trade deadline’s biggest developments. (Image Source)

The 2019-20 KHL regular season is three quarters done — where did the time go? Well, wherever the time went, one of the significant dates swept along with it was December 27th, the KHL’s trading and transfer deadline. A number of interesting deals were made in the days leading up to the deadline, as teams looked to arm up for the playoffs, or cut costs in the context of a lost season. Read on, for a look at what happened!

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Encouraging Development

Russian forward Kristi Shashkina, who would go on to make a real name for herself during the 2019-20 U18 Women’s Worlds, battles Canada’s Maddi Wheeler in the tournament opener. (Image Source)

‘Tis the season for youth World Championships in hockey (one of the seasons for them, anyway — there will be more anon), and last week in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Russian Under-18 Women’s National Team wrapped up its 2019-20 Worlds. It was a successful outing, too, as the team collected Russia’s third bronze medal at the event — read on, for a little recap of the tournament!

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Well, That Was Exciting!

One of the more exciting World Juniors tournaments of recent years (seriously, a lot happened at this one) came to an end in suitably dramatic fashion today — congratulations to Team Canada, who picked up the gold medal via a 4-3 comeback win over Russia. In a couple of days, we’ll have a complete write-up of the tournament, as we get back to full-time blogging around these parts. Tomorrow, however, a look at the recently concluded U18 Women’s Worlds!

Back to Business (and Happy New Year!)

Happy New Year, and best of the holidays to all! Apologies for the recent radio silence, as well, but full-time blogging will recommence here tomorrow or on the weekend. And what will we talk about first? Well, there’s a subtle clue in the video above…

Team Russia at the 2019-20 U18 Women's Worlds

Russian U18 national-team players get their final instructions before facing Tornado Moscow Oblast of the Women’s Hockey League in the pre-Worlds game this past week. The young nats won the game as well, defeating their elders 4-2. (Image Source)

This week is a busy one in the hockey world — the World Juniors starts on Boxing Day, as does the venerable Spengler Cup. And this year, there’s a third treat in store this week, as the 2019-20 Under-18 Women’s World Championship gets going, also on Thursday. This year’s edition is in Bratislava, Slovakia, and is taking place a bit earlier than normal (usually it is an early January tournament). Alexander Syrtsov will make his U18 Worlds head-coaching debut it in this one; read on, as we consider the roster he and his staff has selected for the trip to Slovakia!

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A Walk Through the KHL: December 16th, 2019

Finnish forward Miro Aaltonen is the latest Vityaz Moscow Oblast player to pack his bags for St. Petersburg. (Image Source)

The December international break is over, and KHL teams get back to game action tomorrow! In the meantime, there have been a number of trades and signings (the KHL trade and signing deadline is the end of December 27th, so not that far away), further developments in the saga of young Traktor Chelyabinsk and New York Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov, and other notes of that ilk. First of all, however, we check on on major news from the KHL’s Board of Governors meeting last week — read on!

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