A Brief Introduction

bobrovhockey

Vsevolod Bobrov, in about 1956.

Hello!  And welcome to the first actual post here at this blog.  While the subject matter of this blog ought to be fairly obvious from the title, I though we should ramble through some questions you might have.  Below the jump, then, a short FAQ!

What is this blog about, beyond the obvious?  Well, it is my goal to talk about any and all aspects of the sport of ice hockey in Russia and the other countries of the former USSR.  There will be coverage, of course, of the KHL, but I also want to pay some heed to the minor leagues, junior and youth hockey, and the women’s game in the country.  I also intend to devote considerable time to the history of the game in those areas, and our first “actual” post will go all the way back to the beginning…

The beginning?  1946, to be precise, when the USSR took up the sport as part of a national program designed to win Olympic gold.  As programs go, it worked pretty well.

spartak194647

Spartak Moscow, bronze medalists in the first season of the Soviet Championship.

Wow!  What did Soviet ice hockey look like in 1946?  We’ll find out, very soon!

Let’s cut straight to the chase then – who’s the greatest Russian or Soviet player of all time?  Heh, funny you should ask.  We’ll discuss that fairly soon, and I’ll be asking for your input, too!  The man in the photo at the top will certainly be on the list of potential candidates.  In short – there are A LOT of possibilities for that title.

Why Russian hockey?  It’s a fascinating subject area – full of interesting stories, many of them under-told in North America.  Furthermore, and I hate to say it, much of the coverage of the Russian game in this part of the world is, frankly, bad — ill-informed, polemical, and focused in sensationalist ways on the negatives.  There are certainly negative aspects to deal with, and I don’t intend to ignore them, but they should not be the beginning and end of the story.

How often can we expect new material here?  I’m looking to do a post or two per week.  More may not be possible at this point, but certainly remains an option for the future.

Do you write elsewhere?  Yes!  You can see more of my KHL writing at Puckrant.com.  I also run a blog devoted to the history of Peterborough, Ontario (where I dwell), and that is here.  I invite and encourage you to check out both!

metallurgchamps2

Metallurg Magnitogorsk celebrate their 2014 Gagarin Cup championship.

How’s your Russian?  Decent as far as reading it goes, less so, still, when it comes to understanding the spoken language.  A work in progress, although every so often I get pleasing indications that is, in fact, progressing!

Do you accept guest posts?  Sure!  If you’ve written something on Russian hockey, send it along and I’ll give it a look!

What is the image in the title bar?  That is the victorious Soviet team at the 1956 Olympics — their first appearance on that particular stage!

The first post should be up tomorrow – do check it out!

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Posted on November 1, 2014, in Introductions. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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