Sad News from the Women’s Hockey League

In yesterday’s preview, we mentioned the nice story of Dynamo Kursk, who were set to make their Women’s Hockey League debut today in Krasnoyarsk against Biryusa.  Sadly, it will not happen, nor does it appear that Dynamo will participate in the 2016-17 season at all.  More below the jump.

HK Biryusa released the following statement on their Vkontakte account this morning (the translation and any misunderstandings therefrom are mine):

Dear fans!  The first three home games of the season between our Biryusa and the ZHL newcomers from Kursk will not take place!  The rival team is ceasing its participation in the ZHL championship, and will not make its debut in the league.  Here is an excerpt from a letter from ZHK Dynamo (Kursk) to the KHL:

“ZHL Dynamo is ceasing its participation in the ZHL championship for several reasons related to the lack of necessary infrastructure in the city of Kursk: special equipment for the admission of medical examination teams, equipment for the carrying out of video-broadcast of ZHL games, and facilities for the training process and ZHL games.  Relocation of the team to Stary Oskol [about 150 km. from Kursk –ed.] is impossible in the limited time which the ZHL allows for submission of additional team documents.  The Club administration, represented by its Director Liliya Sergeyevna Delova, offers its apologies to the KHL delegation for the inconvenience caused.  At this juncture, the Club has set itself the task of having a team participate in another league at a later date.  Respectfully yours, L.S. Delova.”

It’s a sad end, or a least a sad interruption, of what appeared to be a very interesting new project.  As Ms. Delova states at the end of her letter, we may see Dynamo Kursk in a lower league, possibly the amateur League of Women’s Hockey, at some point, but that is all up in the air for now.

As for the Women’s Hockey League, at least this situation was caught right at the start of the season, minimizing its impact on the standings, travel arrangements, and so on.  Presumably the seven remaining teams will now play a 36-game schedule, with Dynamo Kursk’s games simply dropped.  Those players who had signed for the team will likely become free agents at this point.

Condolences to Ms. Delova and the Dynamo Kursk players and staff on the project’s untimely end, and here’s hoping that we will see a women’s hockey team in Kursk again at some point down the road!  Many thanks to Denis Osipchuk for passing along the statement from Biryusa.



Posted on September 4, 2016, in 2016-17, RWHL, Women's Hockey. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks for writing this blog – I can now catch up on Russian hockey news without using Google Translate! 🙂

    Unrelated question, but when you mentioned free agents, that got me wondering: do the players in the women’s league get paid?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you, and I’m glad you enjoy the blog! 🙂 In answer to your question, Women’s Hockey League players are paid, although I’m not sure how much (it may vary widely from team to team). When Kelley Steadman was playing in Russia a few seasons ago, I think she said it was something like $1500/month, although that was when the ruble was much stronger than it is now (I’m sorry, I tried to look up that interview, and couldn’t find it).


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