Author Archives: Patrick Conway

Zubov to the Hall!

Sergei Zubov. (Image Source)

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2019 induction class today, and the list of honoured Russian players has grown by one! The 2019 list of honorees includes: NCAA coach Jerry York, NHL executive Jim Rutherford, Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser, staunch defensive forward Guy Carbonneau, and Czechoslovakian superstar Václav Nedomanský. And, it includes one Sergei Alexandrovich Zubov, longtime NHL star as a playmaking defenceman. Read on, as we take a look back at Zubov’s career and accomplishments.

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On the Hot Seat: The Kharlamov Division in 2019-20

Pēteris Skudra, here shown coaching Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod a couple of seasons ago, will be behind the bench at Traktor Chelyabinsk in 2019-20. (Image Source)

Back to our series on KHL coaching in 2019-20! We have already checked in with the men behind the benches in the Chernyshev and Tarasov Divisions, and now it is the turn of the East Conference’s Kharlamov Division. So read on, for the coaching situations at Ak Bars, Avtomobilist, Metallurg, Neftekhimik, Sibir, and Traktor.

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The KHL Footprint at the 2019 NHL Draft

As expected, SKA St. Petersburg’s Vasily Podkolzin was the first Russian player chosen in this year’s NHL Draft. (Image Source)

The 2019 NHL Draft was a spectacular one for players from what we might call the KHL’s footprint; 28 Russians were drafted, the most since 2003, along with two Belarusians and one Latvian player, and one of the 22 Finns selected came from the youth system of Jokerit Helsinki. That makes 32 players to write about, and I have indeed hammered out a short blurb about each of them as well as a thought or two on the draft itself. Read on…

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The Russian Five

There is a new Russian hockey documentary out! The Russian Five, directed by Joshua Riehl, is in some ways a sequel to Gabe Polsky’s 2015 documentary Red Army. Polsky’s film discussed the latter days of Soviet hockey through the eyes primarily of star defenceman Vyacheslav Fetisov; in Riehl’s movie, we pick up the story a few years later, with players from the Soviet Union becoming a more frequent sight in the NHL. The Russian Five, as its title implies, deals with five of those “imports” to the North American game, and with the triumphs and heartbreaks (and there were both) that they encountered on this side of the ocean. And it deals with them well — this is a film that hockey fans should most definitely see. Read on, for a review!

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On the Hot Seat: The Tarasov Division in 2019-20

Igor Nikitin earlier this spring, with his champion CSKA Moscow team and the Gagarin Cup. (Image Source)

On onto the second of our division-by-division looks at KHL bench bosses in 2019-20! I mentioned in yesterday’s post, on the Chernyshev Division, that we would be looking at the Bobrov Division today. However, there is some news apparently pending on the coaching front this week from Dynamo Moscow; until that arrives, we’ll table the Bobrov Division, and instead today we check in with the other group in the West Conference, the Tarasov Division. So read on, for some notes on the coaching situations at CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Minsk, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, HK Sochi, and Vityaz Moscow Oblast.

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On the Hot Seat: The Chernyshev Division in 2019-20

Bob Hartley enjoyed a tremendous season in charge of Avangard Omsk last season, but there may be a cloud hanging over him in the summer of 2019. (Image Source)

Strange to think of it, but we are just a couple of weeks or so away from the opening of KHL training camps for the 2019-20 season! The coaches are starting (hopefully) to make concrete plans for the working-in of new signings, for dealing with key individuals who have departed, and so on. And who are the coaches who will be guiding KHL teams in 2019-20? Herewith we start our annual pre-season look at the league’s bench bosses, the men whose chairs may get very warm indeed if things don’t go well, so read on for a look at the Head Coaches of the Chernyshev Division teams!

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Women’s Hockey Update: June 11th, 2019

Goalmouth scramble between FSO Moscow (in maroon) and the Molnienosnye Lezviya team from Zhukov, Kaluga Oblast, during the final stage of the Anatoly Tarasov Golden Puck tournament for girls born 2005-06.  FSO won the game and the 12-team tournament, which was held last month near Volgograd, while Molnienosnye Lezviya took home the silver medal.  (Image Source)

Time to catch up with some women’s hockey news that has been kicking around in the files waiting to be written about for the past little while! Read on, for some off-season signings news, a peek ahead to the amateur league in 2019-20, and belated hat-tips to some young champions! And a reminder here that you can also check out my piece at The Ice Garden on the possibility of Women’s Hockey League expansion to China.

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KHL Attendance in 2018-19

The Gazprom Arena prepares to host SKA St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow this past December; the game drew a record 67,770 fans. (Image Source)

The numbers are in, and have been crunched! Time, then, to take a look at the subject of fan attendance in the KHL in the season just past. KHL teams post a very wide range of attendance numbers, due in no small part to the similarly large range of arena sizes (capacities ran from 4800 seats to more than 15000 in 2018-19, and that includes only arenas in regular use). Those figures also tell some very interesting stories, happy and otherwise; read on, for a team-by-team look at fan support in the KHL in 2018-19, as well as some observations on the league’s overall performance in this area. And there’s a table!

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A Blog Note!

Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays veteran defender Beiwei Yu steps into a shot while playing for (and captaining) the Chinese national team earlier this spring. (Image Source)

I has recently very happy and honoured to be asked to contribute a guest-post to The Ice Garden, SB Nation’s women’s hockey blog, and that piece is now done and published! You can read it here, and without giving too much away, it’s on the subject of a possible Chinese expansion team for the Russian Women’s Hockey League. Do check it out, and many thanks to the folks at The Ice Garden for the opportunity to write for them!

New Faces in the VHL

The Humo Ice Dome in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, home of incoming VHL expansion team Humo Tashkent. (Image Source)

We talked yesterday about the season-ending developments in the KHL; now it is the turn of Russia’s second-tier men’s professional league, the VHL. The VHL also formally closed its 2018-19 season last week, and among the most interesting announcements to come out of that was the news that four new teams have been added to the league. Read on, as we look at each of those new arrivals, and toss in a couple of other snippets of news as well.

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