Category Archives: KHL

The Short, Spectacular, KHL Career of Mr. Linden Vey


Linden Vey (#19) and Nigel Dawes celebrate a Barys Astana goal earlier this season. (Image Source)

It is not unusual to see a note in the KHL news about a player’s contract being cancelled by mutual consent of the parties, nor is it often a surprise when we see who the player is.  Sometimes guys do not meet expectations (on or off the ice), and sometimes a foreign player is let to free up an import slot for a more promising replacement.  It’s part of the business, in other words.  However, today’s contract termination was indeed a shock: Barys Astana have cut ties with forward Linden Vey, despite the fact that Vey sits third in the KHL scoring race with a stat line of 50 gp, 17-35-52 (he is also third in the league in assists).  And there was no hideous off-ice scandal, either, that might have contributed to to the move.  So what happened?  Read on, for that, and for a look at the East Conference playoff race.

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Tough Times for Admiral Vladivostok


Fetisov Arena, home of Admiral Vladivostok. (Image Source)

What was already a dire, unpleasant, season for the KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok team took a turn for the worse — if that were possible — this past weekend with the unexpected resignation of Head Coach Andrei Razin after just five games behind the bench.  Longtime Belarusan national team defenceman Oleg Leontyev steps up from his assistant coaching position to take the reins, becoming the team’s FOURTH Head Coach of the season (Razin had replaced Fredrik Stillman, who himself had been serving as interim Coach since the firing of Alexander Andriyevsky in early October).

Meanwhile, Admiral are already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for only the second time in the team’s five-year history, December saw the departure of nearly all of the team’s “big” players due to arrears in wages, and just a week from now the team faces an appearance in bankruptcy court.  No surprise , then, that the club’s once-impressive reputation for fan attendance has also taken a serious hit this season.   All this, at a club that just a couple of seasons ago was considered a highly successful project, and generally a credit to the KHL.  How could things have gone so dreadfully wrong?  And can the situation be salvaged?  Read on…


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Into the Home Stretch!


It has been something of a season of extremes for Amur Khabarovsk in 2017-18.  (Image Source)

“Life is about the journey, not the destination,” said somebody, at some time or other.  I’m not sure if that phrase applies to hockey seasons as well as to life, but it is interesting to take a look not just at whether teams are occupying a playoff spot at the moment, but also at how they managed to get there (wherever “there” in the standings may be).  So read on, for talk of the KHL’s 14-game splits as we enter the 2017-18 regular season’s home stretch.

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Guest Post: Progress and Developments in the KHL


The KHL Board of Directors at work in September of 2016.  (Image Source)

Welcome back, Tomáš Vorčák (@vorkywh24 on Twitter)!  Tomáš has been keeping a close eye on the progress of the league’s new strategic plan, to which he introduced us back in May, and upon which he gave us an update in November.  In today’s guest post, he looks at further developments in the strategic plan over the last month or so, as revealed at today’s meeting of the KHL Board of Directors.  Read on!

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New Blood


While Ilya Kovalchuk watches from the SKA St. Petersburg bench, Nikita Gusev goes to work against Pavel Akolzin (#27) and Artyom Likhotnikov of Barys Astana.  (Image Source)

As promised yesterday, we will take a break from the Olympic story at this point and talk some hockey (there’s nothing really new to report on the Olympics today anyway).  Despite the fact that it is still only early December, the 2017-18 KHL season is coming into the last turn with the home stretch not far away.  As of today (Friday, Dec. 8th), only Jokerit have not yet played two-thirds of their games, and that will be rectified tomorrow.  Now, in actual calendar terms, the end of the regular season is still some ways off (early March, due to the Olympic break), but it is not too soon I think to take a look at some of the storylines that have been developing this season, and that will reach their climaxes in the games to come.  Read on, as we delve into the KHL individual points race…

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Keenan Departs


Mike Keenan in happier days, after guiding Metallurg Magnitogorsk to the 2014 Gagarin Cup championship.  (Image source)

So Mike Keenan’s second tour as a KHL Head Coach turned out to be a brief one.  Just three months into his stint behind the bench of Kunlun Red Star Beijing, “Iron Mike” has lost his coaching job at the Chinese club, a few days after he was similarly relieved of his General Manager duties.  Read on, for some thoughts.

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A Field Guide to KHL Arenas


The splendid Barys Arena in Astana, host of the 2018 KHL All-Star Week and one of the league’s newest buildings.  (Image Source)

Have just a couple of weeks ago looked at the current state of attendance in the KHL, I thought it might be an idea to give you a brief look at the buildings involved.  So basically, below the jump, I have listed each team’s arena with its year of opening and its capacity, and added a few words I thought it appropriate.  Read on…

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The KHL’s annual Week of Stars celebration this season will take place from January 10th to 14th, and this time around the site will be Astana, Kazakhstan (home of KHL side Barys).  The week will feature the all-star contests of the Women’s Hockey League, of Russia’s top junior league (the MHL), and of course of the KHL itself.  And as regards the latter, fan voting for the All-Star teams has begun!  Each of the KHL’s four divisions will be represented by a squad, and the four will play a mini-tournament to determine the champion.  Fans can vote at the link just above, up until December 1st, for two forwards and two defencemen from each division; read on, for my ballot and a few uncomplicated thoughts about the choices therein.

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Guest Post: The KHL’s Strategic Plan, Revisited


The KHL Executive Board at work in May of 2017.  (Image Source)

With the KHL resuming action this week after the international break, I am pleased and grateful once again to turn the blog over to Tomáš Vorčák (@vorkywh24 on Twitter) for another guest post.  Tomáš has been keeping a close eye on developments with regards to the league’s new strategic plan, to which he himself introduced us back in May.  This post deals with some extra information coming out of Friday’s meeting of the KHL Executive Board.  Without further ado, read on!

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Present and Accounted For


Hockey night at SKA St. Petersburg.  (Image Source)

As the KHL is on its annual November break for international play, and the league’s 2017-18 season is only just past its halfway point for most teams, this seems a useful juncture at which to take a peek at some attendance figures for the current campaign.  This is especially so this season, with the league’s new strategic plan underway and contraction looming for three clubs next spring; attendance is most certainly one of the criteria the KHL will be looking at when it comes time to determine the unlucky trio.  Read on, then…

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