Category Archives: KHL

Finals Week Update


HK Tambov hoist the Federations Cup, championship trophy of Russia’s third-tier men’s professional league, on Wednesday.  (Image Source)

A few days ago we took a quick look at all the different Finals going on in Russian hockey this week, and some of that silverware that was under dispute has now been handed out!  Read on, therefore, for some champions at the lower levels of pro and junior hockey, as well as a quick bonus update on some international hockey results from today.

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Finals Week, and Other Notes


Newly-appointed Russian men’s national team coach Ilya Vorobyov. (Image Source)

This is a bit of a “tidying-up” sort of post; it includes updates on all of the various league Finals going on or starting this week, as well as some news from the FHR and previews of imminent international hockey attractions.  So read on, as we go all over the place!

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2017-18 Gagarin Cup Final Preview (Updated)

A nice video looking back at the first Gagarin Cup Final, in 2008-09.  Ak Bars Kazan were the champions on that occasion, and they’re back in the Final for 2017-18.

The opening face-off of the Gagarin Cup Final for this season is just a couple of days away; the puck drops at 5:00 pm Moscow time on Saturday!  And the Final, as we have discussed, may not be the won most were anticipating, particularly in terms of the representative from the West Conference.  So read on, for some thoughts about what may happen when CSKA Moscow meet Ak Bars Kazan with the championship at stake.

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The Gagarin Cup Final is Set!

The Final of the 2017-18 Gagarin Cup playoffs is indeed set: CSKA Moscow, in something of a surprise, will take on Ak Bars Kazan for the KHL championship, with Game 1 of the Final going on April 14th.

But before we start our discussion of the Conference Finals, the KHL results were of course not the big hockey news of the weekend.  That occurred on a wintry stretch of highway in rural Saskatchewan, where the bus carrying 29 players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Junior A Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, collided with a transport truck.  Fifteen passengers on the bus were killed, and the other 14 injured, some very seriously.  Junior hockey is a huge thing on the Canadian prairies, and indeed in many other places, and those long bus rides between towns are a staple of growing up for kids on sports teams, in clubs, and involved in school, church, and community groups; this is a devastatingly tragic blow, obviously, not only for the victims and their families, but for the town of Humboldt as well.  Many will recall the bus accident involving another Saskatchewan junior team, the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, in 1986.  And for those of us who follow Russian hockey, there are shades of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster in 2011.

Notes of condolence for the victims of the accident have poured in from all over, including statements from the Russian Hockey Federation and from KHL teams Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow, among others.   Much has also been written about the tragedy; there is far too much to link to it all, but I would particularly recommend this piece by Gregg Drinnan, and this one by Roy MacGregor.  And allow me here to add my own condolences and warm thoughts to all the victims of this horrendous accident.

Read on, as we go back to the KHL.

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Guest Post: Board of Directors


(Image Source)

Once again, I am very happy to turn the blog over to Tomáš Vorčák (@vorkywh24 on Twitter), who has been keeping a close eye on developments regarding the KHL’s new strategic plan, unveiled about ten months ago.  Mr. Vorčák’s last article was in December, and now he is back to talk about this week’s meeting of the KHL Board of Directors.  I gave a very fast update on the meeting on Wednesday, and now Mr. Vorčák has some more in-depth analysis of the situation, and some very interesting notes on how the Board functions.  Read on!

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KHL Conference Finals Preview


The Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, as the West Conference Final prepared to get underway earlier today. (Image Source)

We’re a day late, if not a dollar short, with this preview; the West Conference Final actually got underway today as CSKA Moscow visited SKA in St. Petersburg.  It was a wild and entertaining game, that featured one of the “cometh the hour, cometh the man” storylines that the playoffs toss up every once in awhile.  CSKA’s Andrei Kuzmenko, who scored a 13-12-25 in 45 games this season and actually spent some time on the farm team in the VHL, popped up to score a hat-trick, the third goal of which secured his team a 5-4 win in overtime.  So CSKA, perhaps a touch surprisingly, have the early 1-0 series lead.  Can they hold on to it?  And what will happen in the East series between Ak Bars Kazan and Traktor Chelyabinsk (that one starts tomorrow)?  Read on…


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The KHL in 2018-19


KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko. (Image Source)

The KHL’s new strategic plan, unveiled last year, got its first big test today, as the League’s Board of Governors met to determine, among the other things, the composition of the league for the coming season and the details of the salary cap.  A full recap of what was decided can be seen at the league website, but read on here for a quick discussion of the main points.

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KHL Playoffs Round 2 “Preview”: West Conference


No such thing as too many pictures of Sergei Mozyakin!  (Image Source)

So I goofed.  Somehow, a bit of KHL re-scheduling news got past me, and I did not realize that the East Conference second round games also started today along with the West.  Hence the quotation marks around “preview” — read on, for East Conference “previews” with the results of today’s games duly taken into account!

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KHL Playoffs Round 2 Preview: West Conference


Jokerit Helsinki’s amazing young forward Eeli Tolvanen. (Image Source)

Yesterday here at the blog we looked back to the first round of the 2017-18 KHL playoffs; now it’s time to look ahead to the second.  Round 2 in the West Conference will feature the top four seeds, all of whom had fairly smooth paths through the first stage.  Read on, for a look at SKA versus Lokomotiv and CSKA versus Jokerit.

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A Thrilling End to the KHL’s First Playoff Round!


Salavat Yulaev Ufa’s Maxim Goncharov is about to have some company (#82 Igor Makarov, for example) moments after his Game 7 overtime goal brought an end to a thrilling series against Avangard Omsk. (Image Source)

The first round of the 2017-18 Gagarin Cup playoffs in the KHL was a tale of two conferences.  In the West, none of the four series went beyond five games, and only one even got that far.  By stark contrast, five games was the shortest series in East, and one match-up — the one that ended today in Ufa — went to overtime of the seventh match.  Read on, for a quick look back at each of the first-round series, and a recap of today’s thriller in Ufa!

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