Category Archives: Uncategorized

Present and Accounted For

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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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Where’d We Go?

On a bit of an unanticipated blog hiatus here, due to some computer issues, so unfortunately there will be no women’s hockey update this week.  However, God willing and the creek don’t rise, it should all be sorted out quite soon, and normal service can resume!

Back Amongst the Coaches

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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Head Coach Alexei Kudashov (l.) shakes hands with his CSKA Moscow counterpart Dmitry Kvartalnov after Lokomotiv eliminated CSKA from last season’s playoffs. (Image Source)

At about this time last week, we took a look at the KHL’s first two coaching changes of 2017-18, and speculated mildly about where the third might occur.  The answer to that question has now arrived, and — spoiler alert — it involves none of the teams which I mentioned in that speculation!  Read on, for that story, and some other coaching news from the past day or so.

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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in 2017-18

On Friday, we looked at the edition of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl that arose from the tragedy of the 2011 plane crash, and now we turn our attentions to the 2017-18 version.  Lokomotiv did slip back a little bit last season, but only from second in the league to fifth — still very good in other words.  And then they pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs, shocking regular-season champions CSKA Moscow in six games in the second round, before falling to eventual Gagarin Cup winners SKA St. Petersburg in the semifinals.  An excellent year, all-in-all — what have they got in store for this season?  Read on…

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Avangard Omsk Oblast in 2017-18

The 2016-17 campaign appeared to be highly successful one for Avangard Omsk Oblast, their best, in fact, in several years.  But topping the division, finishing second in the East, and visiting the second round of the playoffs did not save experienced coach Fyodor Kanareykin from being dismissed at season’s end.  Here Avangard caught a bit of a break, as another coach with a very solid resume became available when Sibir said “good-bye” to Andrei Skabelka.  The 46-year-old Belarusan has promptly snapped up by the Omsk side, and now takes over a team that has traditionally been one of the strongest in the land.  So what else did Avangard get up to this summer?  Read on…

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Questions, Questions

Where we left off…

It’s here!  And by “it,” I of course mean the 2017-18 KHL season, the league’s tenth campaign, which begins on Monday when defending regular season champions CSKA Moscow visit the incumbent Gagarin Cup winners SKA St. Petersburg.  Read on, for a quick introduction (in question and answer format!) to the new season, and a handful of storylines to follow.

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Previewing More Previews

Apologies for the silence this week — family visiting and a bit of a brain break took priority.  However, we resume with the previews tomorrow (and yes, they will extend a little bit into the start of the season, but no matter).  Also other interesting things to come.

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in 2017-18

Nothing really rhymed for the Yekaterinburg side in 2016-17: six fewer goals scored and seven more allowed may not sound like much, but it added up to missed playoffs, albeit by only four points.   And the team’s blossoming young superstar saw his scoring numbers fall off a cliff.  The net results were a mid-season coaching change from one of the KHL’s youngest coaches in Andrei Razin to one of its most experienced in Vladimir Krikunov, followed by a massive influx of new players this off-season.  Will it work, and what ever happened to Anatoly Golyshev?  Read on…

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Zaripov Banned

Our preview of Severstal Cherepovets 2017-18 season will be up later on today, but now we have to take a look at some sad breaking news from the KHL.  The league and the IIHF have announced that three players have been suspended following positive drug tests during the 2016-17 season: defenceman Andrei Konev (free agent formerly of Admiral Vladivostok), defenceman Derek Smith (free agent formerly of Medveščak Zagreb), and — most shockingly — forward Danis Zaripov (Ak Bars Kazan, formerly of Metallurg Magnitogorsk).  Konev is suspended until November 19th of this year, Smith until September 2nd of 2018, and Zaripov until May 22nd, 2019, with those bans pertaining to both KHL and international hockey.  More on Zaripov below…

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Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk in 2017-18

To Khanty-Maniysk we go, where the Irtysh River meets the Ob in western Siberia, the home of KHL side Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk.  It’s the KHL’s smallest city (pop: 80,000), and although the region is oil-rich, the hockey club has struggled for funds in recent years and hence has struggled also on the ice.  Ugra did improve this past season in some areas (one in particular), but still slipped back a couple of spots in the standings.  Can they turn that around in 2017-18?  Read on…

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