Category Archives: VHL
The VHL (Высшая хоккейная лига — “Vysshaya Khokkeinaya Liga” or “Supreme Hockey League”) is, despite its name, the second-highest level of professional men’s hockey in Russia, and is basically the country’s equivalent of the North American AHL. Indeed, it includes farm teams from a number of KHL sides, although there are independent VHL teams as well. The 2017-18 VHL campaign began earlier this month; read on, as we set the scene and talk about the league in this coming season.
We will remember…
KHL arenas were dark on Thursday, as always on September 7th, in observance of the anniversary of the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster. The crash of Yak-Service flight 9633, carrying the team to Minsk to face Dinamo in their opening game of the 2011-12 KHL season, killed all 26 players on board, all 11 members of Lokomotiv’s coaching and training staff, and seven out of eight members of the flight crew.
Players: Vitaly Anikeyenko, Mikhail Balandin, Alexander Galimov, Gennady Churilov, Pavol Demitra, Robert Dietrich, Marat Kalimulin, Alexander Kalyanin, Andrei Kiryuhin, Nikita Klyukin, Stefan Liv, Jan Marek, Sergei Ostapchuk, Karel Rachůnek, Ruslan Salei, Maxim Shuvalov, Kārlis Skrastiņš, Pavel Snurnytsin, Daniil Sobchenko, Ivan Tkachenko, Pavel Trakhanov, Yury Urychev, Josef Vašíček, Alexander Vasyunov, Alexander Vyukhin, Artem Yarchuk.
Coaches: Alexander Karpovtsev, Igor Korolyov, Nikolai Krivonosov, Brad McCrimmon.
Staff: Yury Bakhvalov, Alexander Belyaev, Evgeny Kunnov, Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, Vladimir Piskunov, Evgeny Sidorov. Andrei Zimin.
Airplane crew: Nadezhda Maksumova, Vladimir Matyushkin, Elena Sarmatova, Elena Shalina, Andrei Solomentsev, Igor Zhevelov, Sergei Zhuravlev.
The memory of the disaster remains a very painful one, for the hockey fans of Yaroslavl especially but also throughout the hockey world, as witness the large numbers of tributes and remembrances that appear every year at this time. But there is another story to be told here, because Lokomotiv came back. Although it would be a full year before the team, rebuilt basically from scratch, next appeared in a KHL game, the club’s junior side continued to play in the MHL, and midway through that 2011-12 season Lokomotiv iced a professional hockey side once again. Read on, for the story Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the VHL.
The on-ice competitive portion of the 2017-18 KHL hockey season is officially underway, albeit only in exhibition game form! Barys Astana took on their VHL farm team, Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, on Friday and… lost 6-2. Ah well, (very, very) early days yet (and Torpedo are an extremely strong VHL team, too). Read on, a look at newly-released schedules, league compositions, and the like!
As mentioned in the previous post here, yesterday was a big day, news-wise, for Russian hockey. We have covered the developments at Dynamo Moscow enough for the time being, so now we turn our attention to Tuesday’s other big announcement: a memorandum of understanding between the national hockey bodies of Russia and China on developing the sport in Asia. The agreement includes the expected exchanges of information and expertise, and is part of the China’s fast-tracking of hockey development in advance of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. However, the announcement also means some big changes for the VHL, Russia’s second-highest men’s professional league — no surprise, as that circuit is run directly by the Russian Hockey Federation. Read on, as we delve a little into what it all means…
I am once again very happy to welcome Tomáš Vorčák (@vorkywh24 on Twitter) back to the blog for today’s post. He has previously written here on the subjects of youth hockey in Russia, and on the relationship between the KHL and the Champions Hockey League. Today, Tomáš has a detailed look at the KHL’s new development plan for the next few seasons, which was unveiled this past week and which represents a significant change of philosophy from the way the league used to operate. Read on!
The KHL may have wrapped up its action for 2016-17, with SKA St. Petersburg the Gagarin Cup champions, but there are still games being played in some Russian domestic leagues. We noted yesterday that HK Rostok had won the country’s third-tier professional men’s championship; today, the second-level VHL wrapped up its title race, so read on for a recap of that result, and some other notes as well!
So now it is a best-of-five! Honours were shared equally through the first two games of the Gagarin Cup Final; SKA St. Petersburg and Metallurg Magnitogorsk have a victory apiece as the series moves back to the former’s home on the bank of the Okkervil River. Read on, for a recap of those fascinating first two games, and a very quick look at playoff developments in a couple of other leagues!
In which the puck goes from the Metallurg Magnitogorsk goal-line to the back of the Ak Bars Kazan net in three seconds, courtesy of Mister Lee and Mister Moyzakin.
The KHL’s Conference Finals are now well underway, and producing some interesting storylines to follow! Read on, as we take a quick look at those, and get you caught up on playoff happenings in a number of other leagues as well.
The KHL playoffs’ second round began yesterday, with all series now one game in. No one was too surprised to see CSKA Moscow and Metallurg Magnitogorsk win their openers, versus Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and Barys Astana respectively, although the Magnitogorsk fans will be hoping that whatever illness kept Sergei Mozyakin out of the lineup today is of short duration. Ak Bars Kazan, meanwhile, captured home-ice advantage with an opening-game overtime victory over Avangard in Omsk, while Dynamo Moscow provided the big early shock with an overtime win in St. Petersburg against SKA. 3-2 was the final in that one, with Maxim Karpov scoring all three goals for Dynamo.
Our attention this evening, however, is on the post-season happenings in the VHL (previously updated here) and the MHL, the latter of whose regular season just finished up. Read on!
It was not only the KHL that set sail into 2016-17’s post-season waters this past week; the second-tier VHL has also embarked on its playoff journey. Read on, as we take a quick look at that league’s first round, and at a couple of other playoff-related items as well.