Category Archives: VHL

2019-20 Schedules Released for the MHL and VHL

Loko Yaroslavl, 2018-19 Kharlamov Cup Champions in the MHL. (Image Source)

There is more and more detailed info about the 2019-20 hockey season in Russia coming our way all the time now, but today was particularly news-ful. We now have the 2019-20 schedule for the junior-age MHL and the revised calendar for the second-tier professional VHL. Read on, for some details on what each league will look like this coming season!

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Late to the Dance

HK Rostov celebrate the 2018-19 Federations Cup, the championship of Russia’s third-tier men’s professional league. (Image Source)

Well, this is an odd one. Just a week ago, the VHL, Russia’s second-highest men’s professional league, rolled out its format and its schedule for 2019-20, along with a team-list of 32 clubs, including one re-located team and three new arrivals. Everything seemed set, until today, when the VHL announced that two MORE teams will be joining the league for the upcoming season! Read on, for the details…

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All Change in the VHL

Saryarka Karaganda celebrate their 2018-19 Petrov Cup triumph. (Image Source)

The 2019-20 picture in the VHL, Russia’s second-highest men’s professional league, became a lot clearer today with the release of this coming campaign’s schedule and season format (both links are PDFs, in Russian). The quest for the Petrov Cup will begin on September 5th in the traditional fashion, with 2018-19 champions Saryarka Karaganda hosting last season’s beaten finalists Rubin Tyumen. However, after that traditional opening, the VHL season will look quite different compared to previous editions, so read on for further details!

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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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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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Highlights of Saryarka Karaganda’s Game 5 victory in the Petrov Cup Final, and of the trophy presentation.

We must admit that Saryarka Karaganda’s five-game win over Rubin in the Petrov Cup Final in the VHL, Russia’s second-tier men’s professional league, lacked the drama of Loko Yaroslavl’s Kharlamov Cup triumph (discussed here yesterday). However, it carries its own interesting story. The stunning thing about Saryarka lifting the Petrov Cup is that they came into the playoffs as the tenth seed (the VHL does not have Conferences), and yet by the time the Final against the fourth seed rolled around, the Kazakh club was not only still standing, but was the betting favourite. What happened? Read on…

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A Championship Day!

Agidel Ufa celebrate their second straight championship of the Women’s Hockey League! (Image Source)

This was a busy day indeed in Russian hockey! As the Russian Girls’ U16 team was picking up its second win in two games at the European Cup (6-1 over Hungary this time), no fewer than three Russian leagues saw their 2018-19 champions determined. Read on for a few quick details, and a related blog note.

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Finals Week in 2019! (Updated)

Saryarka Karaganda players celebrate after their remarkable performance in the VHL semifinal. (Image Source)

The KHL’s 2019 Gagarin Cup Final is set! The trophy will get a first-time name on it this season one way or the other, as CSKA Moscow get set to take on Avangard Omsk Oblast. And there will be a full preview of that series here in a couple of days. But for now, it is time to check in on the playoff doings in a number of other Russian men’s leagues, junior and senior — Read on, for a look at the approaching championships in the VHL, PVHL, MHL, and NMHL!

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Coming Attractions

The Russian women’s national team arrives in Krasnoyarsk for the 2019 Winter Universiade.
 (Image Source)

This will be a busy weekend in Russian hockey! Post-season play in the VHL commenced on Thursday, to join the KHL’s ongoing playoffs. And on Friday, the 2019 edition of the biennial Winter Universiade opens in Krasnoyarsk, in central Siberia. The KHL’s playoffs we discussed earlier in the week (and my prediction for the SKA-Spartak series is looking a tad… wrong, at the moment); read on for some talk about the VHL post-season and the upcoming Universiade!

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VHL Storylines

SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, your current VHL standings leaders, prepare for a December game against league newcomers HK Tambov. Left to right: Kirill Petkov, Daniil Ogirchuk, Vladislav Kurbatov, Ivan Volodin, Alexei Kruchinin, and Artyom Zemchyonok. (Image Source)

One level below the KHL lies the VHL (the Vysshaya Khokkeinaya Liga, usually translated as “Supreme Hockey League”), which includes the top professional farm teams of the KHL clubs; this is the Russian equivalent, more-or-less, of the North American AHL. And how has the VHL’s 2018-19 season been rolling along? Well, read on, for some of the stories that the league has generated this season, and for some players whose names may ring a bell with North American fans (and please note that all stats and standings notes are up to date through February 2nd).

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