The Bench Bosses: Kharlamov Division


Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and some of his Ak Bars Kazan players.  (Image Source)

We have now arrived at the third of our posts on KHL coaches as the 2017-18 season gets closer, and this time we are investigating the Kharlamov Division of the East Conference.  Read on, for experienced coaches, infamous coaches (well, one infamous coach), and the like!

Read the rest of this entry

Women’s Hockey Update: June 12th, 2017


Anna Shokhina receives the Women’s Hockey League’s 2016-17 Best Player award from former USSR national teamer Alexander Yakushev.  (Image Source)

After a fairly quiet stretch going back to mid-May, it is time for another women’s hockey update!  The 2017-18 women’s hockey picture in Russia is becoming clearer, largely as a result of some meetings involving Women’s Hockey League and Russian Hockey Federation executives.  Read on, then, for news of a league format change, some notes on the upcoming international season, and other such matters.

Read the rest of this entry

A Mess at Dynamo Moscow

Хоккей. КХЛ. Матч "Трактор" - "Динамо" (Москва)

Dynamo Moscow celebrate their 2012-13 Gagarin Cup triumph.  Sadly, the famous old team now finds itself far adrift from those happy days.  (Image Source)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, incoming Dynamo Moscow head coach Vladimir Vorobyov is stepping into a mess at the storied team, first-ever hockey champions of the USSR back in 1947.  In a way, it’s no big surprise — rumours of Dynamo’s financial exigency having been rolling about for a year or more now.  Recently, however, there seem to have been some even more serious developments.  Dynamo lost control of their training base at Novogorsk due to non-payment of the lease, and that was quickly followed by rumours of the folding of their VHL farm club, defending Bratina Cup champions Dynamo Balashikha.  Looming over all of this is the team’s debt, pegged at a whopping sum just shy of 1.9 billion Rubles (about $45 million Canadian) — including about 730 million Rubles owed to players.  And then last week the team’s offices were raided by anti-corruption police, who confiscated documents related to accounting.

So what exactly is the situation, and why?  Read on, for an examination of that, and some discussion of possible remedies.

Read the rest of this entry

The Bench Bosses: Tarasov Division


A nice moment between head coaches Valery Belov (Vityaz Moscow Oblast, left) and Oleg Znarok (SKA St. Petersburg) after SKA eliminated Vityaz from this season’s KHL playoffs.  Znarok we discussed last time — this time around it’s Belov’s turn!  (Image Source)

Time to continue on with our look at the coming season’s KHL coaches!  Last time out, we dealt with the Bobrov Division, and for this piece we stay in the West Conference to see who will be behind the benches of the Tarasov Division teams.  Read on!

Read the rest of this entry

The Bench Bosses: Bobrov Division


A famous player in his day, Sandis Ozoliņš will embark upon his head-coaching career in 2017-18.  (Image Source)

We are now just a month or so away from the beginning of the 2017-18 KHL pre-season training camps.  Thus we are beginning to get some clarity concerning the men who will behind the benches in this upcoming campaign, so perhaps it is time to take a closer look at those under-pressure figures.  We will begin in the West Conference, with the six teams of the Bobrov Division — read on!

Read the rest of this entry

Guest Post: The KHL’s Strategic Plan


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!

Read the rest of this entry

Decision Day


The KHL prepares for the 2016-17 Awards Ceremony.  Before that, however, there was momentous news from the league itself…  (Image Source)

It might be necessary to make some unpopular decisions,” said KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko yesterday, after a meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.  Today, the league’s own Board of Directors met, and some thunderous decisions were indeed made — popular or unpopular, depending on one’s point of view.  Read on, for a quick and preliminary look at those, and also some news of the KHL’s annual awards ceremony, which also happened today!

Read the rest of this entry

Wrapping Up the 2017 Worlds


Russian players and staff pose after today’s bronze medal game win over Finland. (Image Source)

The 2017 edition of the IIHF Men’s World Championship came to an end today, as Sweden defeated Canada 2-1 in a shootout to win their tenth gold medal.  That was in Paris — a little ways north and east, in Köln, Germany, Team Russia was taking Finland for bronze, and to extend their medal streak at this tournament to four years.  How did it go?  You can check the caption of the picture above, but also read on for the whole story, and for some thoughts about Russia’s performance at the tournament in general.

Read the rest of this entry

Women’s Hockey Update: May 19th, 2017


The Oka River (left) meets the Volga at Nizhny Novgorod, which was announced today as the host city of the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship.  (Image Source)

Much news this week in Russian women’s hockey, starting with some very exciting tidings on the international hockey scene!  Read on, however, as we also have the conclusion to the amateur women’s hockey season in Russia, transfers news, and other such items (including an update on a kitten…).

Read the rest of this entry

Chernyshenko Talks Tough


KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko. (Image Source)

As Team Russia trundles along at the World Championship (today’s 3-0 win over Czechia booked a Saturday semi-final date with old rivals Canada), the KHL has been moving forward with its plans for next season and beyond.  The league’s top executives met on Tuesday, and the end product was some blunt speech from KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko on the subject of contraction, team debt, and the like.  Read on, for some choice quotes from Chernyshenko, and some discussion thereof.

Read the rest of this entry