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KHL Teams Clean Up On Lockout

Published: September 26, 2012 (Issue # 1728)


Kontinental Hockey League teams started bolstering their rosters with locked-out players from the U.S. National Hockey League last week.

Local team SKA St. Petersburg signed New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk and Columbus Blues goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin signed with his former team Dinamo Moscow and Pittsburg Penguins star Yevgeny Malkin signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, along with Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar and Nikolai Kulemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs. CSKA Moscow picked up Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk and Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

KHL President Alexander Medvedev said in a statement that as the NHL and the NHL Players Association had failed to reach a new agreement, the NHL officially implemented a lockout on Sept. 15, meaning the associations players currently have no legal obligations to their employers. In accordance with International Ice Hockey Federation rules, the KHL completed the relevant transfer cards and decided to allow the NHL players to participate in the KHL from Sept. 20.

The lockout signings generated a lot of buzz for SKAs much needed 3-1 win against Dinamo Moscow last Sunday night in Moscow in a game that was billed as a showdown between Kovalchuk and Ovechkin.

The win in Moscow ends SKAs four-game road trip, which they split with two tough losses to Metallurg Magnitogorsk (4-3) and league newcomer Slovan Bratislava (4-2) and a 3-2 win against Traktor Chelyabinsk.

SKA has had an inconsistent start to the season with a 2-1 loss to Avangard Omsk, a 7-3 win over Barys Astana and a 7-5 victory against Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk.

SKA has retained the explosive and high-scoring offense that has thrilled fans for the past few seasons. Fan favorite Patrick Thoresen leads the league with 10 points and Gleb Klimenko is the scoring leader with six goals. However, they have also conceded the most goals.

SKA head coach Milos Riha made it clear the team has a number of things to work on.

I think the biggest problem is the lack of a natural center, he said following the home match against Yugra.

Weve tried a number of things and this is something that well work on going forward. The season is still young and were still in the process of completing our roster.

Some have argued that were one of the strongest teams in the league, but I dont see it that way. A number of teams have loaded up with good players and we really need to come together as team if were going to win, he added.

The KHL has expanded to 26 teams for the 2012-2013 season. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl returned after missing last season due to the tragic plane crash that killed most of the team in September 2011, and the leagues expansion was completed with the addition of Slovan Bratislava from Slovakia and HC Donbass from Donetsk, Ukraine. Meanwhile Slovakias Lev Poprad was disbanded and replaced by Lev Praha, a team based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Twenty of the teams are based in Russia and six more are located in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Slovakia and Ukraine.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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