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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

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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