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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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