That’s right fans, we may have to turn to Russia in order to quench our thirst for hockey. I have been keeping an eye out for news involving the KHL and star players from the NHL lately, since there really is no sign of a lockout solution. The biggest news in the hockey world this weekend was the Kovi vs. Ovi showdown in Russia. The game featured two of the NHL’s biggest stars, Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk, with Ovechkin playing for Dynamo Moscow and Kovalchuk donning an SKA Saint Petersburg uniform. Watching the highlights of this game was much like watching an NHL game recap. Besides small details such as the lack of a trapezoid and the Olympic-sized rink, everything seemed very like any hockey I would watch here, if not better. The skill level was high; defense was played physically, forwards were big, goalies were big and fast, and the speed of the game was tremendous. Even on a bigger rink, the game was played at a speed that would rival some NHL playoff and rivalry games. Granted, we can’t see these games live or in full, but hockey enthusiasts can find recap videos such as the one linked above on Youtube.
Of course, there is one bit of news that is not quite set in stone yet, but it gives us in the United States and Canada hope that we may be able to see our stars playing in a hockey league that currently may be the most successful hockey league in the world. As the scheduled start of the NHL season creeps closer without a CBA agreement, more and more people are asking for KHL hockey, and whether we will be able to see any games here. Of course, it does not matter whether the United States and Canada want to broadcast games from Russia on their stations or not until the KHL grants permission in the first place. This should be comforting though:
At present, the American media are interested primarily in showing games featuring Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and other locked out NHL stars, so current talks are focused on coverage of games featuring Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Dynamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow and SKA Saint Petersburg. – Via en.khl.ru
So, the above quote mentions “current talks” which implies that conversations about this possibility may be active. I do not expect American and Canadian networks to ever air these games, but it would definitely be a pleasant surprise to all NHL fans if they did. Of course, the next option is to move to Russia.
On another note, I would like to revisit the incident during last year involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team flight. I feel as though it wouldn’t be appropriate to write an article around the KHL without sending condolences and acknowledging the rebuilding of the team. The incident occurred way back when I was just beginning to blog on my own, using an uncommon website called Twitwall. I remember writing a blog on the topic a little while after I heard what had happened:
As many of you know, an entire team of hockey players in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) in Russia was involved in a devastating plane crash earlier today. All but one of the players was killed. Now, I was planning on posting a more in depth article of the story itself, but it makes me feel sick the more I read about it. My thoughts and prayers go out to the players and their families and friends. – Initial reaction via Twitwall
Even now, more than a year after the tragedy, it still makes me feel terribly sick and nauseous. I get chills, and I cannot imagine the horror of not only just the family members of those on the plane, but the fans of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. This is something that could, quite honestly, happen anywhere. As humans, we tend to not believe something of this magnitude could ever have an affect on us directly until it happens.
The details on the rememberence of the KHL team in our culture (United States, Canada) can be found here.
We must remember that tragedy can occur anywhere and can affect anyone. We all should take the time to appreciate what we have currently in our lives, and find as much happiness in that as possible. In this incident, it was not just the close family and friends of 37 hockey players that experienced a loss – it was the entire city.
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