The big battle
The Romazan Memorial Tournament got under way in Magnitogorsk today. All the headlines were grabbed by the game between Vityaz and Salavat Yulaev, which finished in a 4-11 thrashing of the Chekhov men, who also contrived to earn themselves 175 minutes of penalties for brawling. In the day’s other match the hosts, Metallurg, were 3-1 winners over Yugra of Khanty-Mansiysk, with three of the game’s four goals scored in power play.
Dynamo humbled at home
Moscow was the venue for a friendly game between Dynamo and Severstal, which was won 4-3 by the Cherepovets men. On target for the victors were Lehtonen, Ketov, Nurtdinov and Tsvetkov, while for Dynamo Komarov scored two and ex-Severstal man Soin added another.
Sibir humbled in Finland
The Novosibirk men’s preseason training trip to Finland is coming to a close, and in their final game of the tour Andrei Tarasenko’s team was defeated 2-3 by Pelicans after a shootout. Enlund and Petrasek scored Sibir’s goals, and Bernd Bruckler guarded the net.
Clean sheet in Riga
Lokomotiv’s new goaltender Stefan Liv achieved the first shutout of this year’s Latvian Railway Cup. The Swede stayed unbeaten in the match against Atlant, which was settled by a single goal from Andrei Kiryuhin. The game between Dinamo Riga and Neftekhimik was a higher-scoring affair, producing five goals, but unfortunately for the local fans it was a 2-3 defeat of the hosts. On Thursday yet another KHL team enters the fray - Dinamo Minsk,
Business with Europe
The first official KHL store on European soil has opened in Riga. The shop will trade at normal business hours, and not just during Dinamo’s games. Merchandise for every KHL club will be available, and on the first day’s trading even a Vityaz sweater was purchased, despite it being more expensive than the others.
Spartak’s foreign imports Ivan Baranka and Stefan Ruzicka have signed two-year extensions to their contracts. Last season Ruzicka the forward notched up 32 points from 47 games, while Baranka the defenseman collected 17 from 50.
Ins and outs
Avtomobilist continue to strengthen the roster. The Yekaterinburg men have signed a contract with CSKA defenseman Stefan Stepanov, who made his KHL debut last season. However, defender Evgeny Dubrovin’s time at Avtomobilist is over, and he is on his way to Rubin of Tyumen.
Forward Juraj Mikus recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, having been the surplus foreigner at Spartak, but the Slovak has now gone home to join the KHL’s newest club – Lev of Slovakia.
Attacker Denis Kochetkov, who spent last season with both Dinamo Minsk and Torpedo, is off to join Ukrainian Premier League side Donbass. Last season the forward’s account stood at 4 goals in 32 games.
Investing in youth
Metallurg Novokuznetsk are not only acquiring experienced players, they are also bringing in youngsters. Expected to sign very soon is forward Vladimir Yantsen, who last season played for Loko in the youth league, scoring 12 goals in 36 games.
Quote of the day
“We’re searching for players everywhere, even Papua New Guinea. The only ones that pop up now are those Europeans who expected an offer from the NHL and didn’t get one. In Europe everything is signed and sealed, which just leaves those who have a get-out clause in their contracts,” - Metallurg Novokuznetsk general manager Leonid Weissfeld on the club’s selection policy.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru