Three-time champion of Russia and two-time Gagarin Cup holder Alexander Stepanov has become a Severstal player. The Ak Bars forward was not offered a new contract at the end of last season and he has been studying offers from a number of clubs. Various rumors had him moving to Amur, Neftekhimik and Torpedo.

Getting ready
Despite having a day off, several Atlant players nonetheless turned up in Mytischi for individual training. According to the club’s official website, Kovalev, Zherdev, Musatov, Lewandowski and Kotschnew were all hard at work in the gym. On the 7th of September the Opening Cup awaits, and flying with the team to Ufa will be young defenseman Roman Rukavishnikov.

Charity visit
On Tuesday Barys players will visit youngsters from the Astana children’s psychoneurological socio-medical institution and will give out presents to the patients. The visit was initiated by the players themselves.

Youth gets a chance
On Monday Dinamo Riga resumed training, and stepping up into the first team were youngsters Roberts Bukarts, Ainars Podzins and Miks Indrasis. The latter has an excellent chance of playing in the first game of the regular season, as forward Janis Sprukts will be out through injury and Miks was the top scorer in the recent World Junior Club Cup in Omsk.

Defensemen sign
Dinamo Minsk has agreed terms with one of the strongest of Belarusian defensemen, Vladimir Denisov, and signed him on a two-year contract. And Oleg Goroshko, at the Minsk club on a tryout, has been given a full contract.

Sibir also signed a defenseman, Valery Pokrovsky, who spent last season in the colors of Amur.

Not for sale
In Yaroslavl the sale of season tickets has been suspended. Due to the city hosting its annual international political forum, the box office at the Arena-2000 will be closed on the 7th and 8th of September, but after those days the ticket sales will resume.

Mission statement
Metallurg Novokuznetsk players met their supporters today, and at the event city mayor Valery Smolevo set a target for the team this season – to perform better than in the previous campaign. This means finishing the regular season in at least a play-off place.

Fines and punishment
The heads of all the KHL clubs gathered at the KHL’s offices for a meeting today. It emerged that SKA face punishment for playing 11 friendly games instead of the 10 permitted, and that five clubs - SKA, Salavat Yulaev, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Ak Bars and Avangard - are to be fined for exceeding the salary cap.

Foreign officials
Further news from the same meeting: there will be two foreign referees working in the League on a permanent basis during the coming season - Slovakia’s Vladimir Baluska and Finland’s Juri Renn.

Quote of the day
“I’m pleased the team is working, and that we got through the preseason without any serious injuries. It’s a shame that for some reason we picked up a huge amount of penalties,” – SKA head coach Milos Riha, on the preparations for the new season.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to


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