The Kontinental Hockey League has held a board meeting, with three issues dominating the agenda: confirming the venue for the League’s next Junior Draft, changes to the KHL regulations, and changes to the length of the ban imposed on Vityaz forward Jeremy Yablonski.
The next KHL Junior Draft will be on the 25th and 26th of May, 2012. KHL President Alexander Medvedev suggested staging the Draft in Chelyabinsk, and considering the corresponding request from the mayor of the city, Stanislav Mosharov, and the contribution Chelyabinsk hockey has made in the raising and developing of young hockey talent, the Board unanimously agreed that the 2012 Junior Draft shall take place in Chelyabinsk. For the first day there are plans to hold a series of celebratory events featuring young players at the top of the KHL Central Scouting Bureau’s rankings, while the Draft itself will take place on day two of the event.
KHL Hockey Operations Vice-President Vladimir Shalayev addressed the second item, regarding changes to the disciplinary rules - in particular the automatic one-game ban and fine imposed on a player on the second and each following occasion he receives a five-minute penalty for fighting. If one of two players punished for fighting is penalized for being the instigator or the aggressor of the fight, then his opponent no longer receives an automatic ban.
The rationale behind the change is to prevent attempts by teams to force advantageous penalties against other teams’ players by provoking a brawl. The change should ensure that when a player is forced or provoked into brawling, he is not punished as severely as the aggressor or instigator of the fight.
The third item concerned a written appeal by the club Vityaz against the League’s decision to disqualify Jeremy Yablonski from playing for the remainder of the regular season, which was a punishment for his behavior in the notorious match against Traktor of the 26th of November 2011. After careful consideration, the KHL has decided to reduce the term of the ban to 15 games. As Yablonski’s ban has already passed the 15-game mark, he is free to resume playing for Vityaz from this moment.