On the 29th of September, at a press conference following Avangard Omsk’s 4-1 victory over Amur, the Khabarovsk team’s head coach, Hannu Jortikka, claimed his team was experiencing permanent fatigue due to excessive travel, and cited as an example his team’s tour on the road of Nizhnekamsk – Chekhov – Minsk – Cherepovets – Khabarovsk (a journey, it should be noted, which does not take place until January) and also the November round trip to Novokuznetsk and Novosibirsk.
The sentiments expressed by the coach of the Far East club, widely quoted in the media, could give fans the impression that the KHL championship schedule for the 2012-13 season is poorly put together and presents a clear obstacle to Amur achieving optimum results.
The Kontinental Hockey League would like to officially state that it has never ignored Amur’s problems concerning the vast distances between Khabarovsk and the cities where other KHL clubs are based. In fact, when creating a schedule for any season, the League’s experts work extremely hard to minimize the inconvenience suffered by the Khabarovsk men in having to cover such distances.
Naturally, the schedule must also take into account the interests of the Russian national team and of the other clubs participating in the KHL.
Over the course of this season both Sibir Novosibirsk and Metallurg Novokuznetsk face arduous journeys similar to those of Amur.
Regarding Amur’s trips on the road, moreover, the schedule has granted Hannu Jortikka’s team ample time in which to rest and recuperate on its return: four days after the games against Dynamo Moscow and SKA, three days after the games in Novokuznetsk and Novosibirsk, and four days after January’s tour of Nizhnekamsk, Chekhov, Minsk and Cherepovets – a journey which should present no insurmountable problems if the club uses charter flights.
Scrutiny of Amur’s schedule for the season demonstrates that there is no basis for Mr. Jortikka’s complaints. Furthermore, the head coach’s claim that “some people in the KHL office believe Amur has no place in this League,” is a slur on the honor, integrity and professional reputation of the League’s employees and brings the name of the KHL into disrepute.
On the basis of the above and in accordance with the KHL Disciplinary Regulations, the League has decided to impose a financial penalty on Amur hockey club.