With the summer vacations over and the start of the 2016-17 Championship looming on the horizon, the time has come for the coaches to put their theories into practice and see how their new players, combinations, tactics and formations fare in the real world against determined opposition. In short, it is preseason friendly time, and on Thursday four of the League's teams were in action in three different countries across Europe.
The sole all-KHL contest took place in Finland, where Traktor Chelyabinsk made the short trip from its camp in Pajulahti to meet Lokomotiv at the Yaroslavl men's base in Valkeakoski. The game was played in an unusual four-period format, with bosses Anvar Gatiyatulin and Alexei Kudashov both rotating three lines for the first half of the game and introducing a total change of personnel for the remainder. It was the Railwaymen who looked the sharper and they sealed a confidence-boosting 4-0 win, courtesy of goals from Stanislav Chistov, VladislavKartayev, Pavel Kraskovsky and Yegor Korshkov.
Meanwhile, the men of Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk were at camp in Belarus, where a 3-1 defeat at the hands of local side Yunost-Minsk left coach Pavel Yezovskikh with plenty to ponder. Finally, in Moscow, the fourth KHL club in action was Amur Khabarovsk, who earlier in the week had suffered a surprise 3-2 loss to SKA Neva of the VHL. The teams met again on Thursday, but this time the Khabarovsk men exacted revenge with a 5-0 victory.