Following Sunday’s dramatic match in Magnitogorsk, in which the 2015 champion, SKA Saint Petersburg, sealed victory in the Gagarin Cup final series with a 5-3 win at the home of the 2014 and 2016 champion, Metallurg, KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko congratulated the 2017 Gagarin Cup winners and gave his views on the final and on the 2016-17 KHL Championship:
“I think few would deny this final was a fine contest. Of course, we would all have liked it to have continued a little longer, but in today’s game as in every game of the series we have been treated to a close and uncompromising battle. We should give due thanks to Metallurg for fighting right to the very end. And in this duel between two champions, everyone was a winner - particularly the fans, with their boundless passion. The final was the jewel in the season’s crown, and it is hard to imagine a more dramatic way to clinch the title than with an exciting victory at the home of the Gagarin Cup holders and reigning champions. We can all imagine the joy of those who were at the Arena Metallurg and of the people in Petersburg right now.
It has been a long season: nearly 200 days, with more than 750 games. We all put in a great deal of hard work, and I would like to thank all the fans for their devotion to hockey, the greatest game of all. And we congratulate SKA on becoming champion of the ninth season of the KHL. This season was the most fascinating of all, and next year’s may well turn out to be even better. For the third successive year, interest among the public has been immense – close to six million people went to KHL matches - and in terms of television ratings, the Championship enjoyed yet another record season. I thank all our colleagues, and all have noted how the quality and professionalism of the broadcasters and commentators continues to improve and grow. I hope our tenth season will be just as captivating”