Stone Flower starts
The traditional preseason tournament in Yekaterinburg, the Stone Flower, has begun. The first day’s play saw Avangard defeat Barys 3-1, with Cervenka (2) and Nesterov replying for the Omsk men after Bumagin gave Barys the lead, and Sibir beat Avtomobilist 2-1, with Lehtera and Enlund scoring for the victors and Subbotin on target for the hosts.

Captain Dmitry
Leading Atlant out onto the ice in the new season will be forward Dmitry Upper, chosen for the role by secret ballot. The alternative captains will be Alexei Kovalev and Janne Niskala.

Forward Alexei Shkotov is in the hunt for a new team after Spartak general manager Andrei Yakovenko announced that the club is canceling the player’s contract. Last season Alexei played in 34 games, scored two goals and made 11 assists. He had also enjoyed spells in the KHL with Salavat Yulaev and Sibir.

Strictly business
Roman Rotenberg, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development at SKA Saint Petersburg, has underlined that the club will focus sharply on earning money during the coming season. In particular, hockey memorabilia will go on sale in soccer team Zenit’s club shop, and several more outlets will be opened around the Ice Palace.

Farm club
Lower league hockey club Ryazan has become the farm club for Vityaz of the KHL. The signed agreement lasts until the 30th of April 2012, and already Ryazan’s roster has been strengthened by the arrival of Ivan Larin, Sergei Denisov, Yaroslav Tulyakov and Sergei Goncharov.

Work experience
Forward Danil Yerdakov, officially registered to Lokomotiv, has been transferred to the Yaroslavl side’s farm club. He will begin the new season playing in the lower league, the VHL, for Sokol of Krasnoyarsk. Last season Danil wore the colors of Chelyabinsk outfit Mechel. Also on his way to the VHL is Metallurg Novokuznetsk defenseman Valery Dydykin, who will start the new season at Yermak of Angarsk.

Wounded knee
Ak Bars forward Evgeny Skachkov will miss the start of the season in September, as he is facing an operation on his knee. Evgeny picked up the injury during the Romazan Memorial tournament in Magnitogorsk and is now waiting for the doctors’ verdict.

Quote of the day
“For all that he differs from Stumpel: he lifts the spirits of the guys on the bench, he treats everyone the same, and he knows English and Russian,” – Dinamo Minsk head coach Marek Sykora on Jaroslav Obsut’s appointment as team captain.

Alexei Shevchenko, special to

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