As usual, it has been a quite busy silly season this summer before all starts for real. We’ve seen some exclusive trades or sign-ups: for example, Kirill Kaprizov, the Russian kid of wonder, signed for CSKA Moscow as the next step of his career.
Another good example is the German equivalent, Leon Draisaitl, who will continue his career with the Edmonton Oilers for many years ahead now.
However, as we know, there are no guarantees for success no matter how much money you spend on a single player or a bunch of players that you really think or hope will bring glory days to the organization.
There are other factors in the calculations too that might make your team become champions, end up decently when looking at the table after the season, or fall down to the bottom.
Lucky for the KHL or/and the NHL teams that there are no relegation games as in some other leagues, but, on the other hand, there is always the pressure to deliver somehow.
Certainly, that is true, if the organization is more renowned than another and expected to be at the top year by year, and a fifth place or whatever is considered a “disaster”.
In the KHL, they have tightened the pressure to deliver financially and some of the teams have been removed from the KHL for this season, Medveṧčak and Metallurg Novokuznetsk. The first will find their luck in the Austrian based Erste Bank League and the other in the Russian 2nd division, the VHL.
The numbers of teams have been cut down and will continue to be cut down, to secure some sort of quality of the league and in the teams.
If I must comment those moves, I hope that non-Russian clubs are given more space to shine, if the KHL is serious about the plans to make it a pan-league.
However, I have chosen to be away from the silly season, only occasionally reading the news or reports if something especially important has happened. The reason for that is that I have noticed myself that I feel more excitement and keep less illusionary expectations when the season starts.
I can understand indeed the excitement to see which players are transferred, put up on waivers, or resigned. But, I feel that it blurs my view as well and too much sometimes, therefore my choice to step aside as soon as the World championship is over and regain some new perspectives from other sources of life.
You may call it keeping an open mind for a new season.
Another reason as well may be that I am more interested in the game itself, not in the players on the first hand but in how the coaching formats the team’s game on the ice, and what kind of replies may come if they are pushed back by the other team.
Or if they have the strength to push through the season and reach as high a position as possible, according to their resources.
But, if you want a really excellent read about all the KHL teams, I can warmly recommend the eminent Patrick Conway, one of the best Russian hockey experts you may find outside Russia.
I am myself looking quite much forward to the Olympic Games. I know, I know, it is still a long time until then, but it will be interesting to see what kind of a game the teams will present without the NHL-stars.
However, I can’t really understand why the organization of the NHL refuses to let the best players in the world play for the Korean audience. Some say it is about insurance blah, blah, blah.
Let me make this clear though and once for all, that I am not a businessman in any sense as I can hardly sell candy to a smirking child with three upper-teeth, but I’d see letting the NHL players play in the Olympics as an investment for the future.
I’d like to add the comment that: Future means long-term and patience. The latter is one of the most important tools we lack today as it seems, as we all want it now and in a hurry, no matter the consequences of such short thinking.
And, I am not saying that half of the Korean country will run to the closest gear store and buy sticks and skates, but I am quite positive that someone’s eye will shine and he or she will take the first steps into the game, perhaps become the best Korean player of all times, and that might mean a lot for the coming generation of hockey players.
But that’s just me…
Nonetheless, the game on the ice in South Korea may be presented by the contributors in the best way possible, surprisingly good.
Well, the KHL season starts on Monday, the rest of the European leagues will follow shortly and then the league of all leagues, the NHL.
There are a lot of questions for the season as you may understand, but I can’t take them all, only some of them:
-Will we see SKA St. Petersburg as champions again? Or will CSKA Moscow finally grab the title after being so close the last three years when they have Kaprizov on the roster now? Or will we see another champion outside of these mentioned teams? How many goals will Mozyakin able to score this season?
-How will the fans receive the European club competition the Champions Hockey League this season, as it was, to put it nicely, lukewarm last season?
-May the Edmonton Oilers be true contenders to the Stanley Cup this season with Draisaitl and McDavid as the tip of the Oil Country’s spear?
Let us see in time how the answers will reveal themselves.
There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier
-Charles Kettering, an American Inventor, 1876-1958.