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One of the longest summers breaks I ever had this year. Felt very good for the spirit.

Normally, whatever that’s supposed to mean, I’d be glued to the front of the TV and watching the Olympics but I’d chosen to stay away.

Some more words about the Olympics, from a sport and historical view: it has been a blessing to have seen Usain Bolt, for example, taking the 9th gold of nine attempts during three Olympic Games.

>>>From another angle, I have felt sick after reading about all the doping cases; it felt that there was or there is no end of it.

Honestly, how amusing is that? I suppose the answer is more obvious than crystal clear, in other words: not that much.

I mean, I can’t turn and look away from that clear fact of how much the doping has destroyed the fun and the sportsmanship in each sport where there has been a case.

And, think that no one can and every possible thinking and feeling sport interested human feels the same.

The Olympic commission has a Mount Everest of issues to deal with, that is for sure and I am not envious.

Well, that’s that and enough ranting about the Olympics.

I took also a vacation from the hockey but I have been awake enough to notice –as we all somehow suspected before the end of the last season – that we do have a Chinese team in the KHL-circus, a Chinese team for the first time on this level.

Good or bad?

Well, I have been saying this a lot before and I find it worth mentioning it again:

I find it great that the hockey as a sport expands to other countries. We need more contributing countries in one way or another at the highest levels. There is no other way to make the sport grow.

Las Vegas, for example, is also a big thing but that is inside the United States. It would have been another thing if Bettman & Co. had expanded the NHL to Mexico, but they haven’t done so (yet?).

In this case, the KHL made a huge deal for their account and for the league. Perhaps bigger than the Las Vegas deal?

In Beijing and Shanghai, there is a load of people, which means a huge hockey market and the magic word in a business world: money.

If this also means a growth for the Chinese hockey players and the domestic hockey in China as well, that would be an awesome bonus, but we’ll see what happens.

As I said before, where there are people, there is potential, and hockey needs people.

Well, the hockey season in the KHL rises again where it set last, with the last season’s epic final battle between Magnitogorsk and CSKA.

I think Magnitogorsk will be up there at the top and fighting for the title as last year, as I don’t see any reason for them to let the position go as the powerhouse of the east, but what about CSKA?

It has been a tough thing to deal with the fact that they have been so close in recent seasons, and they were closer than ever and for the first time had the hands on the Cup and medals. But, Magnitogorsk has learned how to steal and they stole the title from CSKA like the foxes they are.

Are they ready to fight for the title for real another season or do they try to refresh themselves and find new winning formations in a longer perspective?

Time will reveal the answer to those questions.

I was also thinking about the word “evidence”.

You see, I am as interested in the changes in a single game as I am in trends and the change of them in a longer run, and I try therefore seek the answer why  team rises or falls during the season.

The most obvious trend last season was the fall, rise, and fall again of the SKA Petersburg. And, the most obvious evidence for such a roller-coaster voyage as they had was one single player, Ilya Kovalchuk.

If the same route continues for the SKA and Kovie this year, we’ll see, but I’d like to believe that the map for this season is clear where new roads will be drawn and new events will happen.

Yes, it is a new season, new traces and evidence.

Notable coming and ongoing hockey highlights:

  1. The KHL season
  2. The Champions hockey league, the group stage
  3. The World Cup in Toronto.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.


Michael Phelps at





About The Author

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

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