A very interesting season we can look forward to already despite the fact that it has just begun, and it is too early to make any wider conclusion for each team’s destiny.
I had some doubts about Kovalchuck and how he’ll take on the actions this year, with valid and strong reasons.
Mostly because of his conduct of behaviour that forced him off the ice under then-coach Zubov.
>>> One can imagine that new coach Znarok is the kind of person that won’t allow any goofy manners because he has a team to run and that’s a huge responsibility, especially when the team is SKA St. Petersburg and the employer and owner of the team are Roman Rotenberg.
I can myself imagine that Znarok has been talking through one or two things with Rotenberg and Kovalchuck, how it’s going to be like this season, and yes, it’s pure speculation, but I like to believe that Znarok is strong enough to say “Take it or leave it, but I am the coach”.
At least we have detected already that there are some changes since the springtime, major or minor, but changes nonetheless.
Kovie the man started this season with a hat trick against Salavat Yulaev Ufa and has found his mate on the ice that he can lean on, the “youngster” himself, Mr. Pavel Datsyuk who has returned to European hockey and the KHL.
That’s a very promising start for Kovie and SKA, and we have reasons to expect that there is more to come.
>>> I can admit that I’ve been negative on Kovie but as I said: I had a very good reason to be.
With that said, I can only bow and applaud if it turns out that he’ll be one of the best in the league in 2016-17.
Enough rant about that and hereby I leave SKA, Kovie, and the games for a moment and talk instead about the league itself and its future because I came across a very important statement from the KHL president Chernyshenko himself.
First of all, we have all read thousands of articles of all sorts about the KHL ever since the very beginning.
A lot of hockey writers from everywhere –including myself- have doubted the KHL’s future and expected that they will fall like a house of cards.
The biggest gathered and the most common criticism in a very short version:
>>> Nobody in the league seems to be serious enough to run a league that is supposed to be at least the second-best in the world.
And, it didn’t help the cause that Putin and Russia invaded Crimea and started a more civil-war-like situation in Eastern Ukraine where many pro-Russians live.
That’s the saddest part of the KHL, that they are so connected with politics, and being punished because of that.
However, I can also sense a bright future as well. We have experienced the expansion to China, which is a good thing I think, for the KHL and for the Chinese hockey.
But, there is one thing that I and probably more have been waiting for, and here comes the very statement that might secure the KHL as league in the future and their status:
(Image courtesy: @Vorkywh24 on Twitter)
Take the last lines and think about it what it means.
Maybe if there is serious interest from strong, established clubs, which radically improve our product, we can consider a system of rotation where weaker clubs are replaced by stronger one.
Well, I can’t interpret for you, my dear reader, but for me, it means that they are after all very serious about the league and that they have somehow realized that they must replace some teams that are not so strong or don’t attract so many people, or will never have a chance to win.
To the last: you may take it as you wish, but I find this also to be a very vital declaration from the president Chernyshenko that there is a future for the league and there is no more space for any odd actions from anyone involved in the league.
Let’s see if this is true in the long run, at least I hope that it is.
Go on, then, and let your intent be seriousness.
25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event
The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.
Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.
At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.
The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.
Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.
I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”
In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”
And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,
Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”
Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”
Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”
Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”
Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”
Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”
About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.
The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.
Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23
Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.
“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.
Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”
Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl
It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.
A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.
Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic , As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.
The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.
In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”. Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?
I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.
Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.
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