Two and a half years after the plane crash that took lives of the entire Lokomotiv KHL team, authorities finished their investigations into the crash, concluding that the flight crew was allowed to fly unlawfully, according to First Yaroslavl TV Channel and Sovetsky Sport.
Investigators performed forensic analysis of all evidence, interviewed hundreds of witnesses of the crash, spoke to the relatives of players and coaches and employees of Yak Service airline that was responsible for the flight. Following the investigation, only one person will be criminally charged as a result of the crash – the former deputy general director of Yak Service airline Vadim Timofeyev. Working at the airline he was responsible for flight operations. The prosecutors are charging Timofeyev with criminal negligence related to safety and operation of a plane.
KHL President Alexander Medvedev has long desired to have Russian stars in the NHL come back home to play for his League. Last summer, Ilya Kovalchuk’s “retirement” followed by his signing with SKA blazed a path for others to follow.
The question being asked now: Would Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin attempt to follow it?
Medvedev, through a KHL spokesman, told ESPN.com earlier this month that, "Per the terms of our memorandum of understanding with the NHL as it relates to respecting player contracts, Ovechkin would only be free to join a KHL club if he negotiates his way out of his existing contract with the Washington club. Should that situation come to pass, I have no doubt there are KHL clubs who would have interest in his services."
In a recent interview with Championat.com, Medvedev went into further detail on Ovechkin and whether or not he’d make the jump to the KHL:
Cam Ward has played just 47 games in the last two seasons for the Carolina Hurricanes due to injuries. This season, he was 10-12-6 with a save percentage of .898. He’ll earn $6.7 million next season and then $6.8 million in 2015-16, after which he’ll become a free agent.
Anton Khudobin was Carolina’s best goalie this season, is three years younger and costs over $4 million against the cap cheaper than Ward.
Khudobin respects Ward. But he also feels like, perhaps, his time is over in Carolina.
“Of course he is a strong goaltender. He is a good goaltender. No one is counting him out. They [Carolina] will decide what to do with him this year, this summer. Maybe he, how can I say, has presented everything he could have,” said Khudobin at a Russian National Team press conference on Monday.
Presented everything he has with Carolina or in the NHL?
“Maybe at this club. Maybe in his career. He has been playing in the NHL since he was 19,” said Khudobin.
This should make for an interesting training camp. Provided Ward is still a Hurricane.
Some additional words from Khudobin:
How do you rate this season?
Anton Belov signed a four year contract in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg. To some it was an unexpected move. For others, Belov could never fulfill the promise that the one-time best KHL defenseman would become a good player for the Edmonton Oilers.
Belov joined the Russian national team in Novogorsk, near Moscow, to get ready for the IIHF World Championships that will take place in Minsk, Belarus beginning May 9. He was asked about his departure from the NHL by Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, who shared the conversation with us.
Why did this move happen? You secured a spot on Edmonton’s roster, played a lot there, and then you decided to come back.
“There is no one reason that made it an abrupt change. It all was building up during the season, especially more so after the Olympics. And the hire of coach Bykov (by SKA) was also an influence. The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach [Dallas Eakins]…”
You were offered a contract?
Henrik Lundqvist on NY Rangers’ Cup chances, John Tortorella vs. Alain Vigneault (Puck Daddy Interview)Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy4 mths ago
Henrik Lundqvist already has a silver medal to his credit this year. Could he add more championship hardware with the New York Rangers this postseason?
I recently caught up with the goalie to discuss the Rangers’ Stanley Cup chances, comparing his current and former coaches, the Sochi Games and how he relaxes in his down time.
Q. You broke quite a few records for the New York Rangers recently, and the ceremony the team held for you was appreciated by every hockey fan.
LUNDQVIST: “It was definitely a special moment in my career. Skating over there, I saw my mom standing there crying. It was hard not to get all emotional. It was just very special for me, to have my family on the ice to share that moment with me was so great on so many levels.”
Would you say this team is the deepest Rangers team in your tenure?
- Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy4 mths ago
Team Russia on Monday named its extended roster – minus NHL players, for now – for the IIHF World Championships that will take place in Minsk in May. Ilya Kovalchuk was one of the names on it. It wasn’t long, though, before Kovalchuk himself ruled himself out, announcing he will have a surgery on his knee in Germany later this week.
Kovalchuk got injured in Sochi in Team Russia’s final group game against Slovakia. He aggravated the injury in Russia’s next game against Norway.
At the time doctors knew that the injury was serious. Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport reports that team doctors even contacted his KHL club SKA to obtain permission for him to play against Finland. Kovalchuk himself insisted he should play saying, “Tell the coaching staff that I want to play. I am ready. And my leg is letting me, I can bend it.”
Kovalchuk scored Russia’s only goal against Finland in a 3-1 loss.
- Puck Daddy4 mths ago
Evgeni Malkin made the media standing outside the Penguins locker room wait for him after the Pittsburgh Penguins' Monday night win in Washington against the Capitals. The pain of losing in Sochi is still present on Malkin’s face every time a question is asked about it. And he doesn’t hold back answering. Malkin talked walking to the team bus on Monday night.
The Washington-Pittsburgh games have lost their luster a little. Don’t you think?
“I don’t know. I think fans still like them. The playoffs will start and if we play against each other I think everything will come back. The season is long, there are a lot of games. And now every time we play against Washington now the hype is not the same. Maybe because Sid had some injuries in the past the draw of this game was lost.”
This is the first time after the Olympics you played against Washington. Did you and Alex Ovechkin talk?
“No. We arrived late last night, and we are leaving right after the game. They are also leaving right away. Maybe we will talk tomorrow. But what’s there to talk about? To remember Sochi?”
- Yahoo Sports5 mths ago
SOCHI, Russia – Julia Lipnitskaia's coach blamed the Russian media's intense coverage of the teen figure skating star for her subpar performance in the Sochi Olympics figure skating competition.
Eteri Tutberidze said reporters bugged the locker room at Lipnitskaia's practice rink in Moscow with listening devices after the 15-year-old left the Winter Games to train for the ladies individual competition. The coach also accused the media of stalking Lipnitskaia's family in her hometown of Nizhny Bardym, a village in the Ural Mountains with a population of just 300.
Tutberidze said the media coverage got so bad that Lipnitskaia had to be evacuated from the practice rink every night to escape reporters. Also, Lipnitskaia had to be booked on numerous flights in order to keep her travel itinerary a secret from the press.
The coach spoke out against the media circus on Thursday after Lipnitskaia fell twice in her long program and finished in fifth place.
"We thought we had a chance here to go back to Moscow to practice at our pace," Tutberidze said. "But journalists just didn't give us a chance to be left alone.
- Puck Daddy5 mths ago
SOCHI, Russia – “They look like the Russians,” someone said in the mixed zone as American players were walking to their locker rooms, head down, long faces, empty eyes.
The reference, of course, was about the Russian loss to Finland in the quarterfinal of the Sochi Games. And this was said yesterday after the loss to Canada, not today.
It’s something that stuck with me – the two teams that are rivals, yet seem to have so much in common. Both teams had big expectations: The Russians as hosts and the pressure to win at home for the first time. The Americans as the team that was finally looking actually good enough to win the whole thing.
That “goal by Fedor Tyutin that wasn’t” glued the fates of both teams together in the tournament. They went into different directions from there only to meet the same fate at the hands of the player who seems to know the secret path to the Fountain of Youth – Teemu Selanne.
- Puck Daddy5 mths ago
SOCHI, Russia – It was a one-goal game on Friday night. It was also a one-goal game in Vancouver. Just one goal short of breaking the spell that Canada has cast over the U.S. in Olympic hockey.
“It’s not where we want to be,” captain of the US team Zach Parise summed it up.
Four years ago in Vancouver, Sidney Crosby broke millions of hearts with the overtime winner for Canada. This year it was Jamie Benn. The United States had the most dynamic, the most interesting and, according to multiple experts, the best team in the tournament. The U.S. hockey development program has come a long way from that night in Lake Placid. It is now on par with Canada when it comes to the best team in the world. Yet when the two teams meet, the Big Brother has that little edge.
“We had an awesome opportunity,” said David Backes said after the loss. “I don’t think we quite laid it all on the line the way that we needed to in order to win. A 1-0 game in the semifinal against your rival country is obviously a sad day for sure.”
The US was finally viewed as the favorites coming into this game. And this means something, to finally put that Miracle behind them.