Just Two Russians Taken in 2016 NHL Draft 1st Round

splitA draft year heralded by many as “average”, saw just two Russians selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. The Montreal Canadiens selected Mikhail Sergachev 9th overall, while the Philadelphia Flyers took German Rubtsev 22nd. Continue reading “Just Two Russians Taken in 2016 NHL Draft 1st Round”

Flyers Sign Evgeni Medvedev

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had agreed to terms with KHL defenseman Evgeni Medvedev. The soon-to-be 33 year old will get his first taste of North American hockey having spent his entire time in Russia.
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Mr. Universe Heads to Vegas, Baby!

Show of hands, who had Ilya Bryzgalov heading to the ECHL after being cut loose by the Philadelphia Flyers? That’s what I thought. The $23 million man is taking his talents to the desert of Nevada on a tryout basis with the the Las Vegas Wranglers according to the club. Bryz released a statement claiming he plans to go to Vegas since he did not attend an NHL training camp and wants to be ready in case the NHL comes calling.
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Andrei on-the-Mark-ov earns Comrade of the Night

(photo courtesy of theprovince.com)

On a night where many Russian NHL’ers were getting their first goals or wins of the season, one man stood above the rest. Having only suited up 17 times for the Montreal Canadiens since Nov. 9, 2010, Andrei Markov scored two goals against the Florida Panthers and showed (at least for one night) that he still has quite the cannon from the point. Finally past the two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on his right knee, Markov showed little hesitance on using his beloved slapshot, making netminder Scott Clemmensen look absolutely hapless on both goals.
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What about Bob? Sergei Headed to Columbus

(courtesy of Getty Images)

With just hours to go until the 2012 NHL draft gets underway in Pittsburgh, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had sent 23-year-old netminder Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets. There had been much talk leading up to the draft that the Novokuznetsk native would be moved by GM Paul Holmgren and as luck would have it, the Flyers exchanged him for 3 draft picks on starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s birthday.
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Flyers sign Bryzgalov to nine-year $51 million contract

If you plan to become rich in the NHL perhaps you should look into changing your name to Ilya. For the second consecutive summer, players with the name have seen big money and big contracts while coincidentally playing in the same division. Last year, it was the Kovalchuk saga which saw the then 27-year-old sign a 15-year $100 million with the New Jersey Devils. This year, Ilya Bryzgalov joins the fun, signing a nine-year $51 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers a week before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
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Waive Bye-Bye to Nikolay

A 15 goal season to date is not something to scoff at in today’s NHL.  However, if you score 15 goals and fail to abide by Peter Laviolette’s system, that apparently warrants subsequent benching and a waiving of your 2 million dollar contract.  Now Nikolai Zherdev waits for yet another possible destination in his long road to redemption in the NHL.

From the beginning of the season, it should have been clear to the Flyers ‘higher-ups’ thought that Zherdev was a player who put his needs before the team’s.  In his days with Columbus and New York, Nikolai was never talked about as a “team player.”  In his first few games, Flyers fans were treated to many dazzling tricks the Ukrainian-born, Zherdev, had to offer.  He used his impressive stick-handling to elude defenders and create offensive opportunities.  But there is always a price to pay no matter how much talent one player possesses.  Zherdev’s defensive game, inconsistent play, and, ultimately, his lack of effort, did not sit well with Flyers coach, Peter Laviolette.
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Comrade of the Night-Evgeni Malkin

(Courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins line-up ahead of the “Battle of Pennsylvania” after missing four games with a lower-body injury. He made his presence known by scoring the only goals for the Pens as their 12-game winning streak was halted by the Flyers.

Malkin tied the game for the Pens twice, first in the second period by beating Brian Boucher on a one-timer from the left circle and then from the blue-line in the final frame before Scott Hartnell got the eventual winner. Malkin had 8 shots on net for tops overall and finished with a +/- of -1.
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Comrade of the Night – Nikolai Khabibulin

The Nyet Minder (cbc.ca)

The 2009-10 season is one the Edmonton Oilers want to forget as soon as humanly possible. Nikolai Khabibulin is no different, thanks to injury problems and off-ice troubles. But, as always when a new season begins, teams are reborn with a clean slate.

If first impressions tell anything, the Oilers and the Bulin Wall have a lot to look forward to in 2010. The 37-year-old nyet-minder from Yekaterinburg stopped all 37 shots he faced as he helped the Oilers shut out the rival Calgary Flames 4-0 on Opening Night. Playing in his first game since last November, Khabibulin looked to be in midseason form from the drop of the puck.

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