Tag: KHL interest

Dustin Brown

Kings captain Brown has offers from KHL and Swiss league


While Anze Kopitar is looking at possibly playing in Sweden’s second tier league during the lockout, Kings captain Dustin Brown has a few other higher profile offers to consider.

John Hoven from Mayor’s Manor spoke with Brown and finds out that while he hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll play in Europe during the work stoppage, he has options galore abroad.

“I have a couple Swiss teams and a couple KHL teams I’m looking at,” Brown says.

One thing holding Brown back from leaving right away? A family with young kids at home.

As for other Kings teammates, both Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov may be headed home to Russia and the KHL on separate deals.

Lubomir Visnovsky may not wind up playing on Long Island (Update: Actually he will)

Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Turris

When the Islanders acquired Lubomir Visnovsky during the first round of the NHL Draft, it was seen as a solid pick-up for the team. He’s got a great offensive game from the blue line and is a hard worker.

Of course, things with the Islanders are never quite that easy. Thanks to an interview with Visnovsky on Slovak site HokejPortal.net, we find out the Islanders aren’t the only team that want him to play on their team next season. (Crude Google translation ahead)

In early May, you said that you expect in the NHL last season. Still this is true?

“Still, but I can say that I get a bid from Russia and I think about them. He and his wife have already talked about the fact that in New York can not not go and I’ll take any offer from the KHL, and because I have such opportunities. We’ll see where I end. KHL has signed a contract for some of the NHL and Europe is the only league where I could play in the NHL despite the contract. “

An interesting approach. Can you give a percentage, where you play next season?

“While I do not know it really well so I think in the head. NHL is certainly paramount, but we need to discuss this at home. But as I said, the KHL is a possibility. “

Visnovsky says he knows the Islanders would be disappointed but recognizes that it’s a business and not personal. It’s a cold way to look at things, but the Islanders’ hopes of seeing Visnovsky skating at the Coliseum next year have taken a hit.

Update (11:27 a.m. ET): Arthur Staple of Newsday clears things up via Twitter after speaking with Visnovsky. Visnovsky says the interview on the Slovak site was from before the trade and his first choice is to come and play for the Islanders. Potential crisis averted.

Report: Semyon Varlamov headed to KHL next season rather than re-sign with Capitals

Semyon Varlamov

One of the things the Capitals were going to have to face up to having a bevy of solid, young goaltenders is that one way or another they’re going to want to all find playing time. Last year, Michal Neuvirth took advantage of Semyon Varlamov being injured to more or less take the starting job away from the youthful incumbent. While injuries also allowed Braden Holtby a chance to show what he could do at the NHL level and do it well, things were shaping up to be more than a little uncomfortable for the Caps next season in goal.

As it turns out, soon-to-be restricted free agent Varlamov is apparently going to end up making things a bit easier on the Capitals as reports say that he’s going to head to Russia next season and play in the KHL.

Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov found out what was going on with Varlamov through SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov.

In the meantime, Varlamov has made a decision to leave the NHL and go to the KHL. His Russian agent Vyacheslav Makhrenskiy said the following to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov:

“Varlamov has offers from Washington and from Russia. At this moment Varlamov chose the KHL. But exactly which club I cannot tell you.”

Whether Varlamov plays for SKA or Lokomotiv in the KHL isn’t known yet, but for now it seems that the Capitals’ crowded crease just got a little less so. With Varlamov headed to Russia, the net belongs to Neuvirth and Holtby. Neuvirth emerged as the top guy in Washington last season putting up solid numbers going 27-12-4 with a 2.45 goals against average and a .914 save percentage with four shutouts. In limited duty, Holtby did quite well himself going 10-2-2 with a 1.79 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.

Varlamov’s tenure in Washington was often interrupted by injury leading to the likes of Jose Theodore getting a lot of playing time two seasons ago and to the rise of Neuvirth and Holtby this past season. While the Caps did their due diligence to be respectful to Varlamov, it’s clear they’ve got other, better options to run with in goal and won’t have to worry about relying on Varlamov to stay healthy to move forward.

Losing Varlamov to the KHL might seem like a shot against the NHL, but in situations like this where Varlamov either gets his rights traded to another team or signs a restricted free agent deal with the Caps that sees him fighting for a job, you can understand why he’d go for the Russia pro league. Being from Russia it makes going back there a bit easier to handle. The money isn’t bad either.

For now, the Caps will now have a training camp battle that will see who gets the chance to be the #1 goalie in Washington between Neuvirth and Holtby, a battle that should prove to be a winner either way for coach Bruce Boudreau.

Chris Chelios to play in the KHL? It’s possible

Chris Chelios

When Chris Chelios announced his retirement before the start of the season, a lot of people really thought that he was done with hockey. To those people we can’t help but have a big laugh at your expense because the new Red Wings executive adviser to the general manager is apparently snooping around at the possibility of giving it one more go.

No, seriously there’s a team with interest in the 48 year-old defenseman another chance at playing but it’s not a team in the NHL. Turns out that there’s a team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League that wouldn’t mind having Chelios suit up for them.

The three-time Norris trophy winner confirmed to TSN on Friday that he was in negotiations with KHL club Vityaz after Russian-based website SovSports reported Thursday that Chelios’ agent, Tom Reich, had contacted Vityaz general manager and former NHL player Alex Zhamnov to let him know that his services were available.

If the name Vityaz rings a bell with you it’s because they were the team that had an all-out benches emptying brawl with Jaromir Jagr’s team, Avangard Omsk, just last January that ended their game after four minutes. Former NHL luminaries Chris Simon and Danny Markov play for Vityaz and Markov is a former Red Wings teammate of Chelios. The big question here is, is Chelios interested in playing in Russia?

While Chelios acknowledged that the two sides are talking, he admitted that at the age of 48 a signing was “not likely to happen.”

Being an executive with the Red Wings is a pretty cushy job and sure beats moving to Russia for a few months to play hockey in a league that’s not quite as exciting as the NHL. Chelios spent most of last season playing for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL and even played a handful of games for their parent club in Atlanta.

Still, you have to wonder how long Gordie Howe would’ve played for if he had the KHL to run to. Say, Gordie could still give it a go couldn’t he? How about a Chelios-Howe package deal? Let’s make this happen.