Dmitry Chesnokov

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  • KHL team hires women in lingerie to sell tickets, ‘cheer up fans’ (Video)

    Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League presented their new “employees” recently: Ticket-sellers wearing nothing but lingerie, fishnet stockings and high heels.

    Before you condemn (or celebrate) their new dress code, note that it was just a publicity stunt.

    Here's what it looked like. Please note this video may be NSFW and that it features about four and a half minutes of the Benny Hill theme.

    “This idea was born spontaneously,” Metallurg’s public relations specialist Anton Chaika told Sovetsky Sport. “We wanted to cheer the fans up before the upcoming home stand. We held auditions for night club dancers and three of them got offers to work in the ticket windows!”

    He later added: “Hockey is a man’s sport. What man wouldn’t like to look at a beautiful woman?”

    (Ed. Note: Gee, wonder why the Russian women’s national team has never medaled in the Olympics with that sterling, progressive attitude.)

    This is not the first time the KHL or its teams have explored this side of

    Read More »from KHL team hires women in lingerie to sell tickets, ‘cheer up fans’ (Video)
  • Getty ImagesSergei Bobrovsky was visibly upset sitting in the locker room after the loss to the Washington Capitals, giving up an overtime goal to fellow countryman Alex Ovechkin. Just a few hours ago, during the morning skate, Bobrovsky discussed strategy with the coaching staff, drawing diagrams on a white board attached to the glass. The Blue Jackets are in the last place in the Metropolitan Division and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner is being really hard on himself for his play.

    “This is a difficult time for us.” Bobrovsky told me after the game against Washington. “We are trying to adopt, to adjust to the Eastern Conference. We are getting used to playing teams a little different. But we are always working on getting better.

    “It is still too early to say whether it is somehow easier to play in the Eastern Conference for us as a team. We haven’t played that many games, that’s why it is too early to draw conclusions.”

    For Bobrovsky himself, the Vezina memories are well in the past.

    “I am not thinking of the Vezina at all anymore,” he said. “Only in the summer did I get to enjoy it. But now the thoughts about it are gone.

    “I am trying to play just as hard as I did last season. I am working just as hard. But it is difficult to say what is wrong. At least right now not everything comes out the way I want. I am trying to find the answers. It is tough to say what the reasons for it are.”

    Even though Bobrovsky was not really in the mood to talk, he answered a few more questions for Puck Daddy.

    Read More »from Puck Daddy chats with Sergei Bobrovsky about post-Vezina life, Ilya Bryzgalov and goalie fights
  • The weight on Team Russia’s shoulders heading into the Sochi Olympics cannot be underestimated. It also cannot be properly described. The country is hosting its first ever Winter Olympics, and hockey is the event Russia wants to win. But even on paper Team Russia is far from being the favorites.

    The fiasco of Vancouver has forced the Russian Hockey Federation to make changes as to how the roster is selected and how players, especially those playing in the NHL, are scouted.

    Vladislav Tretiak, the President of the Russian Hockey Federation is the first high level official to embark on a North American scouting trip. After visiting Montreal, Tretiak came to Washington to attend the Capitals’ game against the Blue Jackets. Tretiak spent the majority of the game watching from the Capitals owners’ suit.

    I caught up with him during the game to ask a few questions:

    “I have already traveled to Montreal, where I spoke to guys there. Now I am here in Washington, and tomorrow I am leaving for

    Read More »from Vladislav Tretiak on Russia’s pressure to win in Sochi, World Cup vs. Olympics (Puck Daddy Interview)
  • Semyon Varlamov continues to get support back in Russia. This banner from a CSK/VVS Samara game – the team is from Varlamov's hometown – reads, “the truth is for Varlamov!”

    Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, the alleged victim of domestic violence that led to the arrest of the Colorado Avalanche goalie, gave a Skype interview with Life News on Wednesday. Some highlights:

    • She is very anxious, takes medication to calm down. Overall, she’s a little bit confused.

    • Asked to show bruises and cuts: [turns to her attorney and his wife (who originally translated the Denver Post interview)] “My attorney tells me not to do it, because the police has all the pictures.”

    • Why did this happen?

    “He has a problem with alcohol. I’m not saying he drinks often, but when he has a day off, he drinks a lot. And when he drinks too much, he becomes aggressive and something goes wrong with his head.” [at 1:37]

    • How much did he drink? Her attorney (outside the camera shot) says “two cases” before she can even start

    Read More »from Semyon Varlamov’s alleged victim: ‘He has a problem with alcohol’, wants 2 years in jail
  • Teemu Selanne to the KHL?

    The Kontinental Hockey League made news recently when it announced Jokerit from Finland would join its ranks beginning in the 2014-15 season.

    It is the first franchise outside of the former eastern bloc to play in the KHL, and one that has produced many NHL players – including the legendary Teemu Selanne, who started his career there in 1988 before joining the Winnipeg Jets in 1992.

    Selanne has announced this is his final season in the NHL, and is on a farewell tour with the Anaheim Ducks. But there are some whispers now that Teemu Selanne will finish his hockey career with Jokerit in the KHL next season.

    SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov reports that a renowned Finnish hockey statistician Tomas Rachunas said, “We estimate that the probability of Teemu Selanne playing for Jokerit in the KHL at 20-30 percent.”

    Selanne came from the Jokerit system and has good relationship with Jari Kurri, who will be the team’s general manager.

    It may not be “Teemu Forever,” but perhaps for one more season

    Read More »from Teemu Selanne to the KHL?
  • InstagramThe victim of Semyon Varlamov’s alleged domestic violence, for he was arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault, is a model from Samara, Varlamov’s home town. Her name is Evgeniya Vavrinyuk.

    Earlier on Thursday, she posted comments about the incident on V Kontakre Russian social media site (her account is now deleted), where she said:

    “If a man raised his hand, he will do it again. And none of his persuasion and promises should dissuade women. Leave these men, and don’t feel sorry for them! Giving men a last chance means to sign yourself a conviction for a repeat.”

    According to the information shared by Sportbox.ru’s sources, Semyon Varlamov had an argument with Evgeniya Varvinyuk, who came over to him in the US.  Varlamov and his girlfriend had broken up before, but not long ago they were living together again.  According to the source, on Tuesday after another argument, the goaltender put her and her belongings out of the door.

    All of “Varlamov’s acquaintances” talked to by Sportbox denied that Varlamov was drunk.

    Read More »from Semyon Varlamov’s accuser speaks on social media; Russians concerned about Olympic gig
  • Russian junior team stops playing during game to protest ref

    Getty ImagesSergei Syurdyaev, head coach of the Russian junior (MHL) White Tigers, wasn’t happy with the officiating in the second game his team played against Ak Bars this week.

    "I had complaints about the referee after the first game,” he told Sovietsky Sport. “For example, he gave out minor penalties to a player who dropped his gloves during a fight. But at a minimum this is a minor penalty plus a 10 minute misconduct! He may should have been kicked out of the game altogether! I tried to influence him, but in reply he gave me some nonsense as the explanation.

    “It's not my first day in hockey and I can say that the officiating was very weak. Even though the ref was experienced."

    To make a point about the officiating, the White Tigers staged a protest during the second period of their game against Ak Bars. Trailing 6-0, the Tigers stopped playing for a 44-second span. They didn’t skate. They didn’t defend. They allowed their opponents to score four goals during that time without any desire to

    Read More »from Russian junior team stops playing during game to protest ref
  • Ruslan Salei’s family uses Russian TV psychic to contact his spirit

    Getty ImagesEvery once in a while, we come across shows featuring psychics and mediums when we flip through the gazillion channels on our cable lineups. We don’t, however, expect to see anything related to hockey on such shows.

    But oddly and eerily enough, the Russian version of the "Psychic Challenge" TV show, based on the now-cancelled "America’s Psychic Challenge", will feature a family very familiar to the hockey world.

    The Oct. 13 episode involves the family of Ruslan Salei, the former Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings defenseman who was on the doomed flight from Yaroslavl to Minsk two years ago with the rest of the KHL Lokomotiv team. They attempt to contact Salei in the hereafter.

    According to Salei’s mother Tamara, who spoke with Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Salei’s niece wrote a letter to the TV show.

    “'Who’ and ‘why’ was not really important to us. We wanted, if at all possible, to talk to Ruslan’s soul, to find out how he is,” Tamara Salei told the newspaper. “And one of

    Read More »from Ruslan Salei’s family uses Russian TV psychic to contact his spirit
  • Sergei Fedorov making comeback at 43 years old, but why?

    Getty ImagesSergei Fedorov was unwanted by the Washington Capitals, his last NHL club, and left for the KHL in 2009. Last time he played professionally was in 2012, when he suited up for 43 games in Magnitogorsk in the KHL.

    Since then Fedorov then came back to CSKA, where his career started, and became general manager of the team.

    He never officially retired though.

    And now SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov reports that Sergei Fedorov will lace them up again and will play this Friday for his CSKA against Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the last club he had a contract with, which is now coached by “Iron” Mike Keenan.

    CSKA has been besieged by injuries, with virtually a third of first team players out injured. This is likely the reason for Fedorov’s return to hockey. But according to Fedorov himself, his “legs are still running. I’m training twice a week... But I am not closing the door.” Fedorov also implied that he had been training with Barry Brennan quite rigorously recently. Brennan is the team’s strength and

    Read More »from Sergei Fedorov making comeback at 43 years old, but why?
  • Mike Keenan on coaching in KHL, Pavel Bure feud and Canada Cup (Interview)

    Getty ImagesIt wasn’t a surprise when Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League hired a former NHL coach this season, having previously employed former Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice.

    But it was surprising their new North American-born coach was “Iron” Mike Keenan, a legendary name in the NHL whose infamous temperament (and history with European-born players) could make for some exciting times in Russia.

    Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport spoke with Keenan recently about why he made the move to the KHL, Ilya Kovalchuk’s move there, Crosby vs. Ovechkin vs. Datsuyk, how he’ll treat KHL goalies, the 1987 Canada Cup and some of his more notorious moments as a coach. Enjoy …

    Q. Name three reasons why you decided to work in the KHL.

    KEENAN: “The first reason is that I wanted to start coaching again. I was doing TV since I left Calgary with the exception of getting involved with Team Canada in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. I was the head coach and Mike Pelino was the assistant. We had to tell them we’d help them other coaches, because we were going to leave and come here. And Guy Carbonneau and Wayne Primeau ended up coaching them. And then last winter I did a program for CBC with children across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver. I was on the ice 11 hours every week teaching young people. That inspired me to start thinking about coaching again. And the third reason was that Magnitogorsk wanted me and pursued me for quite some time, and convinced me to come and coach in the KHL. And I like to teach. I am a former teacher. Magnitogorsk provided an opportunity.”

    Read More »from Mike Keenan on coaching in KHL, Pavel Bure feud and Canada Cup (Interview)

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