The main transitions of the summer. Gusev at Dynamo, Yakupov at Neftekhimik, Fedotov remains at CSKA

Hockey is not football. The masters of the main winter sport have a measured life in the summer, the teams are systematically preparing for the new season, and the transitions from club to club are not carried out with the same zeal as in sport No. The summer off-season transfer crop in the KHL quieted down for a couple of weeks to explode the media space with very exciting transfers and signings within days.

Dinamo Moscow, which during this summer period has sold its players exclusively to other clubs, has exploded with two historic agreements. On July 17, it became known about the exchange of monetary compensation of the defender of St. Petersburg SKA Igor Ozhiganov. And this is surprising, because last season was the most productive for Ozhiganov in his career – Igor scored 44 (13 + 31) points and earned “+18” in 77 matches for SKA. By Russian standards, Ozhiganov is the best hockey player, but for some reason the coach of the army team, Roman Rotenberg, was really not needed. The richest club in the KHL is unlikely to be looking for money. But there is another assumption: SKA is so overloaded with hockey players of a decent level that even one of the best defenders in the league has no place on the team’s roster.

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The second thunder in the unclear Moscow sky was the signature of the blue-and-white Nikita Gusev. Who Gusev is, even children know. Here we cannot describe the bombing feats of the man who brought the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic gold to the Russian team a hundred times. Gusev the most recognizable and media figure of our hockey, but lately he has become frankly depressed. The story of Nikita’s removal from SKA in the 2022/2023 playoffs is still fresh. Presumably due to the fact that he allowed himself to violate the regime. But Gusev’s contract with the St. Petersburg club ended, and the striker found himself a new club, returning to Moscow, more than 10 years after playing for CSKA. I wish that in Dynamo one of the best Russian hockey players will regain his former condition.

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Another transfer bomb last week, as expected, thundered on the field of the capital CSKA. The return of goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov from military service, but not to the Philadelphia Flyers, where one of the best goalkeepers in Russia should reasonably have flown at the end of his service, but to his homeland. The effect of this signing has yet to be realized, because the KHL risks damaging the relationship with the NHL for a long time. North American top-flight bosses say Ivan has a contract with the Flyers, but CSKA denies it and says it hasn’t seen deals between Ivan and other clubs. This has created a situation in which the notorious mutual respect for contracts between the leagues can collapse overnight.

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Unexpectedly, Novosibirsk “Siberia” appeared in the best transfers of the week. The club, which has always been very cautious about inviting legionnaires from North America, has given rise to the transfer to the AHL of one of last season’s best hockey players. Andy Andreoff flew from Bridgeport to the harsh Russian region. It is no coincidence that this event coincided with the arrival of the well-known KHL David Nemirovsky as coach. Last season, the Sibirs were carried on the shoulders of two other representatives from North America Trevor Murphy and Taylor Beck, who are among the top scorers in the KHL. The heads of Siberia decided not to stop there, because the experiment turned out to be more than successful, and they invited a third hockey player to their home. Andy Andreoff is a seasoned center forward who played eight seasons in the NHL, playing less than 200 games for the Los Angeles, New York Islanders and Philadelphia. But he is best known for his exploits in the lower division: the AHL. Andreoff was the league’s top scorer last season with 37 goals, while also setting a career-high. At the age of 32 he sets out for the first time to conquer Europe. And I decided to start with the KHL.

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Once upon a time, Nail Yakupov was considered almost a “nekstvan” in Russia. Matvey Michkov also did not receive as much progress before the draft as Nail did. However, a career in the NHL for a young hockey player frankly did not work out. Since returning to Russia, Yakupov has played for SKA, Amur and finally Avangard Omsk, with whom he won the 2021 Gagarin Cup. At nearly 30, Nail has decided to return to his homeland, to Nizhnekamsk, where he will defend the colors of local Neftekhimik. Nail’s younger brother Raul plays in a club in Tatarstan. Perhaps it is the return home and reunion with his brother that will help Yakupov restart his career.


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