Friday, 14 October 2011

KHL All-Star Game Announced

Obviously, it's been a tough year for the KHL and its members as they lost the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team in the airplane crash. With that being one of the worst tragedies in the history of sports, they also lost their two marquee players in Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Yashin, and this is significant because there will be two new captains who will take the KHL All-Star Game to new heights. This year's KHL All-Star Game will also move outside Russia's borders for the second time in its history, and features a brand-new logo specifically designed for 2012 KHL All-Star Game in Riga, Latvia!

Former NHL players Sandis Ozolinsh and Sergei Fedorov will captain the West and East teams, respectively, as the KHL All-Star Game moves into a new era. The 39 year-old Ozolinsh captains Dynamo Riga and will play in his third KHL All-Star Game while the 41 year-old Fedorov will make his third KHL All-Star Game appearance as a member of Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Ozolinsh played in seven NHL All-Star Games while Fedorov played in six NHL midseason showcases.

In 2009, the KHL All-Star Game was played on Moscow’s Red Square. The game saw Team Jagr's squad of foreign players, beat Team Yashin's squad of Russian-born players by a 7-6 score.The 2010 All-Star Game saw Team Jagr prevail in Minsk, Belarus by an 11-8 score. Last season, the All-Star Game moved to St. Petersburg, and the format changed so that the Eastern Conference met the Western Conference. The Eastern Conference took that game by an 18-16 score.

KHL President Aleksandr Medvedev was asked about staging an All-Star Game in the aftermath of one of the worst tragedies the sport of hockey has ever seen, and Medvedev said that it was important to push forward.

"I consider that the KHL All-Star game needs to be played," Medvedev told the KHL website. "And we should do it in memory of Locomotiv’s players, who we’ve lost. Certainly, it is necessary to change the format somehow, making the show look not so solemnly."

The 2012 KHL All-Star Game will be played on January 21, 2012, and the build-up to the game will feature a number of activities in Riga for fans Fans will also have the opportunity to test their skills in a number of different challenges. The Latvian capital was chosen due to its proximity to and accessibilty for European fans in order to grow the game a little more outside of Russia's borders. If you're in the area, tickets go on sale on October 21 at all Bilesu Serviss ticket outlets.

It's good to see the KHL continuing on with their important events. While I think that there is still a lot of grieving that needs to be done for the lost Lokomotiv players and coaches, the fact that the KHL is wanting to have their All-Star Game in memory of those men lost in the plane crash shows that the KHL is still honouring their memories. That, readers, is a good thing.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: