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Author: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com)Date: 06/28/2007
Russian Super League Offseason Player Transfers Part 1

2007 Russian Super League

Russian Super League Offseason Player Transfers Part 1
Semifinalists: Metallurg (Magnitogorsk), Ak Bars (Kazan), Avangard (Omsk), and CSKA (Moscow)
By: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com)

METALLURG (MAGNITOGORSK)
Head Coach: Fedor KANAREYKIN
DEPARTED:
f. Dmitri Pestunov (Phoenix Coyotes) («Spartak»), f. Tertyshnyy («Avangard»), g. Scott (Germany), d. Zavalnyuk (retired), f. Gennadi Velichkin (HC MVD), f. Nurtdinov («SYu»), d. Poleschuk («Sibir»), f. Mosalev (HC MVD).
ARRIVED: f. Evgeny Fedorov (Los Angeles Kings) («Dynamo»), g. Mezin («Salavat Yulayev»), d. Martin Shtrbak (CSKA), d. Savin, f. Yuri Babenko (oba – HC MVD), f. Emeleev (SKA), f. M. Sevostyanov, f. S. Sevostyanov (oba – «Khimik» Moscow).
SUMMARY: Metallurg has worked its hardest to preserve its current lineup that wont he gold medals. It successful resigned Jan Marek, who was now property of the Los Angeles Kings and was actually considering signing with the NHL club. Additionally, the club was able to keep Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs), who was highly sought after by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kulemin was signed by the NHL club, but the two sides agreed that he would remain with Metallurg for another season. Metallurg seemed to have learned from the Malkin debacle and has treated the Kulemin case very diplomatically. Additionally, the team appeared to have found a solid netminder to compete with Denis Khudobin for the starting position in Andrei Mezin. A problem did arise since Mezin’s signing, as the Russian Hockey Federation treats him as a foreign national since he played for a foreign national team, despite holding a Russian passport. Thus, this goalie may not be with Metallurg much longer, as he may be too expensive. Finally, it is unclear whether talented center Alexei Kaigorodov will decide to remain in Russia or return to North America and try out for the Phoenix Coyotes who now hold his rights.

AK BARS (KAZAN)
Head Coach:
Zinatulla Belyaletdinov
DEPARTED:
f. G. Vorobev, f. Alexei Tereschenko (Dallas Stars), d. Igor Schadilov (Washington Capitals), g. Eremenko, d. Proshkin (all to – «Salavat Yulayev»), f. Badyukov, d. G. Razin (oba – «Dynamo»), d. Novak, f. Enver Lisin (Phoenix Coyotes) («Khimik» MO), f. Andrei Mikhnov, f. Mikhail Yunkov (Washington Capitals) («Spartak»)?.
ARRIVED: d. Medvedev («Severstal»), f. Grigori Shafigullin (Nashville Predators) («Lokomotiv»), f. Laroz (NA), g. Galimov, f. Maxim Mayorov (oba – «Neftyanik» Al), d. Yakov Seleznev («Neftyanik» Ln), g. Vasily Koshechkin («Lada»), d. Dmitri Dorofeev («KS»), d. Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens) («Lada»), f. Denis Arkhipov (Nashville Predators) («Chikago», NKhL).
SUMMARY: Overall, Kazan was able to keep its top line, but has significantly changed the roster, though if all the new pieces perform up to their individual potential, the squad has actually become stronger, since a lot of the new younger talent has a higher upside than the surrendered more experienced players. Ak Bars was able to successfully retain the club’s top Alexei Morozov (Pittsburgh Penguins) – Sergei Zinovjev – Danis Zaripov line. However, the club has experienced some significant changes beyond that. It lost one of it’s goalies, Alexander Eremenko, who played well last season for Ak Bars and for the Russian National Team. They did, however, replace him quickly with Koshechkin, who was at that point in negotiations with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Koshechkin has recently become Russia’s starting national team goaltender, though it would be difficult to call this past season a smashing success for the young netminder, as he at times struggled for Lada and more rarely so for the national team. While being able to keep the top front line, Ak Bars seemingly failed to do the same with the top defensive unit, as Denis Proshkin left for Salavat Yulayev and Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) appears to be flirting with departing for the NHL. Beyond the top line, Ak Bars also lost some key supporting cast members, including speedy Tereschenko and Lisin, as well as reliable hard working Badyukov and Schadilov. The club did, however, effectively replace these supporting cast members with young physical center Shafigullin (who is also reportedly flirting with a move to North America), reliable young blueliners in Dorofeev and Emelin, and experienced veteran forwards in Medvedev and Arkhipov. Furthermore, Ak Bars added youth in returning a couple of 89 born players in recently drafted Mayorov and surprisingly ignored Sleznev.

AVANGARD (OMSK)
Head Coach:
Valeriy BELOUSOV
DEPARTED: d. Kiril Koltsov (Vancouver Canucks) («SYu»), f. G. Vitaly Yachmenev, d. Troschinskiy (oba – «Dynamo»), f. Sergei Topol (Vancouver Canucks) («Spartak»), g. Norm Maracle (Germany), g. Tortunov («KS»), d.Dmitri Ryabykin, f. Gorovikov (oba – SKA), f. Bashkirov (HC MVD).
ARRIVED: d. Anton Babchuk (Carolina Hurricanes) («Karolina», NKhL), d. Klimentev (HC MVD), f. Evgeny Artyukhin (Tampa Bay Lightning) («Lokomotiv»), f. Tertyshnyy («Metallurg» Mg), g. Sokolov (SKA), z Kadlets («Slaviya», Czech Republic).
SUMMARY: The most drastic change in the club’s lineup occurred on the blue line with the loss of offensively minded Koltsov and former team captain Ryabikin. The club did, however, effectively compensate for the loss by bringing back to Russia Carolina’s Babchuk and also signing a well known Czech blueliner Kadlets. Beyond that, the club was able to retain the core of its roster, including former NHLer Artem Chubarov (Vancouver Canucks) and the highly touted young forward Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers).
CSKA (Moscow)
Head Coach:
Vyacheslav BYKOV
DEPARTED: d. Kirill Lyamin (Ottawa Senators) («Khimik» MO), f. Nikitenko («Sibir»), f. Yuri Dobryshkin (Atlanta Thrashers) («Torpedo» NN), f. Nemirovski, d. Platil (oba – SKA), g. Simchuk, f. Dmitri Upper (oba – «Spartak»), d. Shtrbak («Metallurg» Mg), d. Ozolin, n Aleaxander Nikulin («Ottawa», NKhL), f. Mikhaylov, f. Ilya Kablukov («Spartak»).
ARRIVED: f. Timofei Shishkanov (St. Louis Blues) («Vityaz»), d. Grigori Misharin (Minnesota Wild), d. Denis Kulyash (Nashville Predators), f. Skugarev (all to – «Dynamo»), f. Petr Schastlivy (Phoenix Coyotes)y («Khimik» MO), f. Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) («Salavat Yulayev»), f. Umichevich («Yurgorden», Sweden), f. Denis Kazionov (Tampa Bay Lightning) (HC MVD), d. Vasilchenko («Neftekhimik»), g. Gudachek («Pilzen», Czech Republic), f. Ladislav Kohn («Espo», Finland).
SUMMARY: While CSKA did lose a couple of key players during the offseason, the club has actually become stronger during the summer stretch. The key losses included talented center Nikulin, who decided to take his career to the next level in the NHL. His loss is significant because he is a capable individual contributor and also because he centered CSKA’s most productive line between Sergei Shirokov and Denis Parshin (Colorado Avalanche). Additionally, CSKA lost talented young Kablukov, who made the move to newly resurrected HC Spartak. This was a smart move for Kablukov, as he was lost in CSKA’s depth and would most likely get some ice time with his new club. The club also lost hard working former NHL prospect Upper and capable netminder Konstantin Simchuk, who was largely in net for the club down the playoff stretch. The latter was lost due to the newly implemented rule, making Russian nationals who played for other national teams to be considered foreign players. Beyond that the losses included NHL prospects Lyamin and Dobryshkin, but neither was a heavy contributor on the squad, though it is worth noting that Lyamin was often a top four defenseman. In return, the club more than compensated for their losses through free agency. On the blue line, the team returned capable young defenders in Misharin and Kulyash, then the team added scoring and offensive skill with Zubov and Kazionov, and finally leadership and maturity with veterans Schastlivy, Kohn and Skugarev. With such impressive additions, the club will likely continue to field a highly competitive squad.

Related Player Profiles: . D.Arkhipov E.Artyukhin A.Babchuk Y.Babenko A.Cherepanov A.Chubarov Y.Dobryshkin A.Emelin E.Fedorov I.Kablukov D.Kazionov K.Koltsov N.Kulemin D.Kulyash E.Lisin K.Lyamin M.Mayorov A.Mikhnov G.Misharin A.Morozov I.Nikulin D.Parshin D.Pestunov I.Schadilov P.Schastlivy Y.Seleznev G.Shafigullin T.Shishkanov A.Tereschenko S.Topol D.Upper M.Yunkov D.Zaripov I.Zubov
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