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Open championship starts today CHL

September 2 2008
05:22

The first ever Open Championship of Russia on hockey will begin on Tuesday, September 2. Start of the tournament, which was first held under the auspices of the Continental Hockey League (CHL), will give the best team final series of the championship of Russia 2008 - Ufa Salavat Yulayev and silver medalist, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. Winners of last hockey season will meet in Ufa and compete for first prize in the history of the CHL - Cup opening.

In the open championship of the KHL will take part in 24 teams, chosen by lot divided into four divisions, which have assigned names of legends of Soviet hockey - Vsevolod Bobrov, Anatoly Tarasov, Valery Kharlamov and Arkady Chernyshev. A distinctive feature of the new tournament was the inclusion of the number of participants CHL three foreign clubs with the former Soviet Union - from Latvia (Dynamo Riga), Belarus (Dynamo Minsk) and Kazakhstan (Barys, Astana). In the future founders of the new hockey league are going to increase the representation of foreign teams, bringing the number of participants to 32 teams. At the first stage of the tournament, which runs until 26 February, each team will hold four meetings with colleagues in the division and two representatives of other departments. Top 16 clubs in play-offs will continue to fight for the title of the strongest teams CHL, which (in the long form) will be determined on April 12. If it turns out to be foreign team, champion of the country will be recognized by the Russian club, who took the top place. The winner of the playoff CHL, no matter what country he could not imagine the league will get a major trophy - the Cup of Yuri Gagarin.

Calendar of events includes a pause for the participation of the Russian national team at Euro Tour stages and individual clubs to international tournaments (Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the Victoria Cup, etc.), and "Match CHL All-Star," scheduled for January 11. At the same time, the calendar is very rich and includes conducting a paired (two days in a row) matches, and delayed visiting a series of four to six games on the fields of contenders. For example, the Riga Dynamo opened the championship with five meetings in Khabarovsk, Novokuznetsk and Novosibirsk, Moscow and Riga team-mates for the whole of September only two matches to hold the native scene. STARS of particular interest to the CHL championship fueled by the fact that the tournament will be attended by a number of stars, a world scale, had left for the sake of the clubs of the National Hockey League (NHL). And the brightest of them - Czech forward Jaromir Jagr, who moved from the New York Rangers in Omsk Avangard, and has entered into a contract under the "2 +1". Jagr - Nagano Olympic champion (1998), World Champion (2005), two-time Stanley Cup winner (1991, 1992).

Over the last three seasons in the Rangers' Czech striker in 269 games scored 317 points in the system "goal + pass" (119 abandoned goals and 198 assists). Incidentally, this is the second coming of Jagr in Russia - during the recent lockout, the NHL (in 2004/2005). Jaromir also played for the Hawks, however, if efforts are not enough superstars to lead to a Siberian gold medals of the Russian Championship. The second-caliber stardom, preferring to CHL is a 22-year-old striker of Russia, Alexander Radulov, despite the current contract with the NHL club Nashville Predetorz ", concluded the three-year agreement with the Russian champion Salavat Yulayev.

Champion of the 2008 World bronze medalist and world championship-2007 Radulov last season in 81 games for the Raptors' scored 58 points (26 goals and 32 transfer).In addition, the overseas clubs in the Russian have replaced three-time Stanley Cup winner Sergei Brylin (from the New Jersey Devils "moved to St. Petersburg SKA), a Russian national team players Vitaly Vishnevsky (ex-" the devil "will play for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv Moscow) and Andrei Zyuzin (the player changed his sweater, "Black Hawks" in Chicago on army uniform club of Saint-Petersburg). Among the striking players, in a reverse direction, is to provide players of the Russian team: striker Nicolas Kulemina from "Magnitogorsk" migrated to the Toronto Maple Leafs' goalie Lokomotiv Semen Varlamov, who had gone to seek happiness in the Washington Capitals, and former -forward capital Dynamo Fedor Fedorov, has entered into a contract with the New Jersey Devils. " FAVORITES At the start of an eight-month marathon of hockey is difficult to identify clear favorite this unusual for Russian hockey players - both in format and on the calendar - the tournament.

On the final victory will be eligible for six to eight teams, and the key will be, perhaps, three circumstances: which team will be able to avoid injuries leading players, a point reinforced in the championship and on the eve of playoff series and will be well-bred coaches in peak form at the end March - early April. Before the start of the tournament among the top contenders for first in the history of the Continental Hockey League trophy include multiple commands. The first is the reigning champion of Russian Salavat Yulayev. The team managed to keep all key players in the gold stock and intensified by Alexander Radulov, who, judging from the test match, quickly found a common language with new partners.

Extremely ambitious plans are being hatched Lokomotiv who stopped his move just a step away from the golden gate. Yaroslavl find arguments to keep the team leader Alexei Yashin, strengthened defense expert Vitaly Vishnevsky, and in relation to the runner-up remains an open question just one question: Does an adequate replacement is found left in the NHL Semen Varlamov. Powerful base for jumping on a podium set up the St. Petersburg SKA - both financially (ambitions and capabilities of the sponsors of "Gazprom" needs no comment) and coaching (the headquarters team, headed by Barry Smith, entered the legendary Igor Larionov), and gaming.

CSKA clearly tired in the shadow countrymen of football "Zenit, who takes a trophy after another. In the fight for the championship gold, of course, intend to join Kazan "Ak Bars" (the recent champions have not been forgotten, but gradually becomes part of history, especially as fellow players from Rubin's clearly become one of the heroes of the year, and on their background to make fail is unthinkable), Magnitogorsk Metallurg (before the European Champions Cup winner has traditionally placed the highest goals) and metropolitan Dynamo, who very nearly had the best of luck in last year's Russian championship. The first five matches of CHL will be held on September 2, and the next day will be played nine meetings, RIA News .

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