Archive for June 2010
Latvian defenseman Maksims Sirokovs has confirmed that he will sign a one-year contract with Karlskrona HK, playing in Swedish Divison 1 (third tier). He will join Latvian forward Arturs Ozolins, who already has a contract with the club.
In an interview to icebox.lv he said: “I had an offer to play in Slovakia, but I did not want to stay there, because the level of organization there is rather low. Moreover, at the end HK Nitra did not pay me all my wage and apparently is not going to. I had also an option to join Finnish Mestis league and also my agent negotiated with Wolfe Freiburg of German 2nd Bundesliga, where Olegs Znaroks used to play. Karlskrona option was the most interesting – both regarding career possibilities and financial aspect. There are good only good comments about Karlskrona. Usually games are attended by 2000 – 3000 people and the team is among the strongest ones in Division 1. Regularly clubs qualify to play in Allsvenskan, also Karlskrona is among the favourites. My contract is proposed for only the next season, however I do hope that together with the new club we will reach Allsvenskan and I will continue my career there.”
Maksims older brother Aleksejs Sirokovs in autumn will begin his second season with Amur Khabarovsk, playing in the KHL.
Today Latvian forwards Kristians Pelss, who was drafted into the NHL by Edmonton Oilers three days ago, and Vitalijs Hvorostinins, as well as defender Ricards Berzins(Richards Berzins), were drafted during the CHL Import Draft. Pelss was picked by the Edmonton Oil Kings of WHL #19 overall, while Hvorostinins was selected by Val-d’Or Foreurs #30 overall, but Berzins was picked by Owen Sound Attack #58 overall.
Let me just remind you that last season Pelss played for the Dinamo-Juniors Riga in the Belarusian league. Pelss, who learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils, scored nine points in 48 games last season. He also played in the U18 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, where was one of the Latvian national team leaders, although managed to score only two goals.
Vitalijs Hvorostinins, just like Pelss, learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils and, instead of Pelss, Hvorostinins played in local DHK Latgale last season, scoring 23 (9+14) points in 30 games. He also played several games for the Daugavpils U18 team.
Ricards Berzins spent previous season with HS Prizma/Pardaugava 92 in the Latvian U18 league and did not make the Latvian U18 national team. In 2008-09 he also played 20 games for Latvian league club HS Prizma/Hanza Riga. Before this draft, his name was rather unfamiliar around the Latvian hockey community.
The highest-ever drafted Latvian player in the CHL Import Draft was Agris Saviels, who was the number one draft pick in 1999. He was picked by Owen Sound Attack. In a more recent history, Kaspars Daugavins was the third overall pick in 2006. He was chosen by Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of OHL. Last year Daugavins made his debut in the NHL, playing a single game for the Ottawa Senators.
Latvian goaltender Edgars Masalskis, who spent previous season in Dinamo Riga and is a part of Latvian national team, has signed a one year contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Already once the season ended, a lot of rumours regarding Masalskis future plans arised, the most popular ones including destinations of Spartak Moscow and Ak Bars Kazan. However, approximately two weeks ago there were rumours that he had signed with Budivelnyk Kiev(which withdrew from the KHL due to problems with arena less than a week ago).
Dinamo Riga GM Normunds Sejejs had said that both sides had tough time negotiating, so it ended without any beneficial results. Instead, Dinamo Riga signed Chris Holt and said to have a mutual agreement with Henrik Karlsson. As I already reported some days ago, Karlsson will not play in Riga, hoping of making the second goalie position in Calgary.
When Dinamo Riga was established in 2008, Masalskis signed a contract with the club and played eight spectacular games. Unfortunately, in October, after a team’s dinner in Old Riga, being drunk, he got into a brawl, where broke his ankle and so was fired from the club. When he finally healed his injury, he joined Fuchse Duisburg of DEL as a place, where to finish the season.
Prior 2009-10, Masalskis signed a new contract with Dinamo Riga and played a great season, allowing the team to beat respectable SKA St. Petersburg in the first round of Gagarin Cup Playoffs. SKA had such stars as Esche, Zubov, Cajanek, Sushinsky, Yashin on their roster. SKA St. Petersburg finished first in the Western Conference in the regular season.
Masalskis is the fourth import player signed by Yugra. The club has also signed contracts with Swedish defenseman Tommy Wargh and Slovak forwards Vladimir Dravecky and Marek Zagrapan.
Although two weeks ago Dinamo Riga official homepage announced that there is a mutual agreement between the club and 1.98m tall Swedish goalie Henrik Karlsson, after his rights were traded to Calgary Flames during the draft yesterday, he has already announced that he will push himself to the limits, in order to make the team.
“I am really excited that I am going to be a Calgary Flame,” said Karlsson for Flames homepage. “I had heard some rumours about being traded a week ago but I didn’t think too much about it.”
Karlsson is expected to be the back-up goalie for the 33-year-old Miika Kiprusoff, as Vesa Toskala’s four million contract has come to an end. According to Flames homepage, Henrik didn’t seem too worried that Kiprusoff is able of playing 70 up to 75 games a season.
Chronology of Henrik Karlsson and his relation to Dinamo Riga:
- June 14 – Dinamo Riga announces that there is a mutual agreement and Karlsson will play in Riga.
- June 14 – The same day Karlsson’s agent Joakim Perssondenies the information released by Dinamo.
- June 22 – There are reports that Persson is working his sleeves out, in order to negotiate with the Sharks.
- June 26 – During the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson’s rights are acquired by the Flames.
- June 27 – Karlsson announces that he is going for his dream, the NHL.