Posts Tagged ‘Ak Bars Kazan’
Today Arena Riga experienced it’s first 2010/11 KHL regular season game. The arena was overcrowded, however, in a game, which you could describe only as a hockey carousel, Dinamo Riga lost 4:5 in a shootout to Ak Bars Kazan, two time Gagarin Cup champion and the new home for Riga’s cult player Marcel Hossa. In a close collaboration with Baltā olimpiāde, we now offer you a post-game interview with Marcel.
Many fans and journalists were anticipating this game only to see you in action. How do you feel playing at front of the Riga fans?
– It was indeed very gratifying to return to Riga, moreover, to play at a season opening game here. Atmosphere in Arena Riga is always first rate. Fans had treated me very well during those past two seasons. Even tonight: they chanted my name – it was kind of cool. Hockey is my life, but I now play for Ak Bars and need to look at other direction. Riga is my second home city, where I will always return with joy.
Yes, now a new city is knocking at your life’s front door – Kazan – a new country, a different culture…
– Of course, there are certain differences regarding culture in Kazan. Riga is far more European. You know, it is Russia after all… However, I have no problems in Kazan, Ak Bars is a great organization and I can get anything I need.
About tonight’s game, Ak Bars scored two early goals. How did it affect the rest of the game? Because later Riga managed to respond with four goals, but in the end the victory was clinched by Ak Bars anyway.
– We managed to begin the game admirably well. Still, we must learn from our mistakes… We can’t play the same level of hockey for the whole three periods… Now we have two tough games ahead of us – in Minsk and Moscow.
What do you expect from yourself this season?
– I want to play at the Gagarin Cup Finals and keep on scoring goals. Kazan is a two-time Gagarin Cup champion, but there is still a very long way until the third cup to be hoisted…
Finally, how much do you stay in touch with your old teammates from Dinamo Riga?
– We call each other once in a while. One must understand that players do not have too much spare time during the season. I have the best relationships with Sergejs Naumovs, Aleksandrs Nizivijs and Mark Hartigan.
Dinamo Riga struggle in the search for the starting goaltender has finally ended, as the club has signed a contract with 30-year-old Mikael Tellqvist. It has been confirmed by club’s homepage.
Tellqvist returned to Europe after 2008/09 in which he played 21 NHL games. He signed a contract with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, but during the season was traded to SM league club Lukko for Finnish goalie Petri Vehanen. Tellqvist has played a total of 113 NHL games.
A few days ago Mikael complained in the media that it is very hard for him to find a club, as there were not many teams left in a need for a goalie. Obviously, Dinamo Riga was not ready to pay, what Tellqvist asked, but luckily both sides managed to come to an agreement.
If we can trust the announcements made by Dinamo coaching staff, Tellqvist is not the last addition to the team before 2010/11 begins. General manager Normunds Sejejs is still searching for another center forward, although it is arguable, how necessary for the team is another center.
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.