Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘Ertis Pavlodar

Raitums among leaders of Kazakh league

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Latvian goaltender Martins Raitums who plays for the Beibarys Atyrau and is a candidate for the Latvian national team World championship roster is currently leading the Kazakh league regarding both the goals against average and save percentage.

Kazakh media also note that the coaching staff of Ertis Pavlodar must be biting their elbows, as in the past summer the first rumours told that Raitums is about to join Ertis, however the club chose to sign Slovakian Stanislav Petrik instead. Petrik is not among the leading goalkeepers in the league. With the back-up goalie in the form of Ukrainian national team player Vadim Seliverstov, Beibarys goalie line is considered to be the best in the league.

Currently Raitums has played 20 games, helping the team to win in 15 of them, and posting a goals against average of 1.68 pucks. Raitums has also reflected 93.43 percent of the shots and had two shutouts.

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Beibarys willing to sign three Latvians

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Yesterday, on August 16, the Kazakh league club Beibarys Atyrau pre-season camp finished and out of the five Latvians, who joined the camp for a try-out, three of them received a contract offer, reports icebox.lv.

The three players, who have received a contract offer, are goalie Martins Raitums, defenceman Ricards Birzins and forward Andrejs Smirnovs. However, Elvis Zelubovskis did not impress the coaching staff of Beibarys enough to sign a contract with the club, while Sergejs Tjoluskins was not eager to wait for the Kazakh visa so long.

Before the Beibarys camp had started, Kazakh media announced that goaltender Martins Raitums was close to signing with another Kazakh club – Ertis Pavlodar, but already by then it was known, that Ertis is not the only Kazakh league club interested in Martins. At this point it is not certain, where exactly will Martins spend the next season.

During the training camp Beibarys played several exhibition games against Latvian clubs – they won HK Riga 3:2, and played two games also against Metalurgs Liepaja – 0:2 and 4:2.

Three locals at a Kazakh club camp in Latvia

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Latvians Martins Raitums, Elvis Zelubovskis and Sergejs Tjoluskins will take part in a pre-season training camp of Kazakh league club Beibarys Atyrau, which will take place in Latvia. It is expected that players might sign contracts by August 16, when the camp will end and the team will return to Kazakhstan.

Just recently Kazakh media announced that goaltender Martins Raitums is close to signing with another Kazakh club – Ertis Pavlodar, but already by then it was known, that Ertis is not the only Kazakh league club interested in Martins.

Zelubovskis spent majority of the previous season in Belarusian league club Gomel. By the European hockey trade deadline he was fired and joined HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs of Latvian league. 27-year-old Tjoluskins spent several past season with Metalurgs Liepaja.

Raitums likely to join Ertis Pavlodar

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Kazakh portal Ekspress K has announced that Kazakh league club Ertis Pavlodar is very close to signing Latvian goalkeeper Martins Raitums, who spent the previous season with Hull Stingrays of the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Martins has participated in four World Championships for Latvian national team and last year was the second goalie, changing Edgars Masalskis in the middle of 1-6 blowout against Canada.

During 2008/09 he played for ASK Ogre – one of the Latvian clubs in the Belarusian league, but last season he managed to join Hull Stingrays only by late January – just before the trade deadline.

Currently also several other Latvian players are in negotiations with Kazakh league clubs and might join them for the next season. According to an unexposable source, the salaries in Kazakhstan are way bigger than, for example, French Ligue Magnus.