KHL clubs are going on vacation, preparing to start in pre-season friendly tournaments. Many have already completed compositions, so strong transitions are unexpected, like a bolt from the blue. And we have at least one of those. SKA conducted a seemingly ordinary two-way game, but Prokhorkin, who started it at the first link, was loaned out to the attacking triple fifth before half-time. This was a signal to the player that his services were no longer needed.
What led SKA to dump Prokhorkin just before the start of the pre-season? If this is a deliberate decision and not a spontaneous one, why did it take so long? There are many questions, few answers. Let’s try to find them.
Photo source: RIA Novosti
The tendency to clean up or restart the composition of the St. Petersburg team was noticed earlier: several stars and only very strong players left the club: Dmitry Yashkin, Damir Zhafyarov, Nikita Gusev and Alexander Volkov. You may have different attitudes towards the upcoming restructuring of the team from the northern capital, but in the series of departures listed above, getting rid of Prokhorkin is quite logical and fits into the general scheme: the striker was injured most of the season, missing out. almost the entire regular season (three games) and only partially helped in the play-off (eight games).
It is curious that SKA, inviting Prokhorkin a year ago, gave him a contract for three years at once, which is a respectable term by KHL standards. For this reason, such a hasty farewell, and even less than a month before the start of the season, becomes even less clear. And team mentor Roman Rotenberg helped shed light on the ongoing events with just hints: “It’s always very difficult and always very painful. Nikolay and I went through a lot together, we won the Gagarin Cup. He showed himself on the better side at the Korean Olympics. But that was, shall we say, a long time ago. Hockey advances and develops every day. The task of each player is to train and be disciplined, prepare for each game and practice, pay attention to nutrition and recovery. I believe that in hockey, as in any sport, a player must give his all for the sake of victory and for the sake of the team. If at any point he stops paying 100% attention to hockey, then the efficiency drops. Our task is to win, we need a score on the scoreboard.”
Photo source: HC SKA
Interestingly, Nikolay previously played for SKA for three seasons, in 2016-2019. He immediately became the owner of the Gagarin Cup with the club, only after that he did not manage to gain a foothold anywhere. He tried his hand at the NHL, but then returned to his homeland, having spent a year at Metallurg, Avangard and now at the St. Petersburg club. He played well, so it doesn’t mean he was dumped out of disappointment, like a hockey player. In the same Magnitogorsk, there were rumors about his conflicts in the team, so a difficult character may be partly to blame for the constant transitions. In fact, the words of the SKA coach confirm the idea of possible discipline problems. However, Prokhorkin is still a talented player who will be happy to see many KHL teams.
Photo source: RIA Novosti
According to rumors, Amur is interested in the Olympic champion. He could be an interesting option for both the hockey player and the club. Nikolay needs to restart his career after a serious injury and almost completely missed the season, to show that he is still a top player who claims to be a leader. And “Amur” has an almost permanent shortage of great hockey players who could drag the team at the right time, so the Far East is probably ready to give the 29-year-old striker freedom on the ice: last season, only a Khabarovsk player surpassed the 30-point mark scored. Prokhorkin, this bar was already presented in five seasons. Is he ready to become a shark himself in a small pond, so that after one step back he can take two steps forward?