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System overloaded. SKA renews grandly in the preseason, but does not learn from mistakes

Date: April 24, 2024 Time: 10:00:01

The KHL offseason news gives us a bit of a forgotten “all stars go to St. Petersburg” feeling. SKA made massive star purchases both in the early years of the KHL and in the years leading up to Pyeongchang. Now the club’s transfer machine, which seemed to have forgotten about the salary cap, was back in full swing.

All SKA transfers this offseason

Defenders: Artyom Sergeev, Artyom Zemchenok, Sergey Sapego, Arseniy Brinkman

Forward: Sergei Tolchinsky, Vladimir Alistrov, Alexander Kadeikin, Ivan Zinchenko, Stepan Starkov, Pavel Dedunov

Contract offer made: Arseny Gritsyuk

Gossip: Johan MattssonBrendan Leipsik

“Our team is just being born. Our average age is much lower than CSKA’s. We have a young, daring team, for whom everything is just beginning,” Roman Rotenberg said optimistically after the conference finals. But in reality, everything turns out differently: at the moment, the “daring young team” is actually completely updating the top 6. If Avangard does not repeat Gritsyuk’s offer, which after a public dispute is already seen as unlikely , and if the persistent rumors about Leipsik are true, then the SKA top 6 will be almost completely changed.

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After the signing of Tolchinsky (who will receive about 80 million), SKA’s payment will already exceed 1 billion, and after all, three more people mentioned above are expected, plus the exact data of the former Dynamo Minsk players is still unknown, more Marat. Khusnutdinov’s 25 million from the new season will also fall below the ceiling. Whatever they say, SKA will have to cancel contracts for 250 million.

Sergei Tolchinsky

Photo: Dmitry Loshkarev, photo.khl.ru

Of course, Lada is ready to come to the rescue, where Rafik Yakubov, who had previously been in charge of the MHL and VHL teams, came to the sports director. “We are going to cooperate, maybe they will help us with players, but we will definitely not be a country club,” said an experienced sports official, and with this confession, in fact, refuted his own words. Almost a dozen people from the St. Petersburg system are supposed to leave for Tolyatti; one cannot believe in large-scale business trips, but the settlement of payments thanks to Lada will obviously happen. In St. Petersburg, they have already done this on the example of the Zenit-Sochi link, it is not strange.

But what will SKA itself do? About the “system”, the “brilliant attack” and the “reinforced concrete defense” last year, they laughed a little, but in general the SKA style was quite understandable: the constant game of pressure, the desire to shoot in Instead of passing, active pressure, focus on a power play and block shots (many home bigs were especially discharged for this). At the same time, such creatives as Zhafyarov were more or less allowed to draw, and in the regular season he gave a phenomenal result, but for the umpteenth time in a row he crashed against CSKA.

As a result, SKA abruptly turns around and changes the concept by 180 degrees. Apparently, the group from Omsk Tolchinsky – Gritsyuk will arrive: the SKA leadership took advantage of the unrest in the Omsk kingdom and long-standing good relations with Shumi Babaev, its agent. The signing of Leipsik is expected, as they said about him, the “Soviet” hockey player. There is no one here to trample opponents, it must be a technical and running team. But do they really want to build it in a year?

As the last season showed, there is no need to talk about any long-term planning at SKA. An unsuccessful match Samonov – exchange. Defeat – The player packs a suitcase and travels along the Sochi-Petersburg route. Another loss: another player repeats the same action. In this sense, there is no certainty that Tolchinsky will end his contract. No, this is not some kind of claim at his level, but where is the guarantee that in a year in St. Petersburg they will not decide to again make a team that would trample everyone, and in another year? base of people who would go through the club farm system?

Alexander Samonov

Photo: Ilya Smirnov, photo.khl.ru

At the same time, the transfers of defenders do not quite continue in this vein. Who will feed Tolchinsky precise and creative passes for quick counterattacks? For most newcomers to SKA, the role is still directly on defense. Maybe the club is taking advantage of the legionnaire vacancy for a foreigner? But then the composition will have to be further clarified. There should be no administrative problems with this, unlike sports ones.

This year, SKA will no longer meet CSKA in the third round of the playoffs, but it is strange that Igor Esmantovich’s team did not serve as a living example for Achilles in St. always interesting, but effective. CSKA needed a big purchase, systematic work, targeted transfers and work in a more or less tactical style.

SKA runs in circles, walks on its head and with its back forward, buys 11 people in one offseason, sells or releases a dozen more, and acquires eight more hockey players during the season. Let’s not forget about a bunch of clubs in the system, where players will soon be literally sitting on each other’s heads. It seems that the constant Brownian motion is the reason for the existence of the St. Petersburg club.

As an example of reverse work, we can remember such a long-lived 2014. After a fantastic purchase a year earlier (Kovalchuk, Chervenka, Shipachev, etc.), the club flew off again in the second round, changed coaches, but did not recklessly break everything. SKA made only three transfers: they returned Anton Belov from the NHL, plus they signed Yevgeny Dadonov and the already somewhat forgotten Jimmie Eriksson. Of course, during the championship there were more exchanges, but in the summer the backbone of the club was not destroyed, which was already looking good.

Evgeny Dadonov

Photo: Yuri Kuzmin, photo.khl.ru

And here what: will Roman Rotenberg, who all this time put on hockey and praised him everywhere, will take it and switch to a completely different style with a half (or maybe even more) different lineup? Why was it impossible to wait at least a little, to give the leaders of this list a chance by adding precise reinforcements (the main word is precise), because “the CSKA champion window is almost closed”?

Of course, you can completely change the composition and strategy and hope that this will all work out in a year. Why only one? Because if it doesn’t shoot, within a year SKA will again be waiting for a total update. The ability to wait patiently has not yet been brought to St. Petersburg, and it is hard to believe that it will suddenly appear in a year.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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