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The KHL needs Lada, not extras. Hockey in Togliatti will take place

Date: June 17, 2024 Time: 03:13:02

It’s summer outside, but hardly anyone rests at the hockey club. Interesting news appears every day, most of the information is about transfers, transfers and other topics related to recruitment. This is logical: right now the teams are laying the personnel bases, recruiting players with whom they will have to solve the problems of the tournament in the next season.

The dynamics of the transitions allows us to draw conclusions about what a certain club can claim in the 2023/2024 championship. For example, the circle of the main favorites in the fight for the Gagarin Cup is obvious: CSKA, SKA, Ak Bars. Some of the teams traditionally ranked among the league’s giants are still in an incomprehensible state. The mystery is how the financial, administrative and selection problems will affect the championship ambitions of Avangard, Magnitogorsk or Salavat.

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It is also interesting to take a closer look at the teams destined for a place in the lower floors of the standings and a stubborn fight to reach the playoffs. Among them, over the past month, the success of the transfer of Lada has been a pleasant surprise. Togliatti residents work very decently in the hockey market. It is already obvious that they will return to the KHL with a high-quality backbone of inexpensive, but motivated and skilled Russian players. Shumakov, Fisenko, Kugryshev, Glukhov, Berezin are an excellent reinforcement for the club from the category of “dark horses”. This is a support group around which you can build an ambitious team. It is clear that in the Volzhan composition there is a place for his own talented students. There will be an opportunity to not only take young people to a professional level, but also to grow them to the status of extraclass teachers.

That is, to engage in useful acts of player development, for which Lada has always been famous. Togliatti has always been one of the strongholds of Russian hockey. Enthusiasm, original coaching staff, “disco” as the meaning of life. School, vertical selection system through youth and youth teams. And in the end – the stars of the championship, the stars of the Russian national teams. By the way, the head coach of Lada is a person who is ideally compatible with the strategy described above. Oleg Bratash has a very serious experience in the development of hockey players, experience in the education of young talents. Krylya Sovetov, SKA, Spartak, Lokomotiv, the vertical of the Russian national teams – everywhere participated in the reserve of personnel, works for the future. By the way, this Bratash experience at the highest levels of the hockey pyramid is exactly 20 years old. Here is such a symbolic anniversary at the beginning of a new project.

Valery Bragin and Oleg Bratash

Photo: photo.khl.ru

There are not so many clubs in our hockey that are capable of showing such devotion to traditions as Lada. Therefore, the policy of individual information sites, trying to impose a skeptical attitude towards the Togliatti project in the hockey community, looks illogical. Well, if you want to make fun of someone, why not pay attention to the same “Cupid”? Where the leadership and curators with serious faces, without a hint of a smile, promise a quick victory in the Gagarin Cup. But at the same time, the players are deceived by money, and hundreds of millions allocated from the regional budget are spent on a lineup that would hardly win the Petrov Cup (the main trophy of the VHL).

“Lada” will certainly work out more fruitfully than such a “Cupid” or, for example, “Vityaz”. Which is just one of the more amazing examples of a club existing for some unknown purpose. Over the past 10 years, the Vityaz management managed to quarrel with two communities of hockey fans at once – from Chekhov and from Podolsk. The club got rid of its own fan base with its own hands, alienated hockey fans from the southern suburbs of Moscow and did not become its own in Balashikha. If, before the inexplicable departure from Podolsk, 3000-4000 spectators constantly went to Vityaz, then last season the attendance dropped by one and a half times (less than three thousand – less than half the capacity of the arena in Balashikha). . The home attendance is the second since the bottom of the league, only Kunlun is worse. Just compare it with the huge Lada fan base, for which not only the whole of Togliatti, but the entire Samara region is cheering.

The KHL club of the same name also has nothing to do with the glorious achievements of the Podolsk Vityaz hockey school. The school exists with money from the local budget, an excellent coaching staff and a well-organized system for educating talented young people is also an exceptional merit of the leaders of the institution, as well as its curators represented by the city authorities. And the team that moved to Balashikha does not even mind giving the school pupils the opportunity to play at the highest level. Graduates of the Youth Sports School, who have established themselves in the club of the Moscow Region, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And then Dorozhko and Yarov spent only one season in Vityaz so far, it is not clear how their career will develop. Only the defender Voronkov has a stable place in the base for several years, but his successes are rather an exception to the rule (as well as two years of trust in the attacker Goncharov). Much more revealing are the examples of disdain for pupils, such as Saprykin, who was simply marinated in Vityaz.

Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) – Vityaz (Moscow Region)

Photo: photo.khl.ru

And no other talents are developed in the KHL club system near Moscow. With a variety of coaches (Belov, Kravets, Butsaev), the team plays in dull recoil, unspectacular trap hockey. Under which experienced craftsmen of the middle hand are required. There are no conditions for gifted youth. A talented player only has one chance for a truly successful career, if SKA pays attention to it. If the St. Petersburg club had not transferred Khusnutdinov, Podkolzin, Moiseev, Bardakov, Pylenkov, Shvets-Rogovoy, Samonov and others from the Moscow region, all these hockey players would not have had a chance to open up to a new level. And, most likely, they would wither away in the Vityaz system without any development. How those who moved to the Moscow region from St. Petersburg itself withered: Larichev (went into decline, managed to straighten the statistics only after leaving Vityaz), Kochetkov (quickly fled to Torpedo), Byvaltsev (four goals in one season, he revived his career by moving to Chelyabinsk). And there are many such examples.

Thanks to Gazprom, HC Vityaz has many years of stable and significant financing. However, what hundreds of millions are spent on and what benefits these expenses bring to hockey, no one can explain. The current top managers of the club have not achieved significant and worthy sports results in their careers: neither with Dynamo Moscow, nor with SKA St. Petersburg, nor now with Vityaz. If tomorrow the Moscow Region club ceases to exist, no one in Russian hockey will simply notice. And someone is still trying to ask why the KHL needs a Lada?

* 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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