Sometimes I get bored and I decide to take questions from people so that I can pretend to be smart. This is the first edition of KHL Mailbag on Full Press Coverage.
Question 1: Where do you see Dinamo Riga in 5 years?
I often get this question and I always have the same answer. Nowhere. Dinamo is an inconsistent team that struggles to have any kind of the core of players. Sure they have Latvian players that have been around for years but I cannot call that a core. You need a foundation that has to be built one year at a time. However, given Riga’s financial issues, they are unable to build anything to use long-term. They will always be a bottom feeder with a random spike when they hit on the import signings.
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Question 2: What are your thoughts about Nail Yakupov?
Waste of talent. I wouldn’t run the lazy narrative when it comes to Nail Yakupov but there’s just something missing with him. His first season in the NHL seemed okay-ish, then came the decline. Now he is in KHL and would you look at that? The first season was awesome and then a drop in results. Now he’s been dragged to Khabarovsk where he’s unlikely to play. If he could put together at least two decent seasons in back-to-back he would be more appreciated as a talent. Another situation where you can say that inconsistency has dragged down a career.
Question 3: What’s your favorite league and why?
I’ll take this as if you’re asking me about the favorite league to watch. It’s the Swiss NLA. The hockey there is just – run and gun hockey which I enjoy. Defense sometimes is very optional and goalies have to present themselves at the highest level. I like goals and I also like goaltending a lot. So whenever I get a chance to watch that kind of hockey – I just sit back and enjoy it. It’s not often when I have time for it but it’s certainly an enjoyable experience.
Question 4: Do you think Goldobin will find success over in the KHL?
While you cannot define success I think he’ll be okay. If you are playing for a team like CSKA Moscow there is no way you can suck. A coach will always find a way to spark a player by putting a guy together with two guys that are just lighting it up and if you don’t perform – there’s the press box or you can always get moved to another team. I wouldn’t be worried about Goldobin but what I can say is that I think it’s hella stupid that he made the decision to move to the KHL.
Question 5: Are any other KHL teams at risk of going bankrupt, or having to sit out because of COVID?
There are always rumors about these things and people love to speculate because that gives the views and/or reads. As far as I’m concerned – Admiral will be the only team to sit out.
Bonus round: KHL expansion, Yaroslav Askarov, Ilya Sorokin.
- KHL has always been hoping to expand further, be it Europe or Asia. That is still the goal and likely to happen as soon as an appropriate strategy is developed.
- Askarov will likely fall to mid-first round in this year’s NHL entry draft but whoever gets him will have a damn great goalie in the future. After watching him on multiple occasions this season I got the vibe that he was KHL ready. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given a proper chance but it’s a good sign for what’s to come in the future.
- This was the most asked question so I couldn’t just go past it. No, there is no news on Ilya Sorokin, Kirill Kaprizov, or Alexander Romanov. As far as I’m aware – NHL is still working on their eligibility for this season. I don’t think they will be allowed to play. I also don’t think the trio would be interested to go back to KHL. It’s still pretty much up in the air but when there’s an update to that situation – I will make sure to provide with all the information necessary.