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Globetrotting: KHL's internet crackdown, brawl revisited

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Recently, I've been posting video from a YouTube channel under the username "videoKHL", which has made it easy for me to share highlights from the top hockey league outside of North America with the readers.  Well, that era is now over.  The channel has been shutdown, and by rough translations in the comments, it's all about a wider crackdown by the KHL to protect it's copyright.  I had my suspicions about whether the channel was official or not, it never claimed to be, but used the league's logo, acronym and even claimed the KHL as the channel's website.  The pure volume of highlights kind of gave it a quasi-legitimacy, and well, embedding video from another site isn't on me anyways.  I doubt my embedding of his videos led to the KHL's awareness of it, the channel recently passed over 1m views and quite frankly my traffic pales in comparison to that.  Whether or not the league is planning a way to distribute their own video in their own way, whether through YouTube or allowing the embedding of video from their website, remains to be seen.  It certainly would help inform readers here about the goings on of the league, drawing further attention to them in the process.  But for now, I guess we'll be doing our KHL reports sans-video.  If you check out the top video on the videoKHL channel right now, well, you'll see he's none too happy about the shutdown (warning, NSFW).  There are a couple of videos still up from this season on the channel, but all the ones I posted previously are now gone. 

It doesn't help matters that the English language version of the KHL website doesn't provide video, so you have to navigate the Russian version of the website in order to watch highlights.  It's relevant right now for the first match between Vityaz Chekhov and Avangard Omsk this season, between the two teams that duked it out for a record 691 PIMs and the cancellation of the game after only 3:39 of play last January.  These were the same clubs who were playing when Alexei Cherapanov died suddenly and Chekhov bore a lot of the blame for inadequate medical response, and it appears that the fines from both those games have led to an intense hatred between the clubs probably not seen anywhere else in the professional hockey world.  Canadian tough guys Brandon Sudgen and Darcy Verot still remain members of Chekhov, and they're now joined by Josh Gratton, another Canadian not shy to drop them.  Combined with being captained by Chris Simon, this is the league's own version of the Broad Street Bullies, although without the championships to back the fists up.  Verot, Sudgen, Simon, and Gratton figured prominently to raise Chekhov's PIM total for Thursday's game to 149, while joined by teenager Ivan Larin and defenseman Maxim YeprevMartin Skoula, Dmitry Ryabkin and Timofei Shishkanov got fighting majors for Omsk as they survived the ordeal with a 4-2 win and only 25 PIMs charged to them.  Here's the gamesheet for the carnage. 

Join me after the jump for more thoughts on video sharing as well as other hockey links from around the globe.

KHL attendance record beaten in Minsk - RT Top Stories
In more positive KHL news, 15,531 spectators have visited the clash between local side Dinamo and champions AK Bras Kazan.  Minsk's arena is the largest in the KHL, and was full to capacity for the first time in KHL play.  The home side didn't disappoint, winning 5-4 in OT thanks to a shorthanded goal by Sergei Demagin.  Minsk currently leads all KHL teams with 17 points. 

IIHF Continental Cup, Group A Results
CH Jaca of Spain cruised through the Group A stage of the IIHF Continental Cup, thanks to easy wins over Bat Yam of Israel (15-0) and Ankara University of Spain (7-1). Their most difficult opponent, Energija Elektrenai of Lithuania, had to cancel due to the airline they had purchased their tickets from going bankrupt. CH Jaca will now advance to Group B, on Oct. 22-24, in the Netherlands. - Female hockey - the future of our sport in Canada - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada
An opinion piece in Moncton, New Brunswick's Times & Transcript paper from Elsie Hanbrook of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women looks at the programs being put forward to improve women's hockey in the province, with an eye on the growth of the women's game worldwide. 

Latvian ice hockey goaltender Irbe to be inducted into San Jose's Sports Hall of Fame :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics
On November 16, legendary Latvian ice hockey goaltender Arturs Irbe will be inducted into San Jose's (California) Sports Hall of Fame, writes LETA. Irbe will be the first former San Jose ''Sharks'' (National Hockey League) player to be inducted in the city's Sport Hall of Fame.  Irbe was inducted this past year into the IIHF's Hall of Fame as well.

Hull's Dave Phillips joins Chicago Wolves for second AHL season
The doubters suggested Hull-born Dave Phillips' American Hockey League career would be short and not so sweet.  Phillips is a British player who will be playing in the AHL's biggest market this year after winning Most Improved Player for the Rockford IceHogs last year. 

New boys aim for top-five finish Ice hockey: Braehead Clan aim for top-five finish in debut season - Herald Scotland | Sport | Other Sports News
More British hockey news as a new EIHL team based in Scotland looks to make a big impact in their first season.

MOL Liga team (Romania) forefeits game due to bad ice - Site oficial FRHG
There's really nothing more that can be said about this one.  I don't believe I've ever heard of this before.

NHL avoids European expansion at its own peril
Mark Sutcliffe of the Ottawa Citizen argues for a NHL Europe.  However, he seems to be out of step with the KHL's ability to attract young NHL talent based on this past summer. 

Portland explains playing Red 23, but why'd they play it coy? - Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey  - Yahoo! Sports

Neate Seager goes through a bizarre incident in which the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL used a young Swiss forward in a intersquad game who had never been cleared to play in North America.  The team is being disciplined for the breach by the WHL, and while coach Mike Johnston's reason for having Alessio Bertaggia in camp is valid, I can't help but believe he inserted him into the scrimmage to try and get a better scouting report on the kid for next year's Import Draft. 

Finally, an update on the Kevin Bruijsten story I provided the link for in the last Globetrotting feature.  I've had a couple of emails sent to me from readers that explain that the Dutch forward is attending the Toronto Marlies' camp mainly as part of an exchange to bring his coach over to lead a skills development session with the team.  Bruijsten's chances of sticking in North America aren't high, but it is a possibility.  Thanks for the updates on this, and in light of the link I've provided above for Dave Phillips, it's quite interesting to see these players from lower scale European nations and leagues getting a shot in the AHL. Best of luck to Bruijsten, hopefully he furthers his own career whether he makes the team or not.

As for the video, I hope to be able to provide you with some as it comes about, but obviously the loss of the channel is a hit to that kind of coverage.  I'm obligated, and quite frankly fully in agreement to keeping illegal material and distribution off this site.  It's tough to provide much multimedia elements to the reporting I'm doing, as we don't have access to KHL photos or videos at this point in time.  I'll continue to try and work on getting access in the future, but at this point I can only provide you with what they give me, so it'll be rare.  The same thing applies when it comes to sharing links for live games...  I can't actually do that if it's through a peer to peer sharing site, only if I find officially sanctioned feeds through the league, it's teams, or the broadcasters.  I've found a Latvian broadcaster which shows Dinamo Riga's games on their site, but outside of that I can't say I have much of anything.  You'll have to seek out your own ways to find games, and for highlights, I can only just direct you and comment on what is provided on the KHL's website for now.  I hope you understand. 

As for other leagues, I don't have access to photos for the games through Getty at this point, though they provide a lot of great photos for major IIHF tournaments.  Hopefully I'll be able to obtain photos from the teams themselves that can be useful to my reports in the future.  I've been able to secure some in the past, and I'm hopeful that I can continue to do that.

In the meantime, enjoy it while you can (okay, it's SM-Liiga so we're probably okay).  Courtesy of E. Huisman, here's Nashville Predators prospect Jani Lajunen of Espoo Blues joining the club of successful lacrosse style, behind the net goals:

Even more impressive?  This was an OT winner.  That takes some serious cajones.