Monday, April 26, 2010

Dynamo Winds Down

News out of Russia via the “Slap Shot” blog of the New York Times is that one of the country’s most venerable hockey franchises is about to fold. Moscow Dynamo will wrap up operations at the end of April due to a lack of corporate sponsorship, according to reports. Now a member of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, Moscow Dynamo, along with the mighty Red Army squad, were the premier teams during the days of the Soviet Union. In that era, Dynamo regularly supplied players to the Soviet national team, and even today continues to develop top-quality players, like current NHL star Alex Ovechkin.

Frankly, given the rich history of the team and the amount of national pride tied up in establishing the KHL as not only the premier professional hockey league in Europe, but also as a challenge to the NHL’s reputation as the top circuit of the hockey world, it seems unbelievable that Russia would allow Moscow Dynamo to fold; though it’s worth noting that the global economic recession hit Russia’s oligarch class pretty hard as well. One potential lifeline for Dynamo could be a merger with another KHL team, HK MVD, located in the Moscow suburb of Balashikha. HK MVD is heading into a game 7 showdown with defending champions AK Bars for the Gagarin Cup, the championship trophy of the KHL. Negotiations are on hold until April 30th, after the KHL playoffs are finished.
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