From Russia, with love.

January 23, 2010

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Goon Squad

From Russia, with love.

Did I say love? My bad!

A huge fight that stopped a KHL Championship game just after four minutes of play has led to a criminal investigation being launched into the reasons behind the major brawl at the game between Vityaz Chekhov and Avangard Omsk on January 9th.

Match officials struggled desperately to separate the teams and eject the offending players before the game resumed, but another fight broke out after just seven more seconds of play.

 

The officials finally scrapped the match, with only seven and eight players, respectively, left on each team.

According to the Moscow Region’s Prosecutor's Office, the teams will be probed for disorderly conduct. "The players of both teams - using hockey sticks as tools to sort out their relationships – disturbed public order and the rules of the game, hurt each other and broke sporting rules. The match was stopped due to the fight and a lack of players in the teams due to penalties. As a result of the fight, ten Avangard players and three Vityaz men were injured, as well as the referee," the statement by the Prosecutor’s Office said.

After interviews with on-ice officials and witnesses to the game, and what the league's press release termed "the review of videotapes," the following sanctions were issued by the KHL: Both teams have forfeited the game and were fined one million rubles. (That's an American equivalent of $33,500.)

Since it was determined that - in playground parlance - the Vityaz team started the fight, the franchise was fined an additional three million rubles ($100,750) for "harming the reputation of the KHL, its partners and Russian hockey in general."

Vityaz was also "formally warned of a possible expulsion from the KHL in the event of a recurrence of similar violations," according to the KHL announcement.

While the evidence against the players is clear for all to be seen, the President of the Russian Hockey Federation and legendary goaltender Vladislav Tretyak doesn't believe any of them will end up behind bars. "I've seen a lot of fights like this and, of course, it's not good for the Kontinental Hockey League. It wouldn't be good for any league – because any mass brawl brings bad press," he says. "There are clear rules from the KHL stating who and how the players should be disciplined." (Yes, the 'Double Standard Rule' has expanded beyound the NHL.) "A criminal case has never been opened before for this type of incident. A criminal investigation was opened in Canada when a player deliberately hit an opponent over the head with a hockey stick. He was left with an injured skull, was hospitalized and was lucky to be alive. That's a horrible act against an opponent, and that's when criminal proceedings should take place," Tretyak stressed before adding: "Regarding the players from Vityaz and Avangard, I don't think a criminal case is necessary, as they've already been fined and suspended, and no one was badly injured."

Four players, including former American Hockey League enforcer Brandon Sugden and former Tampa Bay Lightning first round pick Alexander Svitov, were fined 150,000 rubles. ($5,042.71)

Five Vityaz players, including Sugden, and one player from Avangard were suspended for one game for their participation in the brawl.

Even Jaromir Jagr, a future Hockey Hall of Famer, was forced to participate in the fight.

Vityaz, called an "embarrassment" to the KHL by Avangard's team president, has responded by signing former NHL enforcer Josh Gratton, and brought back notorious (infamous) former NHL'er fighter Chris Simon. (Is there a message being sent here?)

Monkey See, Monkey Do?

A hockey game for 9-year-olds in Russia also turned into a violent brawl. Players of two Russian youth ice hockey teams - The Penguins and the Northern Stars - were trying to keep pace with pro hockey, in all aspects, when a regular game between these 'Mini Goons' turned into all-in massive fight on ice:

 

These bad ass 9-year-old future stars have proven that ice hockey is one of the toughest games to play, no matter what age you are!

As a result of the 'mini brawl', 707 penalty minutes were handed out to the little guys. (Take THAT, QMJHL! - pussies!)

Now, I don't really condone violence among 9-year-olds, but I actually found some of the footage kinda entertaining. (The future of ice hockey in the Olympics is finally starting to look pretty fucking interesting!)

It's probably a good thing that these kids don't really know how to fight, yet, but they are learning, and it's pretty obvious that they are very passionate about their hockey!

Rage on, young Goons to be, and don't take any shit from ANYONE!

Keywords: Hockey, KHL

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