My Russian stepson Denis Brel went to a KHL game a few days ago in St. Petersburg, and it just happened to be Ilya Kovalchuk’s first game at his new home rink after returning to his homeland due to the lockout. Denis says the rink holds 12,000 people, but 14,000 squeezed in, because to see Kovalchuk was a big thing on this night.
The video is 16 minutes long, and please don’t mind the semi-darkness at the beginning, which lasts about 55 seconds. Denis started filming as the lights weren’t quite turned on, and carries on from there. And once they’re on, we see the cheerleaders lined up and the players introduced, and then it’s on to game action.
I think it’s all very interesting, and the fans seem to be having fun. Home team SKA won 7-2 on this big night, but what surprises me is that Kovalchuk (#17 in blue) has been made captain of SKA, even though his season could last just weeks or a few months. So NHL players aren’t just taking jobs over there, they’re taking captaincies too.
Denis’ website, which he shares with his dad Anatoli, who is one of the leading hockey historians in all of Russia, (and I say that without hesitation), can be seen here. – Brels’sHockey