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May 30, 2012

Hockey in Brooklyn: KHL president says two regular-season games set for Barclays Center

Yahoo! Sports
by Dmitry Chesnokov

Just a couple of month ago, we wrote about the KHL's ambitious plans to bring their hockey to North America. KHL President Alexander Medvedev met with the heads of the NHL and the NHLPA in March about the idea who, according to Medvedev, "promised that they won't oppose [having KHL games in Brooklyn]."

The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, partially financed by Russian billionaire and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, was the target for those games. On Tuesday, Medvedev announced that two games of the 2012-13 KHL regular season will indeed be held in Brooklyn.

"In January before the [KHL] All Star Games the KHL will hold two regular season games at the new Brooklyn arena. We are planning to send teams with names to New York," he said.

"There are five candidates at this time. They are CSKA, Dynamo [the reigning KHL champion], as well as the teams [Jaromir] Jagr and [Alexander] Radulov played for [Avangard Omsk and Salavat Yulaev] and SKA St. Petersburgh. I am sure these games will be sold out," Medvedev told Sovetsky Sport today.

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NoLandGrab: The only way those games sell out is if there's an NHL lockout next season — and the tickets are priced well below NHL standard.

Related coverage...

NY Post, Barclays to host Russians

Barclays Center officials wouldn’t confirm the deal but said serious talks are ongoing.

However, sources said the arrangement makes sense considering the arena will be home to the Brooklyn Nets — which are owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov — and arena officials have said they want to tap into Brooklyn’s large Russian population.

Also, with a potential NHL lockout looming next season, the KHL could be the only hockey game in town.

Hockey News, Brooklyn could host two KHL games

Nothing is official yet, but plans are for KHL teams to play two regular-season games at the Barclays Center in January during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.

NYMag.com, Brooklyn Plans Two Regular-Season KHL Games

Hockey Buzz, Does Hockey Grow in Brooklyn?

So today there was an announcement that the KHL President, Alexander Medvedev will be bringing two regular season KHL games to the Barclays Center in January of 2013, a few months after the New York Islanders play the NJ Devils in a pre-season game on October 2nd. That is, of course, if the next hockey season starts on time.

The CEO of Barclays Center, Brett Yormark, may feel that “Brooklyn is an untapped hockey market” but I just don’t see it. Certainly bringing two Russian teams may play well with the very large Russian population of the area. But to think it can sustain a hockey team for 41 home games a year may be slightly unrealistic.

No matter what anyone says about the amount of public transportation available towards the Barclays Center, those of us who live on the East end of Long Island will not be able to get to games on time or be able to afford it.

I could be wrong, but something about this sounds like a Russian circus -- sans the dancing bears.

NLG: More like HockeyBuzzkill, for the fantasy that the Islanders might someday call the Barclays Center home.

Posted by eric at May 30, 2012 10:39 AM