Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who goes to Russia?
...and other far-flung hockey destinations

James do you know how many Canadians are playing in the Russian Super League? I assume McLennan is not the first.

I know many Canadians play in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. But there seem to be very few playing in Finland, eastern Europe and Russia.
— Frank
By my information, 11 North Americans played in the top Russian hockey league last season, and the majority of them were goalies (with 2006-07 team and hometown):

Chad Alban (G), Chelyabinsk - Kalamazoo, Mich.
Sebastien Charpentier (G), Chekhov - Drummondville, Que.
Jason Doig, Chelyabinsk - Montreal
Mike Fountain (G), Tolyatti - North York, Ont.
Ray Giroux, Kazan Ak-Bars - North Bay, Ont.
Brett Hauer, Yaroslavl - Edina, Minn.
Marc Lamothe (G), Cherepovets - New Liskeard, Ont.
David Ling, Moscow Dynamo - Halifax
Tyler Moss (G), Khabarovsk - Ottawa
Travis Scott (G), Magnitogorsk - Kanata, Ont.
Reid Simpson, Chekhov - Flin Flon, Man.

An interesting mix there, one that is full of guys who had a cup of coffee in the NHL. In fact, the only player on that list without any big-league experience is Alban, the former Michigan State standout who is perhaps a little small for the NHL. He was in the AHL up until 2001-02 with Utah, and made the jump to Russia in 2005.

I know Ling's headed back to this side of the pond to play in the Maple Leafs organization, but other than that, I'm assuming most of these guys will be back in Russia with McLennan.

I'll look into the other leagues Frank mentions and get back to you.

UPDATE So much for Frank's hypothesis about the dearth of Canadian talent in Finland's top league; there's a ton of guys playing over there, many of them obscure names:

Peter Aston, Assat Pori - Toronto
Nathan Barrett, Turku - Vancouver
Andy Chiodo (G), Hameenlinna - Toronto
Dale Clarke, Tampere - Sarnia, Ont.
B.J. Crombeen, Assat Pori - Newmarket, Ont.
Pierre Dagenais, Jokerit - Blainville, Que.
Matt Davidson, KalPa - Flin Flon, Man.
Steve Guolla, HIFK - Scarborough, Ont.
Quinn Hancock, Tampere - Rock Creek, B.C.
Chris Hajt, Lukko Rauma - Saskatoon
Paul Healey, Assat Pori - Edmonton
Burke Henry, Tampere - Ste. Rose, Man.
Martin Kariya, Blues - Vancouver
Pat Kavanaugh, SaiPa - Ottawa
Tom Lawson, Lukko Rauma - Whitby, Ont.
Ross Lupaschuk, Karpat - Edmonton
Kent Manderville, Blues - Edmonton
Kent McDonell, Turku - Williamstown, Ont.
Cory Murphy, HIFK - Kanata, Ont.
Rem Murray, HIFK - Stratford, Ont.
Kyle Peto, KalPa - Lethbridge, Alta.
David Schneider, Hameenlinna - Melrose Park, Ill.
Martin Sonnenberg, KalPa - Wetaskiwin, Alta.
Tim Stapleton, Jokerit - La Grange, Ill.
Billy Tibbets, HIFK - Boston
Shayne Toporowski, Lukko Rauma - Paddockwood, Sask.
Ryan VandenBussche, Jokerit - Simcoe, Ont.
Layne Ulmer, Turku - North Battleford, Sask.
Clarke Wilm, Jokerit - Central Butte, Sask.
Patrick Yetman, Pelicans - St. John's
Rob Zepp (G), SaiPa - Newmarket, Ont.

I can't find the info for any other leagues (Austria, Italy, Czech, Slovak, Swiss, etc.), but if others come across that data, by all means, send it in.

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At 5:23 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger Lowetide said...

Chris Hajt towers over the rest of that Finland list. :-)

At 5:27 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

This is a list of foreigners in the Czech Extraliga last season:


A LOT of Slovaks with a sprinkling of German, Latvian, Poles, and Finns. North Americans rarely play there... I remember Aitken had a short sting with Sparta Prague some time back, but sucked eggs.

Oh, Brendan Morrison played with Elias for Pardubice during a holdout about a decade ago... yipeee...

At 6:04 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Is it bad that I recognize nearly half of those names?

Cory Murphy was the one who got a lot of press for being the only non-NHLer on this year's IIHF World Championship team. He signed with Florida earlier this year. Good for him - he's 29 and has never played a professional game in North America.

At 6:14 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

In fact, the only player on that list without any big-league experience is Alban, the former Michigan State standout who is perhaps a little small for the NHL.

Chad Alban a little small? Just wait until you get a look at Jeff Lerg, who just won an NCAA Championship with the Spartans. I'm not sure his shoulders reach the crossbar. Guy's quick as hell, though; made some beautiful saves in St. Louis.

The MSU/Maine semi-final was an interesting contrast, what with Lerg lining up across the rink from Ben Bishop. Officially, there's more than a foot of height difference, and I'd bet that it's more like 15-16 inches.

At 6:39 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger sager said...

VandenBussche wasn't in Jokerit very long... he's gone into coaching back in Simcoe, actually.

At 6:58 p.m., July 31, 2007, Anonymous Alec said...

Here's some guys playing in Germany(which can be very fluid)

Bryan Adams Kölner Haie CANADA
Jeremy Adduono Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Chris Armstrong Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Doug Ast ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Mike Bales Straubing Tigers CANADA
Colin Beardsmore Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Marc Beaucage Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Mark Beaufait Eisbären Berlin USA
Derek Bekar Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Patrick Boileau Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Kevin Bolibruck Augsburger Panther CANADA
Francois Bouchard, Adler Mannheim CANADA
Richard Brennan Sinupret Ice Tigers USA
Travis Brigley Augsburger Panther CANADA
Sean Brown, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Shawn Carter Sinupret Ice Tigers USA
Eric Chouinard Straubing Tigers CANADA
Greg Classen Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Rob Collins DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Rene Corbet Adler Mannheim CANADA
David Cornacchia ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Cory Cross Hamburg Freezers CANADA
David Cullen DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Craig Darby Augsburger Panther USA
Raymond Dilauro Krefeld Pinguine USA
Ted Drury Krefeld Pinguine USA
Yanick Dubé Augsburger Panther CANADA
Matt Dzieduszycki Füchse Duisburg CANADA
Calvin Elfring Straubing Tigers CANADA
Kelly Fairchild Eisbären Berlin USA
Rico Fata Adler Mannheim CANADA
Colin Forbes Adler Mannheim CANADA
Francois Fortier Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Jean-Francois Fortin Füchse Duisburg CANADA
Kirk Furey Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Trevor Gallant Straubing Tigers CANADA
Aaron Gavey Kölner Haie CANADA
Ian Gordon, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Benoit Gratton, Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Mark Greig, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Adam Hauser, Kölner Haie USA
Jay Henderson, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Matt Higgins, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Rob Hisey, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Jason Holland, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Raffaele Intranuovo, Kölner Haie CANADA
Patrick Jarrett, Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Cole Jarrett, Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Jason Jaspers, Adler Mannheim CANADA
Jeff Jillson, Eisbären Berlin USA
Craig Johnson, DEG Metro Stars USA
Shane Joseph, Augsburger Panther CANADA
Stéphane Julien, Kölner Haie CANADA
Steve Kelly, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Matt Kinch, Straubing Tigers CANADA
Scott King, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Jean-Francois Labbe, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Christian Laflamme, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Dan Lambert, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Lebeau, Patrick Frankfurt Lions 17.03.1970 CANADA
Greg Leeb,Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Alan Letang, Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Bill Lindsay Kölner Haie CANADA
Lynn Loyns, Krefeld Pinguine CANADA
David Lundbohm, Straubing Tigers USA
Cameron Mann, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Paul Manning, Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Justin Mapletoft, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Jason Marshall, Kölner Haie CANADA
Francois Methot, Adler Mannheim CANADA
Kevin Mitchell, Hamburg Freezers USA
Ian Moran, Eisbären Berlin USA
Richard Mueller,Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Marc Murphy, Augsburger Panther USA
Eric Nickulas, Hannover Scorpions USA
Dwayne Norris, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Jeff Panzer, DEG Metro Stars USA
Shane Peacock, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Denis Pederson, Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Jean-Marc Pelletier, Adler Mannheim USA
Michel Periard, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
James Pollock, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Harlan Pratt, Augsburger Panther CANADA
Brad Purdie, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Deron Quint,Eisbären Berlin USA
Ryan Ready, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Andrew Roach, Eisbären Berlin USA
Robinson, Nathan Adler Mannheim CANADA
Stephane Robitaille, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Richard Rochefort,Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Boris Rousson, Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Jimmy Roy, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Andre Savage, Sinupret Ice Tigers CANADA
Brad Schlegel, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Chris Schmidt, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Eric Schneider, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Andrew Schneider, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Richard Seeley, Füchse Duisburg CANADA
Cam Severson, Straubing Tigers CANADA
Jeff Shantz, Adler Mannheim USA
Todd Simpson, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Blake Sloan, Adler Mannheim USA
Brad Smyth, Hamburg Freezers CANADA
Charlie Stephens, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Jamie Storr, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Brian Swanson, Sinupret Ice Tigers USA
Sean Tallaire, Kölner Haie CANADA
Brad Tapper, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Chris Taylor, Frankfurt Lions CANADA
Brad Tiley, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Daniel Tkaczuk, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Jeff Tory, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Paul Traynor, Iserlohn Roosters CANADA
Pascal Trepanier, Adler Mannheim CANADA
William Trew, Straubing Tigers CANADA
Jeff Ulmer, Frankfurt Lions USA
Jason Ulmer, Hannover Scorpions CANADA
Robert Valicevic, ERC Ingolstadt USA
Darren Van Impe, DEG Metro Stars CANADA
Jimmy Waite, ERC Ingolstadt CANADA
Steve Walker, Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Kyle Wharton, Eisbären Berlin CANADA
Jason Young, Frankfurt Lions CANADA

At 7:27 p.m., July 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Canadians were (years ago) complaining about Europeans taking their jobs. Hmm.

At 7:48 p.m., July 31, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

James you never fail to amaze me on how quickly you can get this type of info. Thanks.

Your comments about the number of goaltenders from North America is interesting. Adding McLennan to this list, 7 of the 12 are goaltenders. The big knock on Russian hockey was that apart from a few elite players (Khabibulin, Nabokov, Bryyzgalov) the Russians are terrible in producing goaltenders. This info seems to support that thesis. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a number of goaltenders from Finland and Sweden also playing in the Russian Super League.

As a corolary, I would guess that there are few North American goaltenders playing in Finland!!

I am quite surprised though at the number of Canadians playing there.

Alec, thaks for the list on the German Elite League. There's enough Canadians there to support a Tim Horton's franchise!

At 10:31 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger Andy Hall said...

How about "Who is coming back from Russia?"
Probably a short list.

At 10:32 p.m., July 31, 2007, Anonymous Alec said...


Justin Papineau
Mike Maneluk
Brett Hauer
Yves Sarault
Domenic Pittis
Paul Di Pietro
Barry Richter
Simon Fischer
Trevor Meier
Serge Aubin
Jamie Wright
Erik Westrum
Hnat Domenichelli
Nicholas Naumenko
Sébastien Caron
Shawn Heins
Wes Snell
Yannick Tremblay
Mike Knoepfli
Landon Wilson
Stacy Roest
Ramzi Abid
Christian Dube
Nathan Dempsey
Curtis Murphy
Josh Holden
Jeff Toms
Donald MacLean

At 11:40 p.m., July 31, 2007, Blogger Brushback said...

How about "Who is coming back from Russia?"
Probably a short list.

I'd say neither of those guys, this year at least.

At 11:50 p.m., July 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goalies in Finland? A. Chiodo as far as I know.
Tim Thomas was there in couple of occasions. Scott Langkow had a try-out with Jokerit until Jussi Markkanen signed with them this Monday.

At 4:02 a.m., August 01, 2007, Anonymous Marcus, Sweden said...

Martin Kariya left the Finnish Blues to join the St Louis Blues this off-season. Just so you know.

At 3:20 p.m., August 01, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

Funny how six out of the 11 Canadians playing in Russia are goalies. Canada is renowned for our goaltending depth, of course, but I wonder why it is that the Russian system is doing such a poor job of developing goaltending?

At 4:11 a.m., August 02, 2007, Anonymous berestoff said...

Here's some update about North Americans in Russian Superleague.

Ак Bars (Kazan) - Raymond Giroux (D), Kory Larose (F),
Amur (Khabarovsk) – Tyler Moss (G),
Dynamo (Moscow) – Jamie Lundmark (F), Eric Landry (F),
Khimik (Moscow Region) – Martin Saint-Pierre (F),
Lada (Togliatti) - Mike Fountain (G),
Locomotiv (Yaroslavl) – Randy Robitaille (F),
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) – Dave McLennan (G),
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) – Mike Garnett (G),
SKA (Sankt-Petersburg) – Marc Lamothe (G), David Nemirovski (F),
Vityaz (Chekhov) – Darcy Verot (F).

As far as foreign goalies are concerned… from the next (2008/09) season they won't be allowed in RSL in order to give way to the domestic talents.

At 4:13 a.m., August 02, 2007, Anonymous berestoff said...

sorry, guys JAMIE McLennan of course...

At 4:54 a.m., August 02, 2007, Anonymous berestoff said...

One more addition to the list above:
Avangard (Omsk) – Ross Lupaschuk (D)


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