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.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):
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
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.