July 11, 2011

Hello from St. Petersburg, Russia!  So much has happened in the NHL that I can’t even begin to address, so I will start with a story about my first couple days here.

I am here working for a company looking to expand to the U.S.  I traveled with the owner to visit some local competitors’ stores for comparisons.  One store was in a mall, across from the hall was a hockey store, like a pro-shop just in a mall.

I walk over to check it out, in the glass displays are mannequins donning a Team Russia and another a Team Canada sweater, not bad.  Walk inside and there’s the local KHL team, SKA, sweater hanging on the wall.  I walk around the cash register counter and what do I see … Penguins practice sweaters.  No joke.  Ugh, this is almost as bad as the time in 2009 when I saw a Penguins jersey at an amusement park in France the day after that awful game 7 loss in DC.

Also, while taking a walk around town and exploring the city, I came across the great Square where the Headquarters, Admiralty, Winter Palace, etc. are located and saw a pickup roller hockey game.  Warning: I’m not the best photographer.


Once I heard the Caps traded Varlamov to Colorado, I was half torn because I’d love to see him start some KHL games over here before I head back to the States in November.  But good for him, he’ll get a starting spot and I just hope he can stay healthy and prove he’s got what it takes.  We’ll miss him in DC and wish him the best of luck to stay healthy.  If he can do that, he’ll be fine; he already has the talent.

If you have any fun hockey stories from travels abroad, comment and tell us your story!





  1. TWIN!!!!!!! Happy to see that you really didn’t get kidnapped! LOL! And that is AWESOME that you saw a Pens jersey! What a treat! It’s like they knew you were coming! 🙂

    When I was in jolly old England, it was the offseason for the EIHL, but I did go see the arena that the Nottingham Panthers play at. Was shocked to see that it was actually a fairly large arena, as I figured it would look much like the arena where they hold figure skating classes and hockey tournaments near my house… I even saw a former Admirals (Sean McAslan) on the roster, as well are a few other Canadians and Americans. In fact, I believe their head coach was a Canadian too.

    I’m sure you’ll see a bunch of guys from over here when you check out some KHL games. The captain of the Admirals last season (Brett Palin) is going to play in the KHL next season (Chomutov KHL). Can’t wait to hear about the KHL!

  2. I went to Canada about a week after Boston won the cup. Just thought I’d let you know that they have moved on after losing yet another one to the USA, even though their team was heavily favored. Granted I was in central Ontario, so BC could still be on fire, but I was pleasantly surprised that there weren’t any mass suicides or anarchist uprisings where I was. Although, I did have a drunk Native American tell me how much he hates Canadians when I stopped to use the ATM, but I have a feeling his hatred began long before early June.

    • Haha, well I’m happy to hear that they’re recovering well.

      It seemed like a one-and-done riot in Vancouver. I would have thought smaller versions would have broken out in the suburbs around the city, but maybe that just shows that it was a drunken fury instead of some code in their gene pool.

      And loved the drunk Native American! This shows my inexperience with the motherland, but do they have indian casinos in Canada like they do in the U.S.?

      One extra travel bit was that in 2008 I went to see my brother who played season for the Stratford Cullitons in Ontario, and what an amazing little hockey town that was! It was like the town population was 5,000, their arena seated 4,000 and every game on Friday nights was a sell-out. Loved the atmosphere up there! I don’t think he bought a single drink all season.


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