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One Russian left in Moscow


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As training camp comes to a close around the VHL, an unfamiliar sight has startled Moscow's hockey fans – a lack of Russians in their local Menace team. After three seasons of declining returns from fifth overall pick Dimitri Volosenkov, his contract was allowed to run down into free agency. While this was more or less accepted by the masses, there was more consternation over the decision to sacrifice former captain and Menace lifer Evgeni Komarov to accommodate overseas free agent signings. From three Russians in the team, Moscow now retains only Vladimir Pavlov, the former child prodigy now increasingly seen as the puppet of the man in charge of the de-Russianification of the Menace: GM Victor Alfredsson.


“Look, my remit is to build a competitive team in Moscow,” Mr Alfredsson recently snapped back at reporters, “No one told me it had to be done with exclusively local talent. If there's no Russians worthy of playing for a cup contender in the VHL, then there are no Russians worthy of playing for Moscow.”


It was the latest event in an increasingly tense relationship between Alfredsson, the man who brought VHL hockey to Moscow, and his team's fans. Following the failure to secure a playoff spot in star forward Podrick Cast's final season it appeared the GM's position was on increasingly thin ice, although less extreme fans have been placated by the double signing of Davos' Gritty and Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen.


However, rumours are swirling that the decision to bring in another veteran VHL GM in Austin Gow as Alfredsson's assistant is a contingency plan by ownership if things go south for Moscow in S69. This could be a situation to watch as it develops.

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