OHL Alumni Affected By Fall Of Moscow Dynamo

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No doubt you’ve seen the news splattered about the newspapers, sports networks and the web. They liken it to the fall of the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees. Moscow Dynamo is no more. Established in 1946, Dynamo was the dominant team in Russian hockey, winning 9 national titles as well as several international prizes. As stated in this TSN.ca article by Jamie Bell, the league doesn’t rely on gate receipts to make money and is pretty much solely funded by sponsors. Apparently, those companies sponsoring Dynamo no longer saw it as a good investment.

Some of the most recent stars to be produced by the Dynamo system are Alex Kovalev of the Senators, Alexei Yashin who had an under-achieving NHL career and is currently playing in the KHL, and, of course, Alex Ovechkin.

Three Ontario Hockey League grads played with the team this season and will be looking for a new home next season. If you click on the names below, you’ll be taken to each player’s profile page on the KHL’s official website. There seems to be no point in linking to the team’s official site as it may not exist much longer.

Alexei Semenov played three seasons in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves from 1998-99 to 2000-01. In his final season with the Wolves, he was honoured with the Max Kaminsky Trophy for the league’s top defenceman. A second round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1999 draft, Semenov would go on to have a modest 211 game NHL career with the Oilers, Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks. Alexei was in his first season in the KHL this year after leaving the NHL.

Vitaly Yachmenev played for the North Bay Centennials of the OHL for two seasons, 1993-94 and 1994-95. Yachmenev was awarded the Emms Family Award in 1993-94 as the OHL’s top first year player. His 61 goals and 113 points, as well as an addition 32 points in the playoffs helped the Centennials to their only J. Ross Robertson Cup and Hamilton Spectator Trophy. His second season wasn’t too shabby either with 53 goals and 105 points.

Yachmenev played 487 NHL games between 1995-95 and 2002-03 with the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators. He returned to Russian for the 2003-04 season and has played in his homeland since. This was Vitaly’s third season with the Dynamo.

It would take a very loyal Sarnia Sting fan to remember the third player. Andrei Plekhanov played just two games in the OHL during the 2004-05 season, both with Sarnia. A third round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2004, Plekhanov has wandered from Russia to the North American minors and back to Russia. This was his first season with Dynamo.

It’s sad to see a great team like this go and it’s hard not to wonder what consequences will result for the KHL in general, if any. What this does do is reduce the CFLesque league to just two teams named Dynamo (Dinamo) which may help clear up some confusion for North Americans trying to follow the Russian Super League.

Check out these other Russia-related posts:

Fedor Fedorov playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk

Former London Knight, Maxim Spiridonov, among leading scorers in KHL

Russian Hockey Language Guide

Fedor Tyutin is lone OHL grad on Russian Olympic Team

Brandon Sugden and Chris Simon playing on KHL’s Chekhov Vityaz

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