Former NHL Player Updates From the KHL

Founded in 2008, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is the strongest league in Europe and is the second-best league in the world behind the NHL. The KHL is a spin-off of the former Russian Super League. The KHL features 21 teams located in Russia, with the other three teams in the league located in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Latvia.

Since the KHL was founded, it offers several benefits for players who are either in the middle or end of their NHL careers. They can get bigger paychecks and not have the tax restrictions like there are in the United States. While there have been a lot of players who have left for the KHL, the NHL should not take the KHL lightly. While most of the players are Russian or natives of the former Soviet Union satellite countries, there could be a slow influx of Canadians in the league if they can’t get picked up by a team in the NHL.

Here’s a list of players who formerly played in the NHL and now reside in the KHL this season. Several names will be familiar to you as profiled below.

Alexander Radulov, Salavat Ylaev Ufa

Former Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov is having a great season in the KHL. He is second in the league with 38 points in 31 games. The Russian was a big loss for the Predators when he left the team before the start of the 2008-09 season. The season before, he had a 58-point campaign and expected to be one of the top players for Nashville. His team is currently second in the Eastern Conference and have the third best record in the KHL.

Alexi Yashin, SKA St. Petersburg

Just like Radulov, Yashin is one of the top scorers in the league. His team, SKA St. Petersburg, has the second best record in the KHL. Yashin does lead the league in assists with 27 to go along with his 38 points in 31 games. Yashinhasn’t been in the NHL since 2007 when he finished his fifth season with the New York Islanders.

Marcel Hossa, Dinamo Riga

We’re familiar with his brother Marian, the younger Hossa is in his second season with the Latvian KHL team. Hossa is in his season in the KHL but before then he played in the NHL for 5 seasons with the Canadiens, Rangers, and Coyotes. Effective both on offense and with his physical play, Hossa recorded 44 points and118 penalty minutes in the regular season last year in 52 games. This season he has already eclipsed his goals total (23 this season in 33 games compared to 22 last season) and has a five-goal lead over the rest of the league.

Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow face-off in a KHL game
Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow face-off in a KHL game

Jiri Hudler, Dynamo Moscow

Former Detroit Red Wings left winger Hudler is continuing his increased offensive production in the KHL. Last season was his best in his NHL career when he recorded 57 points in all 82 regular-season games with the Red Wings. He was expected to be a contributing player for the team but left the Red Wings for more money despite being a restricted free-agent in the 2009 off-season. For Dynamo Moscow this season, Hudler is one of 16 players with 30+ points with 13 goals and 19 assists in 33 games. His team currently sits in 4th place in the Western Conference.

Sergei Federov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk

Wanting to fulfil his father’s wish of watching his two sons play on the same team, Federov signed a two-year contract to play in the KHL. This season, he has 22 points in 32 games. His plus-minus rating is just as high as his point total at +21, which is good for third in the league. His brother Fedor on the other hand, has been injured and only seen action in 19 games. Their team tops the league in points with 78.

Sergei Zubov, SKA St. Petersburg

One of the best blueliners in the history of the NHL, Zubovspent 16 years in the NHL before in injuries hampered his career each of his last two seasons in Dallas. In July, he signed the contract to play in the KHL and has been able to stay healthy as he’s played 33 games. With 22 points, his defense and goaltending from former NHLer Robert Esche has helped SKA St. Petersburg become one of the top teams in the KHL.

Vyacheslav Fetisov, CSKA

Currently the President of CSKA, Fetisov decided to take matters into his own hands and lace up the skates at the age of 51. The Hall of Famer signed a player’s contract for the remainder of the season due to injuries of several key defenseman. The news was announced today, and we will be sure to keep an eye on how he’s playing as he resumes his career after an 11 year layoff beginning tomorrow night against SKA St. Petersburg.


  1. Enjoyed this update Eddie, Nice job. Especially appreciated knowing that a 50 year old laced up the skates and will be playing at the elite level. You may see me on the roller hockey rink someday!

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