KHL and the Russian Economy
Posted by simon c on 2008 November 7日 Friday
A fascinating interview about the KHL and the Russian Economy by the first reporter who have conducted an English language interview with Jaromir Jagr since he made his move to the KHL club Avangard Omsk (RIP Alexei Cherepanov), from where else, NY Times’ Slapshot blog:
Q: Your article last weekend portrayed a K.H.L. that seems to be on the rise. Has there been reaction from N.H.L. types, who generally have tended to play down the Russian league’s viability?
ANDREW MEIER: To judge from reaction I’ve heard, N.H.L. officials are intrigued. Certainly if you ask anyone on the Rangers, who learned firsthand in their preseason game against Magnitogorsk, few doubt the level of play in the new league. And Magnitka, as your readers know, ain’t even close to the top of the K.H.L. I would not be surprised to see the N.H.L. moving eastward, as the Russians move westward — and we get N.H.L. season openers one day soon in Russia.
Q: The world financial crisis of the last few weeks has hit Russia hard, particularly affecting industries like oil, steelmaking and mining. Since several teams in the K.H.L. are owned or sponsored by such industries, will they have to drastically cut expenses? Will we see a fire sale of players, for example?
A.M.: Couple of things we have to remember when trying to gauge how hard the global financial crisis will hit Russian sports. First of all, Russia’s stock market began to plummet much earlier — back in May. It then sank in most dramatic fashion in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August. It’s down, way down, but still alive. (When trading gets too wild, they shut it down for the day.) Second: the Russian state has been saving up for this rainy day. The state oil reserve fund has at least $141 billion. Third: Putin and Medvedev have moved quickly to shore up the favored oligarchs, offering liquidity lifelines to a host of industrial and financial titans. Finally, even though Russia lives on oil and gas exports and the oil price has fallen in recent weeks, it’s still higher than the price pegged (roughly $70/barrel) in the state budget.
This entry was posted on 2008 November 7日 Friday at 3:26 and is filed under 02_English, hockey, NHL, opinion. Tagged: avangard, cherepanov, fetisov, interview, jagr, jaromir, KHL, magnitogorsk, Metallurg, omsk, Russia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.