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  • China Dragon are official

    Posted by simon c on 2009 September 3日 Thursday

    Yes, it sounds like  a Chinese restaurant, but the Chinese entry in the Asia League has cut off its affliation with the NHL San Jose Sharks after one season, and now will be known as the China Dragon and will split their home games between Harbin and Shanghai (It’s good to see elite hockey back in Harbin on one hand, but this’ll lessen the impact in Shanghai, too bad China can only put together one viable AL squad.) The team is currently training in Harbin, and only has one import, the super veteran 42-year old Igor Andryushchenko who was instrumental in the Belarussian Junost Minsk winning the 2007 European Continental Cup (one level below the European Champions League or its equivalent) along with his then teammate and now China Dragon coach Andrei Kovalev.

    The Dragon plan on adding 2 or 3 more imports but they do not intend on maximizing the 7 import slots that they have in order to grow domestic talent. But they will be hard pressed to avoid being a doormat team again without an elite goalie like they had with Wade Flaherty last season. Imports are expected to be Belarussian and Kazakhstani. Though the coach or the Belarussian media still think that the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits are the team to beat in the league, so accurate information seems to be hard to come by. Unless the Dragon get an elite goalie, with the traditionally sieve defence of the Chinese, it’ll be a long season, especially with the highly bolstered Bucks lineup to contend with, and the Blades may be no pushovers either.

    Anyways, it’ll be yet another interesting season coming up in the ever changing Asia League.

    The Chinese hockey federation (government) is apparently saving money by going the Belaruss route instead of American, but I thought the Sharks provided coaching and players for almost free last season, but I might be wrong, and the economic downturn doesn’t help. This is mostly speculation.

    2 Responses to “China Dragon are official”

    1. LIPOPENE said

      yep, can’t wait their first game! As for me, I never trusted any Chinese products (except green tea and Tiger balm), I mean products which were manyfactured solely by Chinese, including hockey.Belarus produce good textile and milk products, though their Lukashenko leader is most fond of hockey, they do not have very noticible achievements now.
      But, who knows, may this strong wish to prove that they can play without Americans help them.

    2. LIPOPENE said

      And you are right – the Chinese Ice Hockey Association – CIHA – try to save money now and save their face and image somehow.
      They know that after Winter Olympic and Chinese hockey failure there they will layed off. So actually they do not care too much about man ice hockey and about domestic talents nursery.

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