Valentenko to return to North America (UPDATE)
Thursday June 17th 2010, 5:28 pm

Photo: Dynamo Moscow

According to UHC Dynamo General Director Andrei Safronov, in an interview on his club’s web site, 23-year old defenseman Pavel Valentenko will return to North America next season.

“In the near future we’ll terminate our agreement with the defenseman by mutual consent,” Safronov explained. “Valentenko’s contract is very large, and we can’t afford to pay that player such money.”

“According to my information, Valentenko plans to go back overseas,” Safronov added.

Valentenko, who created a stir when he split Montreal’s farm club to return home to Russia two years ago, has one year remaining on his entry level NHL deal.  He’s missed most of the two seasons he’s spent in Russia with a combination of back and shoulder injuries, and has played only 15 games in the KHL over the past two years.

He became New York Rangers property as part of the deal that sent Scott Gomez to Montreal.

UPDATE 06/18/10: On Friday, Valentenko’s Russian agent, Igor Kramarev, told Sports.ru that his client will attend the Rangers Prospect Development Camp later this month: “Pavel has received an invitation to go to the New York Rangers’ prospect camp.  He decided to take advantage of this invitation.”

Valentenko, who created a stir when he split Montreal's farm club in Hamilton to return home to Russia two years ago, has one year remaining on his entry level NHL deal.  He's missed most of the two seasons he's spent in Russia with a combination of back and shoulder injuries, and played only 15 games in the KHL over the past two years.
Filed under: Pavel Valentenko


KHL playoffs begin today
Wednesday March 10th 2010, 8:10 am

The KHL completed its sophomore season on Sunday and kicks off its sixteen team competition for the Gagarin Cup today.  The first round will be a best of five series, with the following match-ups.

SKA St. Petersburg (2) vs. Dinamo Riga (13)
Head coach Barry Smith leads a group of former NHLers that includes Robert Esche, Sergei Zubov, and Alexei Yashin against Dinamo Riga, which is led by former New York Ranger Marcel Hossa, who finished the regular season leading the league with 35 goals and added 19 assists for 54 points in 56 games.  Games 3/10, 3/11, 3/13, if necessary 3/14 & 3/16.

Watch 3/10 (11:00am EST)
Watch 3/11 (11:00am EST)
Watch 3/13 (10:00am EST)
Watch 3/14 (11:00 EDT)

HK MVD (4) vs. CSKA Moscow (12)
Rangers 2009 seventh round draft pick defenseman Mikhail Pashnin will get his first taste of playoff action after finishing his rookie season with a goal and four assists in 44 games.  Columbus prospect Nikita Filatov will look to make an impression up front after picking up 22 points in in 26 games after leaving the NHL.  Games 3/10, 3/11, 3/13, if necessary 3/14 & 3/16. Games 3/10, 3/11, 3/13, if necessary 3/14 & 3/16.

Watch 3/10 (11:30am EST)
Watch 3/11 (11:30am EST)

Dynamo Moscow (5) vs. Spartak Moscow (10)
Expect a spirited grudge match between to clubs with a history of not liking each other.  Rangers property Ivan Baranka led the Spartak defense corps in points with 32 in 55 games, a mark good for fifth among defenseman in the entire league.  On the other side, fellow Ranger prospect Pavel Valentenko managed to get into only seven matches this season due to injury.  Now apparently healthy, it’s not clear if the defenseman will be able to push his way back into the line-up unless Dynamo suffers an injury.  Games 3/10, 3/11, 3/13, if necessary 3/14 & 3/16.

Watch 3/11 (11:30am EST)
Watch 3/14 (10:00am EDT)

Atlant Mystishchi (6) vs. Lokomotiv Yarolslavl (7)
Nikolai Zherdev, who finished third on Atlant in scoring with 39 points in 52 games, behind league scoring leader Sergei Mozyakin and former Montreal Canadien Jan Bulis, will look to improve his chances of an NHL return with a strong playoff run.  Games 3/10, 3/11, 3/13, if necessary 3/14 & 3/16.

Watch 3/10 (11:30am EST)
Watch 3/13 (9:00am EST)
Watch 3/14 (10:00am EDT)

Salavat Yulaev (1) vs. Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (19)
Head coach Vyacheslav Bykov and assistant Igor Zakharkin hope to prove Russia’s Olymic disaster was a fluke by getting past the first round this season.  Last year, their top-ranked club was knocked out early by Jaromir Jagr and 16th seed Avangard Omsk.  Games 3/11, 3/12, 3/14, if necessary, 3/15 & 3/17.

Watch 3/11 (9:00am EST)
Watch 3/12 (9:00am EST)
Watch 3/14 (9:00am EDT)
Watch 3/15 (10:00am EDT)

Metallurg Magnitogorsk (3) vs. Traktor Chelyabinsk (18)
Sergei Fedorov and little brother FedFed look to lead Metallurg over Traktor, a team I admittedly know absolutely  nothing about. Games 3/11, 3/12, 3/14, if necessary, 3/15 & 3/17.

Watch 3/12 (9:00am EST)
Watch 3/14 (9:00am EDT)
Watch 3/15 (10:00 EDT)

AK Bars Kazan (8) vs. Barys Astana (14)
Last year’s champs, now featuring former Rangers prospect Jarkko Immonen, who finished his first KHL campaign with 38 points in 56 games, take on a team led by former NHLer Jozef Stumpel. Games 3/11, 3/12, 3/14, if necessary, 3/15 & 3/17.

Watch 3/11 (11:00am EST)
Watch 3/12 (11:00am EST)

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (9) vs. Avangard Omsk (11)
Jagr begins his drive for the Gagarin Cup with Tampa Bay’s Karri Ramo backing him up in net.  Sergei Demagin, who spent training camp with the Rangers two seasons ago, suits up for Neftekhimik.  Games 3/11, 3/12, 3/14, if necessary, 3/15 & 3/17.

Watch 3/11 (11:00am EST)
Watch 3/12 (11:00am EST)

This was written in about a half an hour, so I’m sure there are far more interesting storylines I’m overlooking.  But I wanted to get the links to the live video broadcasts up for folks who want to watch.  I’ll do my best to update this post with links for future games as they become available each night.



Valentenko to miss three months following shoulder surgery
Monday September 21st 2009, 7:32 am
Photo: Dynamo Moscow

Photo: Dynamo Moscow

New York Rangers prospect Pavel Valentenko is expected to miss three months after undergoing shoulder surgery last week.  The 22-year old defenseman, acquired this summer as part of the deal that sent Scott Gomez to Montreal, suffered the injury while playing in a preseason game for KHL team Dynamo Moscow.

“The cartilage is torn and, in addition, a piece of the collar bone is broken,” Valentenko told Sports.ru.  “I won’t be able to play for three months.”

The initial injury occurred during an exhibition game in Switzerland in late August and was exacerbated upon the team’s return to Moscow. “I took a hit In Switzerland and felt pain in my shoulder,” Valentenko explained.  “And then here in a game the shoulder gave out completely.”

Valentenko made headlines last fall when he was given permission by the Canadiens to leave their AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ontario and return home to Russia to attend to a family matter.  Once there, he gave in to pressure from his parents and signed a three year deal with Dynamo.

His contract in Moscow includes an out-clause allowing him to return to North America after this season, and Valentenko has expressed interest in taking advantage of it in the past.

Things haven’t gone well for Valentenko since his return to Russia.  Last season, he missed six weeks with a back injury, and — once healthy — struggled to get back into the line-up amid rumors that he would leave Dynamo in the offseason due to friction with Dynamo president Michael Golovkov.  Those rumors proved false, and the Nizhnekamsk native was enjoying a successful preseason for Dynamo prior to his injury.

“Everything went wonderfully in the preseason,” Valentenko shared with Sports.ru. “I played on a pairing with [Dmitry] Vorobiev.  Little got past us, and then bam!”

Filed under: Pavel Valentenko