Skates on a nail. Top hockey players with a bright trace of playing in the KHL who retired this summer
Over the past few days, it has become known about the decisions of the Swedish goalkeeper Anders Nilsson and the Czech striker Jakub Petruzalek to end their playing careers. “Championship” has compiled a list of hockey players who have left a significant mark in the history of the KHL, who also hung their skates on a nail this offseason.
n. Yakub Petruzhalek, 36 years old
Club in the 2020/2021 season – Litvinov (Czech Republic): 2 (0 + 2) points in 15 regular season games
From 2011 to 2015, Petruzhalek played in the Kontinental Hockey League for Amur, Dynamo Moscow, Ak Bars and Avtomobilist. It was in the Khabarovsk club that the Czech striker made a name for himself in the KHL, setting a club record that holds to this day. In the 2011/2012 season, Yakub scored 50 points in 54 regular season games, becoming the only player in Amur’s history to achieve this mark in the KHL regular season.
Yakub started the next season in the Far East no less powerfully, as a result of which he caused a huge stir in the KHL transfer market on the deadline. Dynamo Moscow worked most efficiently, signing Petruzhalek for the period until the end of the season. The end of the smooth championship was not very successful for Yakub, having failed to score a single goal in 10 matches, but in the playoffs he managed to win the trust of the head coach of Dynamo Oleg Znark .
Petruzhalek started the playoffs strongly, gaining seven points in the series against Slovan. In matches with stronger opponents, the Czech began to fail, and at one point Znarok even sent him to the podium with the wording “men are playing for me.” But Yakub managed to return to the blue-and-white team and become one of the main characters in the final with Traktor. In the fourth match, Yakub scored the only goal in the match, which allowed Dynamo to lead the series with a comfortable 3-1 advantage. A few days later, the blue and white won the Gagarin Cup for the second time in their history, and Petruzhalek turned out to be the team’s best sniper in the KHL playoffs.
The rights to the video belong to KHL LLC. The video of the goal can be viewed on the official Twitter of Dynamo Moscow.
Then in the Czech’s career there was a return to Amur, a short time at Ak Bars and Avtomobilist, and even an unsuccessful second attempt at Dynamo. It was in the Moscow club that Yakub developed severe back problems, which no longer allowed him to make long flights. In 2016, he returned to the Czech Republic, where he performed until the end of his career. Now the 36-year-old Czech will be an assistant at Radek Mrazek’s headquarters in the youth team of Litvinov, his first and last club in his career.
in. Anders Nilsson, 31 years old
Club 2020/2021 – Tampa Bay Lightning Skip Season
The career of the 31-year-old goalkeeper in the KHL was not long at all, but very bright. In our league, Anders played only one season, in which, as the main goalkeeper, he managed to lead Ak Bars to the 2015 Gagarin Cup final. Throughout the journey to the decisive series, Nilsson has shown excellent play and incredible statistics. On average, Anders missed a little more than 1.2 goals per match, and only an unsuccessful final with SKA spoiled his excellent performance.
Nilsson’s successful play for Ak Bars helped him return to the NHL, where he played for the next five seasons. The last real club in the goalkeeper’s career was the Ottawa Senators, in which he played 20 matches in the 2019/2020 season. At the end of 2020, the 31-year-old goalkeeper became part of the very exchange between Ottawa and Tampa that helped the Zippers so much to unload the payroll. Lightning threw Cedric Puckett’s and Braden Coburn’s contracts into Ottawa , and in exchange for the rights to Nilsson and Marian Gaborik… Both players were immediately placed on the long-term injured list, because for medical reasons they could not take part in the season. Thanks to this trade, “lightnings” fit into the salary ceiling. As for Nilsson, he could not overcome the health problems that worried him and at the end of last week at the age of 31 announced his retirement from hockey.
Alexey Semyonov, 40 years old
Club in the 2020/2021 season – Salavat Yulaev: 2 (0 + 2) points in 33 regular season matches with a usefulness index of “-4”
During his career in the KHL, the experienced defender played for such clubs as Dynamo Moscow, SKA, Vityaz, Sochi and Salavat Yulaev. In total, Semyonov played 547 matches in the KHL, earning 821 penalty minutes. According to this indicator, at the time of his retirement, Alexey was in the top 5 in the entire league, behind only Grigory Panin (1231), Evgeny Artyukhin (1125), Mikhail Pashnin (853) and Alexander Svitov (825).
Last season, as the decisive matches approached, Alexei more and more often remained in the reserve of the Ufa team, and in the playoffs he did not play a single meeting at all. In the offseason, Semyonov completed his playing career and moved to the coaching bridge. In the new season, Alexey will make his debut in a new capacity for himself, as an assistant to the head coach of Spartak Boris Mironov.
Sergey Mozyakin, 40 years old
Club in the 2020/2021 season – Metallurg Mg: 21 (10 + 21) points in 38 regular season matches, 10 (4 + 6) points in 11 playoff matches
Of course, in this list of players it is impossible to do without mentioning the best sniper in the history of domestic championships, Sergei Mozyakin. September 13, 2016 Sergei hit the gates of Minsk “Dynamo”, forever rewriting the history of Russian hockey records. This goal was for Mozyakin the 429th in his career in the domestic championships. Thus, at that time, the 35-year-old striker broke the record of Boris Mikhailov, who scored 428 goals. Mikhailov’s record was held for 36 years, until Mozyakin surpassed his seemingly eternal achievement.
It is scary to imagine how long Mozyakin’s record will now hold out. Over the next four years, Sergei shot another 127 goals, ending his sniper count at 556 goals. Sergei’s closest pursuer in this nomination among active players is 40-year-old Danis Zaripov, who scored 427 goals. Next (among those continuing their careers in the KHL) are 36-year-old Mikhail Varnakov (238) and 34-year-old Vadim Shipachev (235). It is difficult to imagine how long Zaripov and Shipachev must continue their brilliant careers in order to surpass Mozyakin’s record in goals.
Mozyakin became the top scorer of the KHL regular season six times, four times the best sniper of the regular season, four times received the Golden Stick prize for the most valuable player in the regular season, was twice recognized as the most valuable player in the playoffs, took part in 11 KHL All-Star Games. As part of Metallurg, he won the Gagarin Cup twice in the seasons 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.
Back at the end of May, it became known that Metallurg Magnitogorsk did not intend to offer the star veteran a player’s contract. At the same time, for the first time it was reported that the famous hockey player could enter the headquarters of Ilya Vorobyov as a coach for the majority. Having not received an offer to conclude a new contract, the veteran of Russian hockey put an end to his playing career. But Mozyakin refused Vorobyov’s offer to join the coaching staff of the Ural club. According to the head coach of Magnitka, the renowned hockey player is not yet ready for such drastic changes in his life. In the near future, Sergei intends to devote a rest from hockey, after which the parties can return to negotiations on the continuation of cooperation.
Talgat Zhailauov, 36 years old
Club in the 2020/2021 season – Saryarka: 3 (1 + 2) points in 4 regular season matches
One of the brightest players in the history of Kazakhstan, Talgat Zhailauov, also ended his sports career this summer. During his career at Barys, the 36-year-old striker played 418 matches, gaining 180 (75 + 105) points. In 2014, Zhailauov became the first Kazakh and Kazakh to take part in the KHL All-Star Game.
In the same year, Talgat suffered perhaps the most ridiculous injury in KHL history. For the first time in history, Barys reached the second round of the playoffs, passing Avtomobilist with a clean sheet in the 4-0 series. After arrival, the fans began to swing their favorite, but could not hold back. The attacker hit his head on the concrete floor – he received a concussion and a dislocation of the cervical vertebra.
In 2017, Talgat returned home to Ust-Kamenogorsk. I played a season with Torpedo in the VHL and got a call to the national team of Kazakhstan. Together with the national team, he returned to the elite division. A year ago, his jersey was raised under the arches of the Barys-Arena – securing the status of the legend of Kazakhstani hockey. The last club in Talgat’s career was Saryarka. This summer he became the sports director of the team from Karaganda.