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KHL Starts Up Preseason Action in Front of Socially Distanced Crowds

Tryamkin wins and Podkolzin travels to Sochi.

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
Nikita Tryamkin sits on the Canucks’ bench in 2017 prior to bolting back to Russia.

This morning Assistant Captain Nikita Tryamkin helped lead his Captain Pavel Datsyuk and their Avtomobilist club to a 3-1 exhibition game victory over Salavat Ulaev in a KHL match played in Ufa, Russia. The game was the second game in two days between the clubs as they prepare for the scheduled opening of the 2020/21 regular season in September. Tryamkin did not suit up for the first game.

While the giant Canucks’ veteran Russian prospect did not figure on the scoresheet today, he did play a lot of minutes including time on the club’s first power play unit.

The game itself was the usual uninspired exhibition action that hockey fans have to come to expect before the real games begin. What was of interest though was the KHL’s decision to allow fans to attend the game. The crowd was well spaced out and the people wore masks. Perhaps, we will be seeing the same limited fans in arenas in North America later this year or early next year.

Meanwhile, Vasily Podkolzin and his SKA teammates traveled from St. Petersburg to Sochi to take part in the annual Open tournament held in the 2014 Winter Olympics’ host city.

It will be interesting to see if the socially distanced crowds at KHL games continue as the Sochi tourney unfolds.

Vasily Podkolzin is expected to take the ice tomorrow for his first preseason action of the 2020/21 season. His SKA club faces their KHL rival Lokomotiv in the first of four games scheduled for his team in six days at the get together.