In another piece of shocking news, the Cantebury Red Devils announced that this was will be coach Anatoly Khorozov’s last season with the team. Having already led the Red Devils to the Birgel Cup last year, Canterbury will be looking to send off Khorozov in style with a second Cup in the Grand Final this weekend.
Khorozov will be heading to HC Beibarys Atyrau of the Kazakhstan Hockey Championship league. The team was founded in 2009 and are winners of back to back championship titles in 2011 and 2012.
The Kazakhstan Hockey Championship is made up of 10 teams across the country not including the teams who play for the Koninental Hockey League. Although it is very similar to the KHL style of play in that it is very fast paced and highly skilled. This is a major step up from the NZIHL and I have no doubt
that Khorozov will flourish with his new team.
Although Khorozov will be coaching in Kazakhstan, his home base will still remain in New Zealand. He will attempt to act as a scout for the Red Devils and see if he can import some new talent for the team and NZIHL in general.
The New Zealand Ice Hockey League is a great league that should be given more credit. It houses many talented players that may not get the coverage they deserve. I urge every one of you to try and tune into the Grand Final this weekend. For those of us in the Eastern Time Zone, the puck will drop around 1:00am Saturday night on http://www.nzihl.tv