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KHL FACING MAJOR ISSUES AS SEASON OPENS AND NOT ALL BECAUSE OF COVID-19

The Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), arguably the second biggest league in the world behind the NHL, is facing major issues just two days into the opening of its regular season and it isn't all because of the Corona virus pandemic.

The first issue is due to COVID-19. KHL team Amur Khabarovsk announced Wednesday it is facing a large number of positive tests among players and has been forced to play games with skaters from its junior teams. There is speculation the team's entire roster will be made up of players from the VHL (the KHL equivalent of the AHL), as well as the MHL, a league for junior players.

Meanwhile, Jokerit Helsinki decided not to take off from their hometown to fly to Minsk where they would play Dinamo Minsk in their opening game Wednesday. This is due to political unrest and large protests taking place all over Belarus where Dinamo is located. The KHL came down hard on the team, giving it a forfeit defeat, something many fans were not happy about.




It doesn't end there. In Riga, where Barys Nur-Sultan would meet hosts Dinamo Riga, the entire officiating crew had to be pulled from the ice after one of the referees tested positive for COVID-19. The league had to bring in a whole new officiating crew so the game could go ahead.



TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020  (8H00)
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