Saturday, February 15, 2014

2010-11 Traktor Chelyabinsk Evgeni Kuznetsov Jersey

One year ago today, a meteor blazed across the skies of Siberia, appearing as a dramatic fireball in the early morning sky. With a blinding flash and booming shockwave, it exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs. Over 1,000 people were injured and windows were blown out all over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.

Chelyabinsk meteor photo Chelyabinskmeteor.jpg

NASA estimated the meteor was the size of a bus, weighed approximately 7,000 tons and was traveling at an estimated 40,000 mph when it entered the atmosphere about 9:20 in the morning Chelyabinsk time. It exploded at an altitude of about 14 miles and left a trail of debris and damage 300 miles long. It was the largest recorded meteor strike to hit the Earth in more than 100 years since the Tunguska meteor of 1908, which flattened and estimated 80 million trees, also in Russia.

"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud, thundering sound," a resident was quoted as saying.


3,000 buildings in Chelyabinsk were damaged, including more than 1 million square feet of broken glass caused by the force of the shockwave. Additionally, part of the roof of a zinc factory collapsed. Due to all the flying glass, 1,100 people sought medical with 48 having to be hospitalized as many people rushed toward windows to see what had caused the bright flash of light, only to have the shockwave then blow the windows in on them a few minutes later. Yekaterina Melikhova, a high school student, said "After the flash, nothing happened for about three minutes. Then we rushed outdoors. ... The door was made of glass, a shock wave made it hit us." Despite all those who were wounded, there were no fatalities reported.


Outside of Chelyabinsk, a fragment of the meteor left a 26 foot wide hole in the ice of lake Chebarkul, where a five foot diameter fragment was pulled out of the water eight months later.


 photo Chelyabinskmeteorlakehole.jpg

Russian television ran video of athletes at a city sports arena who were showered by shards of glass from huge windows. Some of them were still bleeding. Other videos showed a long shard of glass slamming into the floor close to a factory worker and massive doors blown away by the shock wave. Some elderly women started crying out that the world was ending. "I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day," a resident said. "I felt like I was blinded by headlights.”

The many broken windows exposed residents to the bitter cold as temperatures in the city were expected to plummet to -20º C (-4º F) that night and the regional governor put out a call for any workers who knew how to repair windows.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a nationalist leader, blamed the United States. "It's not meteors falling. It's the test of a new weapon by the Americans," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying!
One of the buildings affected by the blast was Traktor Arena, home of Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which was temporarily shut down due to damage from the meteor shower.
Traktor Arena photo TraktorArena.jpg

The KHL released a statement at the time, which read:
The meteor shower which struck Chelyabinsk and its environs has also caused some disruption to the hockey season schedule. The emergency services have confirmed that the walls of the Arena Traktor were among those structures to suffer damage, and therefore large-scale events at the stadium have been postponed. 
The sporting facilities will undergo an inspection by experts to assess the readiness of the arena to return to full operational use. 
The results of the assessment will be made public on Monday, after which it will become clear whether the Chelyabinsk club can stage the first games of the play-offs. The knockout stages of the Gagarin Cup get underway on Wednesday, and as Traktor is already assured of a top four place in the Eastern conference, the team is due to start the play-offs with home games on the 21st and 22nd of February. 
At this time, the meteor shower has not affected Traktor’s schedule, as the Chelyabinsk men finish their regular season campaign with a trip on the road to Magnitogorsk on Sunday. However, three events -today’s and tomorrow’s Youth Hockey League games between Belye Medvedi of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk’s Stalnye Lisy and Saturday’s planned opening of the Traktor’s museum – have had to be postponed.
At the time, Traktor had one game remaining on the road two days later, but there were concerns about the first round of the playoffs being affected the following week, however three days later after inspections were completed, the arena was declared structurally sound and their playoff games against Barys Astana went on as planned.
Traktor Chelyabinsk was founded in 1947 and were originally called Dzerzhinets until 1953 and Avangard from 1954 to 1958 before becoming known as the Traktor Ice Hockey Club in 1959.
Traktor Chelyabinsk logo photo Traktorlogo.png

They were relegated to the second division in 1965 and returned to the top division in 1968. In 1973 they reached the finals of the Soviet Cup. Their best result up to that time came in the form of a bronze medal in 1977. During that time period Traktor were also silver medalists at the 1973 Spengler Cup.
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Traktor moved from league to league as the structure of Russian hockey attempted to sort itself out. They first played in the Russian International Hockey League (finishing 3rd in 1993 and 1994) and then the Russian Superleague. 1998 saw them relegated to the Vysshaya Liga, the second division of the current system. It took until 2006 for Traktor to win the Vysshaya Liga championship and return to the Superleague for it's final two seasons, which was then replaced by the current KHL.
2008-09 saw the club move into their new home. Traktor Arena. In 2011-12, Traktor came into the season with a revamped roster and finished the regular season with the best overall record in the KHL, earning them the Kontinental Cup. During the playoffs, they would ultimately finish as the bronze medalists.
Most recently, Traktor finished third in the KHL overall standings before beginning a memorable playoff run, coming from behind 3 games to 1 during three consecutive playoff series to advance to the finals for the first time in their 67 year history, only to fall short to the defending champion Dynamo Moscow.
Notable players to have played for Traktor include future World Champions and Olympic gold medalists Sergei Makarov, Sergei Starikov and Vyacheslav Bykov. In more recent times, Alexander Semin played for Traktor before becoming a member of the Washington Capitals.
Today's featured jersey is a 2010-11 Traktor Cheylabinsk Evgeny Kuznetsov jersey. With their team nickname of the "White Bears", Traktor was able to create a memorable team logo and some attractive black, red and white jerseys. 2010-11 was the final season that KHL teams wore Cyrillic names on the back of their jerseys, which are now done in Latin characters.
Kuznetsov still currently plays for Cheylabinsk despite having been drafted by the Washington Capitals 26th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He won a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championships where he finished second in tournament scoring. with 11 points in 7 games. In 2012, he captained Russia at the World Juniors to a silver medal and had a 9 point game in a 14-0 win over Latvia, the second highest total in a single game. Following the tournament, he was named it's Best Forward and tournament MVP. Later that spring, Kuznetsov won a gold medal at the World Championships where he contributed 6 points in 9 games during his first appearance with the senior squad.
Kuznetsov has led Traktor in scoring in both 2011-12 (19 G, 22 A, 41 Pts) and 2012-13  (19 G, 25 A, 44 Pts), where he finished 6th in the KHL scoring race.
Traktor Chelyabinsk 2010-11 jersey photo RussiaTraktorChelyabinsk2010-11F.jpg
Traktor Chelyabinsk 2010-11 jersey photo RussiaTraktorChelyabinsk2010-11B.jpg

Our video section today is a report by Russia Today, which contains many different versions of the meteor and the flash of light captured by amateur and surveillance cameras.
Next is the recovery of a piece of the Cheylabinsk meteor, the largest meteor piece one ever recovered.


Finally, a highlight video of Kuznetsov showing off his offensive skills for Traktor.

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