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The Gagarin Cup Playoffs: KHL Postseason Starts Today

The KHL playoffs start today, as 16 of the league’s 26 clubs compete for the Gagarin Cup. Since the NHL and KHL are huge competitors, it’s interesting to look at the players on the current KHL playoff teams to see just how many are former Philadelphia Flyers or NHLers. On top of that, some clubs’ prospects are in the 16-team field. It’s also worth noting some of the teams that received help from current NHL players who played a good chunk of the season with a certain KHL season before the lockout concluded. With that being said, here are the previews …

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Then and Now: Dmitry Afanasenkov

Late in December of 2006, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed forward Dmitry Afanasenkov off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Impressed with his three goals and three assists in 33 games, Philly decided to dress the winger for 41 games in their lowly 2006-2007 campaign. For only playing half the season for the Orange and Black, Afanasenkov’s 15 points sounds pretty impressive. However, when you consider that Randy Robitaille finished two points ahead of him with 13 less games to work with and that Scottie Upshall produced just two points less than him in 23 fewer tilts, the Russian winger’s …

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Then and Now: Lukas Krajicek

In the middle of the 2009-2010 season, it didn’t look likely that Lukas Krajicek would be playing hockey in the NHL anytime soon let alone play in the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s exactly what happened though after the Tampa Bay Lightning terminated his contract in late January of 2010, which allowed him to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers shortly after. In his second season with Tampa Bay’s organization, Krajicek had an assist, 21 PIMs, and a minus-4 rating in 23 games. He also had six assists in 15 games for Tampa’s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, before he was dumped by the franchise. …

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Then and Now: Matt Ellison

In the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers in six games for their first title in 49 years. The team from The Second City had nine players record at least 10 points in their 22-game playoff run. One of those players was forward Patrick Sharp, who tied Dustin Byfuglien for a team-high 11 goals and finished third in points behind Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Sharp used to be a member of the Philadelphia Flyers until December of 2005, when he and Eric Meloche were traded to the Blackhawks for Matt Ellison and …