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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: Lasse Kukkonen

One of the many trades Paul Holmgren made during the 2006-2007 season was one that resulted in Lasse Kukkonen coming to Philadelphia from the Chicago Blackhawks. In exchange for Kyle Calder, the Flyers acquired Kukkonen and Chicago’s third-round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, with which Philly picked Garrett Klotz. After he posted five goals and nine assists in 54 games for the Hawks, Kukkonen went pointless in his first 20 regular season games for his second different NHL team. In May of 2007, Kukkonen signed a two-year contract to stay with the Flyers. The blue liner cost Philly a cap hit of $875,000 for both of the seasons …