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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: 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: Denis Tolpeko

Denis Tolpeko spent two seasons in the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization, as he endured the majority of his time during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons with the Philadelphia Phantoms. However, the undrafted Russian left winger enjoyed 26 games with the Orange and Black during the 2007-2008 campaign in which his lone goal in the NHL came at a crucial point in a game against one of the best goaltenders in the league. After he posted 11 goals and 19 helpers in 58 games for the Phantoms during the season of 2006-2007, Tolpeko tasted his first NHL action on October 4, 2007, …

Then and Now: Patrick Thoresen

A player who will most likely be remembered for an infamous injury in the playoffs, Patrick Thoresen was a respectable 4th liner for the Flyers during the latter part of the 2007-2008 NHL season. In his 35 games in a Flyers’ uniform, Thoresen didn’t register a single goal, but did post seven assists (two in the postseason). However, the success of Thoresen’s game was measured more in defense and sweat rather than goals and assists. Since leaving the Flyers in the 2008 offseason, Thoresen has found his scoring touch in route to a Gagarin Cup. Picked up off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers on …