SKA’s mascot Firehorse is confused.
The KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg and Spartak Moscow may have set a record for the largest trade in hockey history as Spartak acquired 24 of SKA’s players and prospects for monetary compensation.
Here’s how it all went down: A year ago, Spartak’s main sponsor, Investbank, lost its license and went bankrupt. Wuh oh. Unable to find financial backing, the storied franchise ceased operations for the second time in recent history and traded 16 of its players (mainly prospects, most notably Team Russia’s goaltender at the last WJC, Igor Shestyorkin) to SKA.
This year, Atlant Moscow Region ran into financial trouble too. The club de-jure folded but its general manager, ex-NHL forward Alexei Zhamnov, moved on to become the general manager of the reborn Spartak. It was announced that 10 of Atlant’s players went to SKA, but now it appears that the number is actually a lot higher.
Today, Spartak acquired all of Atlant’s ex-players from SKA, 24 of them. One of the players, Artem Voronin, actually has been traded five times in the last 13 months (he went from Spartak to SKA to Admiral to Atlant to SKA to Spartak).
This trade came on the heels of another mega-deal between two teams from Russia’s Far East, Amur Khabarovsk and Admiral Vladivostok, in which the teams exchanged a total of 12 assets (10 players and two draft picks), including ex-NHLer Tom Wandell.
Now that’s some insane wheeling and dealing.
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