This is Russia: Life in the KHL - Doctors, bazas and millions of air miles

By Bernd Bruckler, Risto Pakarinen

The Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga (KHL), based in 2008, has fast confirmed itself because the moment most sensible league on the earth, in the back of simply the nationwide Hockey League.

Bernd Brückler spent seasons taking part in for Torpedo Nizhny Novogorod, and a season with Sibir Novosibirsk in Siberia. In his memoir, he tells us what it's wish to be an import participant in Russia, and the demanding situations he confronted with the language, the tradition, and the game.

He tells tales approximately existence on the "baza", a coaching base, and the way they'd need to spend sizeable elements of the season clear of their households. (Unless they sneak out). His motive force used to be additionally his blood brother and a bodyguard. There's the trip, with hours upon hours on planes which are usually antiquated, and there are the teammates, the medical professionals, the capsules, the educational camps, the saunas, and the money, oh, the money.

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And naturally, thanks, pricey reader. i'm hoping this publication sheds a few gentle on lifestyles in attractive Russia. Risto’s thank you: To Jessica, Hannes, and Hilda, for ensuring I smile on a daily basis. To Brucks, for entrusting me along with his tale. this is often Bernd Terminator: I’ll be again! – The Terminator (1984) while my grandfather, Kurt, used to be a boy in the course of international conflict II, a bunch of Russian infantrymen marched into his family’s residence in Austria and informed my great-grandmother to cook dinner them lunch. in addition they informed her they’d be within the neighbourhood for it slow and requested her, or even instructed her, to cook dinner lunch each day at midday. She did, and the warriors again each day. whilst the Russian infantrymen ultimately left the village, my grandfather and different young ones fortunately raided the warriors’ camps to take whatever they can locate. the warriors had sunk considered one of their tanks in a close-by lake, so the children dove right down to see what remained. They didn’t locate a lot, other than baggage of chocolate that the warriors had left contained in the tank. after all, the chocolate have been there for some time, and the luggage had leaked, in order that they couldn’t devour it. I purely heard those tales after I had signed with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod within the KHL, the Russian hockey league based in 2008. I signed with Nizhny in 2009, and in November of that 12 months my mom and my grandfather (her father) came over me in Russia. Grandfather, “Opa” in German, was once very proud that I had signed a huge agreement with a KHL crew. He used to be a guy of the old-fashioned, the type of guy who nonetheless considered cash in Austrian schillings, rather than euros, even supposing Austria used to be one of the first international locations in Europe to undertake the euro again in 1999. yet Opa used to be extremely joyful to go to me in Russia and notice my new domestic. the one issues he knew approximately Russia have been what he learn within the papers, and what he knew from wartime. primarily, he proposal Russians have been tricky and difficult to technique due to the language barrier. by means of then I knew now not a lot had replaced in that regard, yet now Opa had an opportunity to work out issues for himself and construct his personal opinion. From wartime, my grandfather remembered the Russians speaking approximately “butterbrod”, which for him and me intended simply bread and butter, yet for Russians intended a whole sandwich. a few phrases in Russian are almost like in German, and one of the older new release of Russians it was once more straightforward to discover those who spoke German than English. My grandfather, being the pleasant and curious guy that he used to be, one way or the other discovered those that knew a bit German — and he enjoyed it there. Grandpa, in fact, got here with me to the rink — he was once my largest fan — simply because he desired to see firsthand what practices have been like in Russia. He desired to see me in motion back. regrettably, he received off to a less-than-perfect commence whilst he tore his hand on his baggage. My mom advised me Opa bled simply, so we took him to work out the Torpedo surgeon. Dr. Ivanovich was once a touch older fellow, no longer rather my grandfather’s age, yet the right age to truly hook up with him, they usually did. After he had fastened my grandfather’s hand with a few eco-friendly, glue-like paste, which might heal the wound in days, Dr.

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