SKA-CSKA Battle Goes Beyond the Ice
CSKA and SKA, two teams that just finished one of the KHL conference finals have so much in common, one of them is the ongoing ‘’war’’. Both teams couldn’t keep the battle on the ice so they went to bite each other’s necks off in quite a passion.
What necks are we talking about here? Well, there is an ongoing war between both teams on which one can get the best rumors out about each other. Sadly it does involved money and Russian media. Some of the stories have been pretty down on the earth but the one that raised many eyebrows and made the ground move a little,was about none else than Russian predator Alexander Radulov, who apparently was heading to Toronto to play for Maple Leafs.
It was reported that Leafs have representatives are in Moscow meeting Nikita Zaitsev and Alex Radulov to negotiate a contract for next season, and the story blew up. While the only part about the story that could make sense is Leafs talking to Zaitsev, which they obviously have been doing since beginning of the season, people went to believe it and why wouldn’t they? Russians always seem to know better about Russian players.
In this case something was different, while covering KHL you learn to see what is true and what seems to be miles away from that, after doing research and making some calls, the truth came out. It first started with the Kovalchuk news that went quiet after trade deadline, where CSKA decided to play on SKA’s nerves and kept offering rumors to people to share while they would get paid for doing that. SKA couldn’t keep it together so they fired back with a rumor of their own which caused somewhat of hysteria. Is Alex Radulov going back to NHL? Maybe. Is he joining Leafs? Nope, that all was made up over a cup of coffee to distract one side from their goal. Was it a coincidence that it all went out loud just when SKA went down 3-0 in the series? Let’s not get ridiculous here. It took about twenty minutes to confirm that Radulov won’t be a Leaf and he hasn’t even talked to Leafs. He’s too busy going after another Gagarin Cup title.
Paid stories are really common in Russia, and it’s one of the rare ways to keep those sites alive, especially when there’s not much to talk about and page views are more important than water or air. Things like these let writers earn extra and also help to get their names outside the borders so that benefits them. Speaking of ethics in KHL when it comes to teams that dislike each other, you shouldn’t be surprised about one making up rumors, there have been things worse than that.