This Nikita Gusev Shootout Goal from the KHL All-Star Skills Competition Beats Anything the NHL Gave Us (Video)
The whole reason the KHL was founded back in 2008 was to compete with the NHL and develop Russia’s hockey talent in Russia. And it was no secret that they explicitly modelled themselves after the NHL. So it should hardly come as a surprise that they hold their KHL All-Star Game on the same weekend the NHL holds their All-Star Game, nor that the KHL All-Star game also features a skills competition.
Of course, in the big picture, the NHL is winning the pro hockey war. The majority of KHL revenues come from corporate sponsorships, and since Russia’s oil-based economy tanked this fall, the corporate sponsorship money has dried up. That has left the league in serious trouble, with some teams unable to pay their players in a timely fashion.
However, for now, the KHL is still overflowing with insane hockey talent. In fact, this Nikita Gusev shootout goal from the KHL skills competition topped anything we saw at the NHL festivities:
Absolutely ridiculous, no?
Gusez, 22, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft, but currently plays for the KHL’s HC Urga.
However, even in the best of times the KHL didn’t prevent top talent from going over to the NHL. HC Urga is based in Khanty-Mansiysk, an oil town with a population of about 80,000. If economic conditions in Russia don’t improve, it’s not hard to imagine Gusev coming over to North America to give the NHL a try. And if that’s the case, look out. The Tampa Bay Lightning are already one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Can you imagine this guy playing with Steven Stamkos?