Ryan McDonagh spoke with Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record about why he chose to sign with HC Barys Astana...
“The situation here is we had a solid group in the beginning but one guy goes to play, a couple of guys go home who don’t have places here to stay. The numbers dwindle,” McDonagh said. “Obviously when I go to the rink, I go hard but I don’t know if I’m improving as this dragged along here. I felt like the opportunity was there for me to go. At the beginning, nobody knew how long this was going to stretch. it really came down to improving as a player and being the best I can be.
“I’m still optimistic that a deal will get done in a short amount of time,” McDonagh added. “But, until then, if I can get a couple of games or more in, that will help me be more ready. That’s my whole mindset, to give myself the best chance to improve individually so when I’m able to put the Ranger jersey back on, I can be in the best shape possible.”
Katie Strang at ESPN reports that McDonagh left last night and could be in the Barys lineup on Friday.
...i'm assuming things have improved medically in the KHL, but the whole Cherepanov tragedy will have me concerned anytime McDonagh needs medical attention.
I agree. I know things aren't as bad as some make them out to be but I still am not comfortable with him over there. There's a reason every other North American player who has gone to Europe has gone everywhere but the KHL. Just saying...
cherepanov had a underlying, undetected health condition that should've prevented him from playing hockey in the first place. after the ice time mcdonagh received last year, i think he'll be ok. besides there is less hitting in the khl than a pickup game you would play with friends
@thenyrblogneill I hear you Neill, but the there was also no defibrillator on hand and they never diagnosed the heart condition.
@KevinDeLury kev, i'd be lying to you if i said i wasn't concerned about mcdonagh getting hurt. of course i am. but in retrospect to cherepanov's situation, for something like that to happen is pretty rare and hopefully that experience has changed the way things work over there.
@IcyCup yea i did earlier this afternoon... crazy stuff i dont know how players can put up with those kinds of conditions, but i guess the lure of tax free money will do that to you
@thenyrblogneill read that link that jack posted. here it is. sick.
the KHL promised better conditions (equipment AND trained pilots i believe) to the players after the lokomotiv team died and the KHL just waited for it to go away and never followed through.
@thenyrblogneill true neill. check out jack's posting of conditions in russia below. i hope mcD packed a toilet seat to take on the road...
once again, great article posted by jack. awful stuff.
@TheNYRBlog If a Ranger dies over there I have no qualms about sending Delta Force and laying waste to Russia.