MOSCOW, April 2 (R-Sport) – Two-time Olympic hockey gold medalist Vladimir Petrov praised the KHL’s decision to shrink the size of league rinks, telling R-Sport on Tuesday the move will make the game “more interesting to watch.”
Earlier this week KHL president Alexander Medvedev said the six-year-old league will reduce the width of its Olympic-size rinks to 28 meters from 30 meters after the 2014 Sochi Games, putting them closer in line with the 26-meter-wide ice surfaces used in the NHL.
Petrov, who played for the Soviet Union in the legendary 1972 Summit Series against Canada, said the new rink size will make KHL hockey “more interesting to the viewer and make the game more dynamic.”
Smaller rinks will likely increase the amount of hitting and, perhaps, force teams to implement more of a structured attack than is presently seen in the KHL.
“The reduced size suggests a more intense and tight game, a faster game with high mastery,” Petrov said.
Medvedev’s announcement came after Dynamo Moscow advanced to the Gagarin Cup finals with a 5-1 defeat of SKA St. Petersburg. Dynamo faces the winner of Traktor Chelyabinsk and Ak Bars Kazan in the Eastern Conference finals. Ak Bars leads 3-2 heading into game six on Tuesday.