Tough start in home opener. Kunlun Red Star 2 Dinamo Riga 4

16 September 2018

It was time to go home. After a long road trip to start the season, Red Star finally got to play in front of its own fans in Shanghai. A crowd of almost 4,000 came along on Sunday for the visit of Dinamo Riga and they got a glimpse of the team that Jussi Tapola is building here. Although the result went against Kunlun, this was a resilient performance with plenty of attacking intent. However, the team was undone by an opponent ready to capitalize on any lapses in concentration – and by two of our former players.

Capitalizing on the system. Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 Kunlun Red Star 1

9 September 2018

One of the most important features of last season for our club was the establishment of a full system of teams feeding into the KHL roster. To assemble that organization in only our second season of competitive hockey was a tall order, but it will be an essential part of building a production line to ensure that talented players can be recruited and refined before playing their part in the senior team.

A day to remember. Spartak Moscow 1 Kunlun Red Star 2

7 September 2018

September 7 is always a resonant date in the hockey calendar. On this day seven years ago, our sport suffered one of its most painful losses when a plane taking Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s team to a game in Minsk crashed on take-off. None of the players or coaches survived.

The first point. HC Sochi 2 Kunlun Red Star 1 OT

5 September 2018

Red Star collected its first point of the season in a hard-fought game in Sochi – but Jussi Tapola was just moments away from celebrating his first KHL victory as our head coach.

New term, new lessons. Jokerit Helsinki 6 Kunlun Red Star 3

3 September 2018

The opening game of the season, much like the first day back at school, brings a mixture of emotions. There’s excitement – new players, new coaching staff, the problems of last season left in the past. There’s optimism – all teams start equal, and everything is there to play for.

I’m sure the KHL will take Chinese hockey to the next level – Sun Zehao

21 August 2018

Kunlun Red Star goalie Sun Zehao has forced himself into consideration for his club’s KHL roster for the coming season. In an exclusive interview with, he spoke about Jussi Tapola’s unusual training methods, working with Russian hockey legend Alexei Kovalev, summer camp with the Vancouver Canucks and the development of Chinese hockey.

Moving up the learning curve

21 August 2018

The first stage is over. Red Star’s first pre-season tournament is complete, and the team has learned plenty from the experience. Wednesday’s fourth and final game, a 2-4 loss against Russia’s ‘B’ team, the so-called ‘Olympic’ team, provided more pros and cons for our guys to mull over in the coming days.

Another tough battle

21 August 2018

For the second game in a row, Red Star struggled to find the net. A solid defensive display limited Lokomotiv’s chances – but the flip side was a shortage of clear scoring chances at the other end. And, once again, when the shots did come in, the opposing goalie was up to the task. In contrast with Sunday’s game, when we were up against a very familiar goalie in Magnus Hellberg, today we faced young Ilya Konovalov, a player rarely seen by KHL players.

Increased competition – welcome aboard, Ivan Nalimov!

21 August 2018

Ivan Nalimov is the latest player to join Red Star’s ranks ahead of the coming season. The goalie arrives after spending most of last season at Admiral and moving on to Salavat Yulaev as understudy to Ben Scrivens at Salavat Yulaev. The 23-year-old is not short of confidence in his abilities: drafted by Chicago, he recently requested that the Black Hawks trade his rights to an NHL organization less stocked with netminders – a rare instance of a player seeking a trade despite not having a contract with the club in question.

The bucket list

21 August 2018

On the ice, though, it was all about finding the net. SKA’s big summer signing Nail Yakupov needed just 34 seconds to grab his first goal for our opponent. Yakupov was the #1 pick in the 2012 NHL draft, but despite 350 games across the Atlantic, the Neftekhimik graduate never quite delivered on that promise. His return to the KHL highlights the depth of the challenge that Red Star faces in its bid to establish hockey in China. That’s something of a ‘bucket list’ task, a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something truly unique.

Old faces, new faces

21 August 2018

Red Star collected its first victory under Jussi Tapola with a 3-1 success against the host of this year’s Sochi Hockey Open.

Stepping it up

21 August 2018

The Sochi Hockey Open is a prestigious event. This season it includes a dress rehearsal for the Opening Cup clash between Ak Bars and SKA. It also offers an intriguing glimpse of what the next Olympics might look like, on the ice of the 2014 Olympic arena. For Jussi Tapola and his team, it’s a valuable staging post on the way to getting the roster ready for action come the start of December.

Kunlun Red Star