By Jim Boyce | Following the Olympics is nice and all but what’s better than a bit of hockey-related sporting news in the middle of a sweltering Beijing summer? Two bits of hockey news! One, our fair city’s first pro hockey team, the Kunlun Red Star, is about to make its debut, and, two, it’s sign-up time for the Beijing International Ice Hockey league.
Let’s cover BIIH first. It’s an eight-team, 140-player league around since 1998. (NHL scoring leader that year? Jaromir Jagr. And he’s still playing!)
Want to join? Fill out the form on this page and go to Hockey Bar / Irish Volunteer on August 20 from 6 PM to 9 PM to pay your 3500-kuai league fees. It’s that simple. Form + fee + possibly a delicious Canadian pizza at Irish Volunteer = you’re ready to be drafted onto a team.
Now for that pro hockey. The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) added a Beijing team for the 2016-2017 season, the aforementioned Kunlun Red Star, which saw its first preseason action in late July and first victory just a week ago. They might have to toughen up a bit before the regular season starts in a few weeks, given one opposing player basically beat up everyone on the ice in a recent game, but having this level of hockey in Beijing should be fun and no doubt helpful for Beijing in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in 2022.