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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NHL Stars Back on Ice, Here

More than a month after their last exhibition games in North America, the National Hockey League's Russian stars tuned up on their home ice Thursday for the first game of their charity tour against five Russian teams.


Tickets for Friday's opening game between the "Stars of Russia" and Spartak Moscow are available at the Sokolniki arena box office for 12,000 to 15,000 rubles ($4 to $5), although officials said they are expecting a sell-out. The opening face-off is at 6:30 P.M.


In practice Thursday at Sokolniki, Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, Sergei Fedorov and other Russian players skated together for the first time since leaving for the riches of America.


Given that Spartak, lounging near the bottom of the Russian Interstate Hockey League, is facing an All-Star squad including Fedorov, last year's Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League, and former league scoring leader Mogilny, the game might seem a mismatch. But organizer Vyachislav Fetisov, a defenseman with CSKA and then in the NHL, said the final score would not be the point.


"It's a celebration for the fans," Fetisov said this week.


On Saturday, the NHL stars will play in Jaroslavl. Other games are scheduled in Nizhny Novgorod and Magnitogorsk before the final game of the tour, Nov. 14 against CSKA in Moscow. Proceeds from the tournament are designated for Russian youth hockey leagues.


The NHL season, scheduled to start Oct. 1, remains stalled by a labor dispute. The league has officially cancelled 14 games for each team.