Fewer people have been more excited to spend a full day travelling to a destination.
After months of waiting, Alexander Chirva is set to finally board a plane to Moose Jaw today. Or rather three planes to get to Regina, followed by the 45 minute drive into town.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have been waiting for the 17-year-old Russian winger to arrive. Chirva arrival was delayed when his application for a Canadian visa was stalled by the on-going Canadian Foreign Service Officers strike.
“He’s excited about the opportunity and he’s excited about getting here,” said Warriors general manager Alan Millar. “I think it was tough on the kid to be waiting, but we’re glad it’s behind us.”
The Warriors first pick in the import draft, Alexei Sleptsov, is adapting well to life in Moose Jaw and has been in touch with Chirva.
“He’s been communicating with Sleptsov and I know Sleptsov has been enjoying himself so far and has been passing along good things,” said Millar.
Chirva was the 57th overall pick in the Canadian Hockey League’s import draft. The 6-foot-1 product of Spartak Moscow has been busy staying sharp while he waited to cross the Atlantic.
“He’s been skating quite a bit and he’s been training with his club team Spartak,” said Millar. “There will be an adjustment, but it’s not like he’s been sitting around for the last month. He’s been training hard.”
He was taken in the second round of the KHL junior draft. He got called up to play in the Russian junior league — a good achievement for a 16-year-old — and was invited to the KHL Prospects Game where he had a goal and an assist.
The Warriors tarvel to play the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday in a pre-season action, but Chirva won’t take to the ice until he practices with the team Saturday in Caronport.
Millar said Chirva could dress in Sunday’s home pre-season game against Brandon (2 p.m., Mosaic Place), but that it would depend on how feels after the travel and the time change.
“We’re going to take it day by day. We’re going to get him on the ice Saturday and see how he feels,” said Millar.
The Warriors also announced Wednesday that season tickets will be available to be picked up stating today. Season ticket holders can pick up their tickets starting at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Warriors office at Mosaic Place.
The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until the Warriors pre-season game begins at 2 p.m.