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Lighter Side, Perks: When your KHL team gets you out of traffic stops

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I still get the print version of The Hockey News. I don't know why -- for a decade, I've periodically received issues three weeks late and/or two consecutive issues at a time. It's just nostalgia and tradition, I guess, tracing back to when THN was my main print source for league news, Ken Campbell still had dark hair, and I knew how Bob McKenzie wrote but not how he spoke.

Anyway, ruffling through a recent issue (well, recent for my mailbox), I came across a bit they had about former Thrashers goalie Michael Garnett, who is playing for MVD Balashikha in the KHL. Read this excerpt and then just imagine the fun if an NHL team were sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security:

"Since the MVD Balashikha club is sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Garnett was issued a badge entitling him to privileges usually reserved for police officers, border guards and secret service agents.

One of the perks is being waved through whenever he is in a car and stopped by police for a random check."

>>THN, (Feb. 22, 2010, Vol. 63, No. 18, p. 64)

That can only end well, I'm sure. I can just picture Alex Ovechkin's friends back home asking him, "But Sasha, you play in capital, home of government: Why cannot you just speed with sportscar wherever you want, no questions asked?"

Befitting the method in which I came across this, there was actually more from the KHL All-Star Garnett on this coveted badge a month ago, in this piece at his hometown thestarphoenix.com:

"It's not like we're made men or anything, but it definitely helps."

And how.