Danbury Whalers News

Former KHLer Signs - Solarev Joins the Danbury Whalers

on Dec 05, 2013

The Danbury Whalers are proud to announce that Forward Ilya Solarev has signed an agreement join the team.  Solarev will be in the lineup tomorrow night when the team faces the Watertown Privateers.


Solarev, a native of Kazakh, was a 9th round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2001 NHL Draft.  For the past four seasons he has been playing professionally in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) which is the Russian equivalent of the National Hockey League (NHL). 


In four seasons with Barys Astana of the KHL, Solarev has tallied 15 goals in 119 games.


Prior to this season, Solarev received a 2-year ban from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) following a positive test for Salbutamol, a banned substance, under the World Anti-Doping Code.  Salbutamol is used by Solarev to treat his asthma condition and helps to control the pulmonary issues he suffers from.  During this test period, Solarev was found to have taken over 1600 micrograms in a 24 hour period.  The medication is allowable, however, it was the dosage level and the time frame with which he took it that caused the suspension.


Through research of this drug there has been no performance enhancement related to its use.


Solarev commented through Danbury Whalers Forward and translator #22 Igor Karlov with the following statements:


On being in Danbury, Connecticut:

“I am excited to be in the United States.  This is the first time I have seen America and can’t wait to travel.  I especially am looking forward to seeing the tall buildings of New York City.  While there, I also I plan on paying my respects to where the World Trade Center was.”


Playing in the KHL:

“The talent level is so tremendous there.  The World Class players are unbelievable.  Where the game is different that I can see already is the skill and quickness on the Olympic size sheet of ice versus the smaller rink in the North American game.  There is more hitting and less finesse here.”


Eating in America:

“For the most part I have been cooking and preparing traditional Russian meals.  The Russian way is a structured meal with soup, salad, and then the entrée.  What I have seen here is that I love Chinese food.  It is very good, but I would love to experience the meals of America while I am here.”


The Suspension:

“I suffer from asthma.  There is not much to say I made a mistake on my dosage.  I look forward to continuing my hockey career and thank the Danbury Whalers for giving me this opportunity and believing in me.”


Solarev is now the 5th former NHL draft pick to play for the Danbury Whalers, joining Steve McClellan (Colorado Avalanche), Mike Brown (Boston Bruins), Ed Campbell (New York Rangers), and Eric Lind (Pittsburgh Penguins).


For further information on Ilya Solarev and the Danbury Whalers, contact Herm Sorcher at hsorcher@thedanburywhalers.comor call 973-713-7547.