NHL: a tense situation for Russian players

NHL: a tense situation for Russian players


The situation of Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov tends to bring issues surrounding Russian-born players to the forefront in the National Hockey League for next season.< /strong>

According to recent details, Kaprizov would have been turned back, twice rather than once, at American customs. The main reason, however, would be related to obtaining a work visa, according to what sports media The Athletic revealed on Friday evening.

Kaprizov, who would have thus been returned to Russia, would nevertheless find himself in a complex position, he never completed his military obligations for his country.

“We probably don't have all the details of what's going on in Russia and the relationship each player has with the government,” commissioner Gary Bettman commented briefly earlier this week on the sidelines of the National League draft. hockey held in Montreal. We will respect the ongoing process. I don't think it's a good idea, either for us or for the teams, to interfere in political issues and what's happening in Russia.”

Many rumors

Since the beginning of the month, it is the case of the young goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov, a hope of the Philadelphia Flyers, who has made the headlines. He was reportedly sent to a military base in Severodvinsk after being intercepted in Russia, as he was preparing to cross to North America to pursue his hockey career. His lawyer then argued that Fedotov had suffered a curious poisoning the day after his arrest, having to be transported to a hospital center.

In the case of Kaprizov, everything suggests that he is safe. Kaprizov is, however, in the crosshairs of the Russian authorities since he reportedly deserted his native country after obtaining a fake military card in 2017.

“I spoke with his agent. We try to gather as much information as possible. I don't even know how true the rumors could be, responded Wild general manager Bill Guerin. All I'm trying to do is gather information without pressing the “panic” button.”

In short, while rumors abound, the situation of many Russian hockey players seems complex in the context of the invasion of Ukraine.

25 Russian players drafted

Despite the circumstances, 25 Russian players were selected, at the the last few days during the NHL draft. However, only six of them were selected in the first two rounds.

Defender Pavel Mintyukov, who played with the Saginaw Spirit last season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, was the first Russian called. The Anaheim Ducks indeed drafted him 10th overall. Followed by Ivan Miroshnichenko (20th by the Washington Capitals), Danila Yurov (24th by the Minnesota Wild), Artem Duda (36th by the Arizona Coyotes), Dmitri Buchelnikov (52nd by the Detroit Red Wings) and Gleb Trikozov (60th by the Carolina Hurricanes).