Russia | NHL general manager concerned and unwell

“Is that confirmed…?” »

Posted at 7:05 p.m

Simon Olivier Lorange

Simon Olivier Lorange
The press

Pale-faced, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher couldn’t help but pop the question to a journalist. However, he simply had to ask him if he had spoken to Bill Guerin, his counterpart from Minnesota.

Fletcher and Guerin can actually sympathize. The news Fletcher feared could be confirmed was that Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov was actively wanted by Russian authorities after he allegedly bought a “military ID” in 2017 to withdraw from mandatory military service.

All day long the riddle hung: Was Kaprizov still in Russia? Was he headed to North America instead? Michael Russo from the website Athlétique followed the case step by step. Guerin finally confirmed that his player was still in his home country. The DG is still trying to gather as much information as possible on the subject but is “not overly concerned”.

If Chuck Fletcher was so interested in the case, it’s because one of his own players is in an even worse quagmire. Goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov, selected by the Flyers in the seventh round in 2015, was arrested in Russia last week on the same pretext as Kaprizov. Since then he has been sent to a military naval camp.

PHOTO MATT SLOCUM, Associated Press Archives

Ivan Fedotov

On the eve of the NHL draft, and when all the leaders of the circle had already gathered in Montreal, on Wednesday, at the end of the meeting of general directors, Russia was the focus of many discussions.

With Fedotov’s arrest and the arrest warrant issued against Kaprizov, teams can rightly wonder if their players, returning to their home countries for the summer, will be able to join their respective teams at the end of the summer.

“It’s a situation that is beyond our control,” said Oilers general manager Ken Holland. Defense attorney Dmitri Samorukov and his wife are currently in Edmonton, to his knowledge. However, he did not know on which side of the Pacific is 2021 sixth-rounder Matvei Petrov, who played in the Ontario Junior League last season.


Ken Holland, CEO of the Edmonton Oilers

Canucks GM Patrik Allvin didn’t seem too worried about Vasily Podkolzin and Andrei Kuzmenko, both of whom were in Russia over the summer. “I expect them to return sometime in August or early September as planned,” he said.

The Canadiens’ Kent Hughes said defenseman Alexander Romanov will return to Montreal on Wednesday or Thursday. “I’ve been told everything is under control, but for sure everything will be better under control when he’s in North America,” commented the CH boss. I was given no cause for concern. »

The Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello said he was optimistic his players would make “decisions in their best interests”. The Stars’ Jim Nill gave the same speech, mentioning that Denis Gurianov was there. However, young Artem Grushnikov, who also played in Ontario last season, remains in North America “for now”.

“It’s their country, they know what they can and can’t do, it’s their choice. Denis had no problem,” explained Nill.

The Russian question could, of course, be included in the hope lists that the teams are making. But, as the Sabers’ Kevyn Adams recalled, “we’re not designing based on next year. We don’t know what the world will be like in three years.”


While some general managers are light-hearted, the sentiment isn’t unanimous.

Fletcher cautioned that “every situation is unique” and that the NHL has not provided specific guidance on the subject. “You’d have to ask Gary or Bill,” he breathed, referring to Gary Bettman and Bill Daly, county commissioner and deputy county commissioner, respectively.


Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner

However, Bettman declined to answer a question The press to this topic. “It’s the CEOs who are speaking today,” he said. The commissioner will be addressing the media this Thursday at a joint press conference with the Players Association on a very different subject.

The Jets’ Kevin Cheveldayoff took refuge behind a refusal to comment on “individual cases”.

Senators’ Pierre Dorion also seemed annoyed by the Russian affair. Two of her main defenders, Nikita Zaitsev and Artem Zub, were born in the country of Kim Yaroshevskaya.

When The press asked him if he was worried, whereupon Dorion was silent for a long time. He reminded that it is not up to him to decide on his players’ whereabouts during the off-season. In all honesty, “I have no idea where they are,” he admitted. Before I add: “I have a good idea of ​​what they’re doing, but it’s not my place to debate it. »

The discussion is far from over, one may assume.

In collaboration with Guillaume Lefrançois, The press

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