Russian players: Bettman walks on eggshells

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says it’s not a good idea to get involved in what’s happening in Russia, despite the situation surrounding Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ivan Fedotov and Philadelphia Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov.

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The NHL commissioner walked on eggshells when asked about the current situation of Russian players when he met the media Thursday night before the start of the first round.

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“We probably don’t have all the details of what’s going on in Russia and what each player’s relationship is with the government. We will therefore respect the ongoing process,” he replied simply.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea for us or for the teams to get involved in political affairs and what’s happening in Russia. »

For context, a week ago Russian media reported that Fedotov, who had just signed an NHL entry contract with the Flyers, was being jailed in Russia for failing to comply with his draft.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper was then sent up north to do his military service. Many believe this was a way for Russia to dissuade players from their country from going to North America.

Then, a few days later, we learned that Minnesota Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov was wanted by authorities in Vladimir Putin’s country for allegedly buying a fake military ID in 2017.

This information has been denied by the ice hockey player’s family, but it’s not out of the question that he may have to do his national service since his leave of absence ended on June 30, according to The Athletic site.


Asked afterwards whether he would consider excluding the Russians from the draft in the future until the current situation there is resolved, Bettman remained adamant.

” Nope. Firstly, it wouldn’t be appropriate, and secondly, I’ve seen some information circulating that says our teams were advised not to pick Russians, which is wrong. Teams can draft any eligible player. On the other hand, drafting can be done by players certain countries will have an impact on when you can have them on your team. Teams will have to deal with a lot of uncertainty. Recall that the Canadian Hockey League banned all of their teams from playing players from Russia during the last European draft of the race track, 1ah last July.

At the time of writing, two Russian players had found takers in the first round. Defender Pavel Mintyukov finished 10the Overall pick by the Anaheim Ducks while Ivan Miroshnichenko by the Washington Capitals in the 20th minutee Rung. Note that Mintyukov played in Canada with Saginaw Spirit in the OHL last season.

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