Debate raged for months about the NHL’s seemingly small decision to forbid its players from participating in next year’s Winter Olympics games. One of the league’s biggest opponents was Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, but ultimately the Russian machine would not have been able to represent his country anyway.
Tuesday afternoon, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the PyeongChang Olympics due to rampant doping in the Sochi games. Individual athletes from Russia, who are deemed “clean” by a panel, will be allowed to compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).”
The athletes will compete with a uniform bearing the OAR name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played instead of the Russian national anthem.
Meanwhile, the Russian Hockey Federation forged ahead and named its roster for the Channel One Cup, an Olympic tune-up.
Via the FHR, many talented players made the team including former NHLers Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, and Valery Nichushkin.
Forwards: Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Kalinin, Nikita Gusev, Vadim Shipachyov, Ilya Kablukov, Evgeny Ketov, Sergei Plotnikov, Sergei Shirokov (all SKA Saint Petersburg), Kirill Kaprizov, Valery Nichushkin, Ivan Telegin, Sergei Andronov, Maxim Shalunov, Mikhail Grigorenko (all CSKA Moscow).
Defensemen: Anton Belov, Slava Voynov, Vladislav Gavrikov, Dinar Khafizullin, Yegor Yakovlev (all SKA Saint Petersburg), Bogdan Kiselevich, Nikita Nesterov, Alexei Marchenko (all CSKA Moscow), Ilya Lyubushkin (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl).
Goalies: Vasily Koshechkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Ilya Sorokin (CSKA Moscow), Igor Shestyorkin (SKA Saint Petersburg).
— KHL (@khl_eng) December 5, 2017
Alongside Russia, the Finnish, Czech, Swedish, Canadian and South Korean national teams will take part in the competition, which will take run from Dec. 13-17 in Moscow.
It’s unknown what impact the IOC’s ruling will have on Russia’s hockey team or if Russian hockey players will even compete at all. But if they do, the players will definitely not be representing Russia.
Just got off the phone with IIHF president Rene Fasel, who says it’s “too early” to make any declarations on where we go from here. More from Fasel: “We need 24 to 48 hours to see where things are at. This is the first time in history we’ve had to deal with something like this…
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 5, 2017
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