Thursday, June 20, 2024

Russia | NHL general managers worried and uneasy

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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“Is that certain…?” »

Posted at 7:05 PM.

Simon Olivier Lorang

Simon Olivier Lorang

Pale-faced, Chuck Fletcher, General Manager of Flyers, couldn’t help but pose the question to a reporter. However, this person simply asked him if he had discussed with Bill Guerin, his counterpart in Minnesota.

Fletcher and Jiren could already sympathize. The news Fletcher feared to be confirmed was that Wild Star striker Kirill Kaprizov was in high demand by Russian authorities after he allegedly bought a “military ID” in 2017 to withdraw from compulsory military service.

The mystery swirled all day: Was Kaprizov still in Russia? Was he on his way to North America instead? Michael Russo, from Athlétique, followed the case step by step. Guerin finally assured him that his player was still in his country of origin. The general manager was still trying to gather as much information as possible about it, but he “wasn’t too concerned.”

If Chuck Fletcher is interested in the case closely, it’s because one of his players is stuck in an even worse quagmire. Goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov, the 2015 seventh round winner, was arrested in Russia last week under Kaprizov’s pretext. Since then he has been sent to a military naval camp.

Photo mat space, linked press archives

Ivan Fedotov

On the eve of the NHL draft, and when all of the ring leaders had already gathered in Montreal, Russia was at the center of many conversations, Wednesday, at the end of the general managers meeting.

With Fedotov’s arrest, and given the arrest warrant issued against Kaprizov, teams can legitimately question whether their players returning to their home countries in the summer will be able to rejoin their squads at the end of the summer.

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“It’s a situation out of our control,” said Ken Holland, General Manager of Oilers. As far as he knows, defender Dmitry Samorokov and his wife are currently in Edmonton. However, it was not known which side of the Pacific would be in the sixth round in 2021 Matvey Petrov, who played last season in the Ontario Junior League.


Ken Holland, Managing Director, Edmonton Oilers

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin wasn’t particularly worried about Vasily Podkolzin and Andrei Kuzmenko, who are both in Russia in the summer. “I expect them to return sometime in August or early September as planned,” he said.

Canadian defender Kent Hughes said defender Alexander Romanov would return to Montreal on Wednesday or Thursday. The head of CH commented: “I was told that everything is under control, but surely everything will be under control when he is in North America. I have not been given cause for concern. »

Lou Lamoreello of the Islands said he was optimistic his players would make “decisions that are in their best interest”. Jim Neil, of the stars, gave the same speech, noting that Denis Guryanov was just there. Youngster Artem Groshnikov, who also played for Ontario last season, is still in North America “for the time being”.

“It’s their state, and they know what they can and can’t do, it’s their decision. Dennis never had a problem,” Neil explained.

The Russian question can, of course, be included in both sides’ lists of hopes. But, Kevin Adams, of Sabers, recalls, “We’re not doing taping on a next-year basis. We don’t know what the world will look like in three years.”

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While some general managers are enthusiastic, the sentiment is not unanimous.

Fletcher cautiously noted that “every situation is unique” and that the NHL did not provide specific instructions on the subject. “You have to ask Gary or Bill,” he breathed, referring to Gary Pittman and Bill Daly, the circuit commissioner and assistant district commissioner, respectively.


Gary Pittman, NHL Commissioner

However, Batman refused to answer the question of who Journalism in this subject. “It’s the CEOs who are talking today,” he said. The commissioner will address the media on Thursday as part of a joint press briefing with the players’ union, on an entirely different topic.

Kevin Sheffieldev, of the Jets, declined to comment on “individual cases”.

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

When Journalism Dorion asked him if he was worried, and he stood in a long silence. He indicated that it is not within his competence to decide, during the recession, the location of his players. In all honesty, “I have no idea where they are,” he admitted. Before I add: “I have a pretty good idea of ​​what they do, but I don’t have to discuss it. »

The discussion is far from over, one might assume.

In collaboration with Guillaume Lefrançois, Journalism

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