Russian players: Bettman walks on eggshells


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says it’s not a good idea to meddle in what’s going on in Russia, despite the situations surrounding Philadelphia Flyers goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov and Philadelphia Wild Minnesota forward Kirill Kaprizov.

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The NHL commissioner was walking on eggshells when asked about the current situation of Russian players when he met with the media before the first round began on Thursday night.

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

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, neither for us nor for the teams, to interfere in political issues and what is happening in Russia. “

To put it in context: A week ago, Russian media reported that Fedotov, who had just accepted an NHL entry contract with the Flyers, was being held in Russia for failing to perform compulsory military service.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper was then sent to the far north to perform military service in what many believe was a way for Russia to dissuade players from their country from leaving for North America.

Then, a few days later, we learned that Minnesota Wild striker Kirill Kaprizov was wanted by authorities in Vladimir Putin’s country because he allegedly bought a counterfeit military ID card in 2017.

This information has been denied by the hockey player’s family, but it is not excluded that he must fulfill his military service as his exemption ended on June 30, also according to The Athletic website.


Asked later if he planned to ban the Russians from conscription in the future, until the current situation was resolved, Bettman was adamant.

“No. Firstly, it would not be appropriate and secondly, I have seen some information circulating that our teams have been advised not to select the Russians, which is untrue. Teams can draft any eligible player. D ‘ on the other hand, the drafting of players from certain countries can impact when you can have them on your team. Teams will have to deal with a lot of uncertainty. Remember that the Canadian Hockey League has banned all of its teams from recruiting players from Russia during the last European draft of the circuit, on 1uh last July.

At press time, two Russian players had found buyers in the first round. Defender Pavel Mintyukov became 10And absolute choice by the Anaheim Ducks while Ivan Miroshnichenko was selected by the Washington Capitals in the 20And ring. Note that Mintyukov played in Canada last season with Saginaw Spirit in the OHL.


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