NHL Suspends Relations with Russia

Considering Russia’s charge against Ukraine, the National Hockey League decided to halt business relationships with the country on Monday evening. 

The Statement

The hockey association said, in a statement, the NHL would be seeking to terminate economic agreements with “partners in Russia,” along with “pausing” much Russian communication and social media services.

This comes in outrage over the massive invasion ordered by the Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday.

The NHL stated it opposes Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and supports a negotiated settlement as swiftly as possible. 

“In addition, we are terminating any consideration of Russia as a destination for future events, including the NHL,” the league added in the release.

The NHL voiced worry about “the well-being of the athletes from Russia, who compete in the NHL, in service of their NHL clubs, and not in favor of Russia.”

“We recognize they and their households are being placed in an extraordinarily difficult position,” the NHL added in the statement. 

Uncertain Loyalty

Dominik Hasek, a Hockey Hall of Famer, attacked Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin on Twitter on Saturday, saying NHL players should be deported from Russia because they play in the NHL.

Alex Ovechkin, a Russian-born NHL player, has said he wants the violence in Ukraine to stop. At a Friday news conference, the Washington Capitals’ left-wing remarked, “I would say it’s a hard scenario.”

“I have thousands of pals in Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, it’s difficult to imagine another conflict. I pray it’s eventually going to be over, and there’s going to be harmony in the whole world.”

At press conferences, Ovechkin has been careful to express his support of both nations as Russian-American ties have strained in recent years.

Still, when questioned about his relationship with, and former support of, Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Friday press conference, he took a passive attitude.

“Yeah, he’s my president, but, as I stated, I’m not in politics. I’m a sportsman,” Ochevkin replied. “As I previously stated, I am optimistic everything will be completed soon. Both parties are dealing with a difficult circumstance at the moment.”

Ovechkin is one of the ice hockey players from Russia who play for American clubs at all levels, from the juniors to the pros.

With more than 1,300 points in 17 years with the Capitals, the 36-year-old former first-round draft pick has become the fourth Russian-born player in the NHL to surpass 1,000 points. 

He expressed his desire to see the crisis come close and expressed confidence people on both sides would be secure.

“Please, let there be no more war,” he pleaded. “It makes no difference who is fighting in the conflict. Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s most powerful countries. Various countries are involved. I believe we must live in peace and a wonderful world.”