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Don’t boo Russians, hockey legend urges fans

Dominik Hasek has asked Czech hockey fans to be respectful of Russian NHL stars

Czech hockey icon Dominik Hasek has urged fans not to boo Russian NHL players ahead of Friday’s Global Series game between the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators in Prague.

Former NHL star Hasek, who is considered to be one of the finest goaltenders in the sport’s history and who played for several seasons in the United States, has been a vocal opponent of the admission of Russian hockey players to the Czech Republic amid various restrictions placed upon Russian sports stars and teams following the onset of the military operation in Ukraine earlier this year.

Hasek, 57, had previously lobbied for Russian players representing the two NHL teams to be barred from entry by the Czech Foreign Ministry, and claimed to Czech media that allowing them to play in Prague would promote what he refers to as an unjust situation in Ukraine.

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Each NHL team which has traveled to Prague has one Russian player on its main roster. Yakov Trenin represents Nashville, while Alexander Barabanov turns out for San Jose. A third, Evgeny Svechnikov, is on trial with the Sharks. It is unclear how many of the Russian contingent will take to the ice on Friday.

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The former goaltender made his anti-Russian feelings evident.
Hockey icon furious after Russians cleared for Euro tour

Even though Hasek and the Czech Foreign Ministry openly expressed their opposition to Russian hockey stars appearing in Prague, players from the country were ultimately cleared for the games on October 7 and 8, reportedly because they held existing Schengen visas which could not be revoked. 

Hasek has now asked Czech hockey fans to aim any dissent at the Russian political hierarchy or the NHL, and not at the individual players when they take to the ice in Prague. 

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NHL match will take place in Prague tomorrow,” he wrote on Twitter late on Thursday. 

[The NHL] doesn’t respect the decision of our [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and apparently the Russian players will play.

“Those players are not to blame. Don’t boo them. All responsibility for this advertisement of the Russian war lies with the leadership of the NHL.”

He added: “The NHL will bear all the consequences for this decision. They still have 1 day to change their stance.”

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The NHL, though, has been steadfast in its stance in refusing to sanction its many Russian players.


READ MORE: NHL team backs Russians in Euro tour row

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this year that Russian players represent the league and their teams and should be shielded from political accusations.

They “are performing in the NHL for their NHL team for NHL fans,” he said.

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After two games in Prague on Friday and Saturday, the Global Series will travel to Finland in November for further fixtures. 

https://ift.tt/Pvnw7Sp 07, 2022 at 06:54PM
from RT – Daily news

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