In recent days, a debate has erupted with renewed vigor over the participation of our hockey team in the 2024 World Cup.
The impetus for this was a meeting of general managers of clubs and NHL leadership in Florida. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the meeting was held in person, and the topic of the World Cup was raised.
The league and the players’ union are still in the process of discussing the nuances of organizing the tournament. The other day the IIHF is to join the discussion in Paris. And we are talking not only about 2024, but also about 2028.
At the moment, neither the date, nor the place, nor the composition of the participants of the nearest KM has been approved. It is known only that the European teams and young stars of North America, who participated in the 2016 KM, will not be invited to the tournament. And we, of course, are interested in whether Russia, excluded from the IIHF from all international competitions, will play in KM-2024.
Here you can hear different opinions. The hockey audience was greatly warmed up by the “insiders” of the Czech journalist of the Isport.cz publication Jan Denemarka. He claims that despite the removal of Russia from the IIHF, by 2024 everything may change. “It is very likely that Russian NHL stars will be able to take part in the World Cup. The NHL will not want to deprive itself of their participation and will give the opportunity to join the tournament, but this team will perform without a flag and anthem, “- wrote Denemark.
Another demand of the NHL, according to the Czech columnist, will be the purely Enchael composition of the Russian team. But there are no problems with that. Russia now has a whole scattering of stars in the NHL, starting with Ovechkin, Malkin, Kucherov and ending with a new generation – Kaprizov and Svechnikov. Not to mention our goalkeepers, where the choice is simply gorgeous – Vasilevsky, Bobrovsky, Shesterkin, Varlamov, Samsonov… Goalkeeping elite of the league.
Unlike the international sports federations, which today merged into a common anti-Russian choir, the NHL pursues a different policy, practically distancing itself from Ukrainian events. After the first powerful “artillery shelling” of the Russians by a number of reputable hockey people, including Dominic Gashek and Wayne Gretzky (the first called for the expulsion of all Russians from the league, the second – to prevent Russia in the World Cup), Gary Battman and company managed to quickly extinguish the tension . Ovechkin was even given a bodyguard, away from sin. But in general the situation has returned to normal.
The NHL is not at all interested in losing stars of the first magnitude, and there are many among the Russians. Modern hockey already suffers from a lack of bright personalities. Well, what will it be for the World Cup without the hockey players everyone is talking about today. Ovechkin, Panarin, Kaprizov are not leaving the screens this season. However, the position of the IIHF is still unclear.
ESPN columnist Emily Kaplan says there is currently no decision on KM-2024 member countries. The most important issue is, of course, Russia. At the same time, she emphasizes the neutral position of the NHL leadership. The league immediately supported our legionnaires, did not interfere with their position with politics, and did not impose any bans on the draft of newcomers. Young Russian stars remain desirable in North America.
We should not forget that although the NHL holds the CM together with the IIHF, the host of the tournament is not the International Hockey Federation. The voice of the latter, according to the Olympic champion, and now MP Andrei Kovalenko, will be only advisory.
“The NHL will decide, that is, the business component. Is the situation paradoxical – the World Cup is held without Russia, the World Cup – with Russia? There is nothing to do here, such are the realities of the world today. If this happens, the effectiveness of the IIHF will once again be called into question. In general, it is a pity that politics in Europe today dictates everything to sports, it is a violation of all principles. In America, as we see, politics does not go into sports, “Kovalenko was quoted as saying by Russia-Hockey.
In the FHR, according to our data, the issue of the World Cup is not discussed in principle today. There is no normal contact with the IIHF, which finishes the bitch on which it sits. In conditions when the International Federation has no influence on the main league in the world – the NHL, it was not enough to break off all relations with the second strongest league – the KHL. Namely, this will happen if the FHR try to throw the world hockey to the sidelines.
As for the plans of the organizers of KM-2024, North American sources say about 8 teams in the main round of the tournament. Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic go there without selection. Three participants will be determined later. There is an option to qualify in the summer of 2023 among a number of European teams. But what will happen to Russia is a mystery. We may be included in the number of untouchables at once, but they can be banned with the same success. Or maybe they will make a “compromise” decision – they will make you play a selection among others.
Will we have to be so humiliated? With all the desire to return to world hockey – you can not allow yourself to wipe your feet.