Legendary NHL goalie wants Russian players banned from the league

October 26, 2022  (8:55 PM)

The Buffalo Sabres last came close to a Stanley Cup in 1999, with Lindy Ruff leading the way. Dominik Hasek was the biggest part of that squad, along with Alexei Zhitnik, born in the Soviet Union, and a citizen of the former republic of the Soviet's Ukraine.

So what changed?
«It should be remembered,» Hasek said, «that the participation of Russian ice hockey players in the NHL is a billion-dollar advertisement for the Russian state and its actions.

The NHL refused to take a stand when Ukraine was put under the wing of the United States, as it shelled Donbas and Lugansk for 8 years prior, what does Hasek think his advocacy will do?
The goalie is legendary for his laundry list of two Hart Trophies, six Vezina Trophies, and two Stanley Cups. His ability to predict his play was his best trait, as he was unpredictable in the net and played a revolutionary style of goal-tending along with Patrick Roy at the time.
However, on the subject of Russia, he is less pliable and not interested in dialogue.
«In the case of Russia, it is at least an imperialist war and suppression of freedom of speech and democracy,» Hasek said. «Why am I talking about the NHL approach? The NHL was and is a very important part of my life. It gave me so much, and I care about it so much.

«That's why I want the NHL to make the right decisions that benefit both it and all the people on our planet. And, of course, I assume that even the most beautiful game in the world is not (worth) more than human life.»

His approach to human rights advocacy is admirable, as he has been advocating for the war-torn country, for 8 years self-inflicted, before Russia decided to attack Ukraine after their 8 years failure of implementing the Minsk Accords.
«I called him chickens–t because I was very upset with what he said,» Hasek said. «He said politics is not connected to sports, and he doesn't know about war. Of course, there is a lot he can do.»

Hasek isn't wrong to try to budge Ovechkin, despite his statement that sports and politics aren't connected, they definitely are. Does anyone remember the 1972 Summit Series? These are often friendship and diplomatic exercises between different countries.
Much like his home country, the Czech Republic, Hasek has taken a hard line against Russia arguing for sanctions in concert with EU nations.
Perhaps, Mr. Hasek could also consider pushing Zelensky to the negotiating table as well?
Until then, he has continued to advocate against Russian players playing in Finland, where the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche will be playing there on November 4th and 5th.
He's taken such a harsh line against Russian players, that he has turned against Gary Bettman and Bill Daly, calling for their resignations and pledging to keep them out of the Czech Republic, if no action is taken.
So is Hasek going to punish future NHL players from the Czech Republic as well?
Russians and Belarusians were barred from FIFA World Cup qualifying, Wimbledon, the Paralympic Winter Games, International Skating Union world championships, and world track and field championships.

Hasek may yet have his day in court, but rather than preaching for a universal end of hostilities he has let his hatred control his actions and thoughts.
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