The National Hockey League has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as player agents have expressed concern over “real threats.”
In a statement Monday, the league urged “a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible.”
The league also announced they were suspending relationships with business partners in Russia, as well as pausing their Russian language social and digital media sites. In the future, the league said they would be “discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.”
Earlier Monday, TSN’s Darren Dreger said he spoke with NHL agent Dan Milstein, who raised concerns over “real threats” towards his Russian-based clients in person, and on social media. Milstein requested for additional security for his players in North America, something the league echoed concern for too.
“We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia,” the league said, adding “we understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”
Pierre LeBrun later reported the league has been providing extra security as well as some local police departments.
“Everyone has been very, very supportive,” Milstein said to LeBrun. “My clients are extremely appreciative of the support received.”
This past week, former NHL goaltender Dominik Hasek spoke out regarding comments made by Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, calling his comments on Russia “chicken sh-t.”
“It’s a hard situation. I have lots of friends in Russia and Ukraine. And it’s hard to see the war. I hope soon it’s going to be over and there is going to be peace in the whole world,” Ovechkin said in a media availability.
“Please, no more war. It doesn’t matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world.”
Hasek said the NHL “must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players.”
Forward Vasily Podkolzin is the only Russian-born player on the Canucks roster.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]