CHL ends its ban on Russian and Belarusian players
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CHL ends its ban on Russian and Belarusian players

About time!



This just in, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the parent organization that governs the QMJHL, OHL and WHL, has lifted its Draft ban against Russian and Belarusian players.

Check it out:

The ban was instituted in 2022 as a response to the conflict in Ukraine instituted by Russia and supported by Belarus. The ban was extended in 2023, effectively barring teams from drafting any Russian or Belarusian born players the past two offseasons. Heading into the 2024 offseason, players from Russia and Belarus will now be free to join the CHL for 2024-25.

Meanwhile just a couple months ago, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decided to extend its competition ban against both Russia and Belarus through next season, the 2024/25 campaign.

The IIHF maintains that it is not safe for players from these countries to host or to compete in International events, given the ongoing military conflict between these nations and neighboring Ukraine.

The IIHF also announced that they will make a determination on the two teams' eligibility for the 2025-26 season no later than May, 2025.

From the IIHF's official press release announcement:

Today, during one of its regularly scheduled meetings, the IIHF Council reviewed the current safety risks associated with reincorporating the Russian and the Belarusian National and Club Teams into IIHF Competitions. Based on a thorough analysis, the IIHF Council concluded that it is not yet safe to reincorporate the Russian and Belarusian Teams back into IIHF Competitions. Therefore, Russia and Belarus will not participate in the 2024/2025 IIHF championship season. This decision will also apply to the Belarusian team regarding the Final Olympic Qualification Round that will be played in August 2024.

As it has been done over the past years, the IIHF Council will continue to monitor the situation, with the latest date to determine if it is safe to reincorporate Russia and Belarus for the 2025/2026 Championship season in May 2025 at the IIHF Council meeting ahead of the IIHF Annual Congress.

The ban against Russia and Belarus goes back to February, 2022 when IIHF officials voted in favor of suspending their eligibility for sanctioned events. The ban was extended once for the current 2023-24 season and now twice for next season.

Source: Jeff Marek