Even since the Russian invasion and attack on Ukraine in February, Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek has called for the NHL to suspend contracts of all Russian players.
He got part of his wish to come true on Wednesday as Jakub Janda revealed that the Czech Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the NHL, stating that Czech Republic will not welcome Russian hockey players for October 7-8 NHL games in Prague because of Russia war crimes in Ukraine.
It has been confirmed that Hasek is behind this campaign.
The Global Series event is nothing new to the NHL, who has held the event most seasons except for ones that took place during the COVID pandemic.
This time, the Nashville Predators will face SC Bern of National League, the top professional league in Switzerland, in a preseason game at PostFinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland, on Oct. 3. The San Jose Sharks will play a preseason game against Eisbaren Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top pro league in Germany, at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on Oct. 4 before the Predators and Sharks open the 2022-23 NHL regular season with two games at O2 Arena in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8.
On San Jose’s roster, there are three Russian players on this day : forwards Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov, along with defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov.
As for the Predators, their current roster holds only one Russian player in forward Yakov Trenin.
Hasek has been very vocal about his stance against war and Russia taking over yet another country. He was born in 1965 in what was then called Czechoslovakia, which was under Soviet rule. His career highlights came in the nets of Buffalo and Detroit, where he won two Stanley Cups, but he also played for Chicago and Ottawa. He spent a season in the KHL after his NHL career was over.
Hasek has gone after Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, who lives in Russia with his family in the off-season, campaigned for Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014.
Hasek believes Russian players should take a stand against Putin, though today it is confirmed that he is the one sending a message.