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Statement from Bettman could spark battle with Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation won't be happy about this.

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The National Hockey League may be headed for a big battle with the Russian Hockey Federation.

On Monday during a major press conference NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that suspended Russian forwward Slaval Voynov, formerly of the Los Angeles Kings, would not be eligible for the World Cup of Hockey, effectively banning him from competition. The NHL is of course perfectly capable of doing this as the World Cup is a NHL/NHLPA sanctioned event.

However last week when rumors of this decision first began to filter out, Russian reporter Slava Malamud stated that you could expect an ugly battler with Russia if this were in fact to occur, going so far as to suggesting that the Russian media could play a role in painting the NHL in a bad light, and even a potential boycott from Russia altogether.

Bettman's decision may be a legitimate one, but it may prove to be a major headache for the NHL.

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