It looks like the International Ice Hockey Federation’s ban on Russia and Belarus will remain in place next season, as IIHF president Luc Tardiff spoke on the ongoing situation and state of the federation on Saturday.
Per The Hockey News’ Steven Ellis, Tardif said that the IIHF is continuing to monitor both countries and the invasion of Ukraine. The IIHF will continue to reevaluate year by year. But as of right now, both countries remain banned from IIHF events this season, including World Juniors, Worlds and more. Also, the federation is doing what it can to help Ukrainian players.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February, the IIHF suspended all Russian and Belarusian national teams indefinitely on Feb. 28. They also withdrew the 2023 World Juniors hosting rights from Russia.
Tardif did add, however, that he is hopeful that Russia will eventually return and that they have been in contact with the federation, per The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler.
The Washington Capitals have three Russian players on the roster in Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. There are also more Russians in the system, including 2022 first-rounder Ivan Miroshnichenko and Alex Alexeyev. Forward Aliaksei Protas also hails from Belarus.
So, as of right now, Miroshnichenko and other prospects won’t have a chance at the World Juniors, and Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov and Protas will not be able to participate in World. Kuznetsov did receive a four-year ban from the IIHF back in 2019 for the use of cocaine back in 2018. His ban will expire this coming year.