With tensions high overseas, there have been questions concerning the status of Russian NHLers next season. And right now, the Washington Capitals are aware of the situation but remain optimistic that they will have their roster return for the upcoming season.
General manager Brian MacLellan shared an update on the situation and how it impacts the team. While the Capitals are following the situation, they aren’t overly concerned that their players will not be able to report back to the U.S.
“I think obviously there’s a little uncertainty. But talking to our guys, I think you know, everybody’s pretty comfortable that they’re coming back and they’re playing next year,” MacLellan said. “So I can go by what our players say and their comfort level with it. And there might be some uncertainty, but I think we’re pretty confident they’re all coming back to play.”
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov are the only Russians currently on the Capitals NHL roster. Under Russian law, men aged 18-27 must serve at least one year in the military. Samsonov is the only Russian player under 27. Also in the system include Alex Alexeyev and Bogdan Trineyev. Aliaksei Protas is from Belarus.
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Concerns arose after Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov was detained for alleged draft dodging. Fedotov, 25, announced his plans to leave CSKA Moscow, a team with close ties to the Russian army, and join Philadelphia for 2022-23. Police arrested Fedotov outside a St. Petersburg ice rink on July 1. Fedotov then fell ill at an enlistment office. After being rushed to the hospital, Fedotov claimed he was given injections.
According to Fedotov’s lawyer, Russia sent Fedotov to an Arctic naval base. He will still get the opportunity to train and play hockey. However, he will have to serve in the military. Under Russian law, men aged 18-27 must serve at least one year in the military.
Now, there is speculation that Kirill Kaprizov is wanted in Russia for involvement in fraudulent military IDs. The forward, who previously played for CSKA Moscow before joining the Minnesota Wild. Per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, Kaprizov is not in the U.S.