“We will not leave without the Russians.” The NHL threatened to boycott games in Europe in the event of a Russian entry ban
San Jose general manager Michael Greer responded to the Czech Foreign Ministry’s warning of a ban on Russian players entering the country to attend NHL games with the phrase, “Either we all go or nobody goes.” ”
Yaakov Trenin (Photo: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Greer opposed a trip to an NHL regular season game in Prague if Russian players were barred from entering the Czech Republic.
“Either we all go or nobody goes. I’m a firm believer that we’re a team,” Greer was quoted as saying by NBC’s Shane Penn. “It’s not the fault of the players, they didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t think they should be punished for that. We stand with them and we stand together.”
The San Jose and Nashville Predators meet in Prague on Oct. 7-8 in the opening games of the NHL regular season. Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smoleka said on September 22 that the country’s foreign ministry had sent a letter to the NHL saying that “the Czech Republic or any other Schengen state should not issue visas to Russian players to enter the country.
The Czech Foreign Ministry warned the NHL about a possible entry ban for Russians
In response, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told TASS: “We hope Russian players will go to Europe and participate in the Games.” At the same time, the source of RIA Novosti said that the league has threatened to refuse matches in Europe if there are problems with the access of Russians.
There are five Russians in the San Jose system: defender Artemy Knyazev, as well as forwards Alexander Barabanov, Evgeni Svechnikova, Daniil Gushchin and Timur Ibragimov. There are three Russians in the Nashville system: goalkeeper Yaroslav Askarov, as well as forwards Yakov Trenin, Egor Afanasiev (all – Nashville Predators).
Both teams will play friendlies in Europe before full-time play in the regular season. On October 3, “Nashville” will meet with the club of the same name in Bern, Switzerland, on October 4, “San Jose” will meet with the local “Isbaren” in Berlin.
Also on November 4th and 6th, the Colorado Avalanche will play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Finnish city of Tampere.
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