The NHL released a strong statement on Monday afternoon cutting ties with Russia and related business connections over Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While the words, “war” and “invasion” are banned in Russian media, the NHL took no such appeasement policy. In a statement echoing Alex Ovechkin’s call for “no more war,” last week, the NHL severed all ties and will not consider Russia for any neutral site games.
The full NHL statement:
“The National Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible. Effective immediately, we are suspending our relationships with our business partners in Russia and we are pausing our Russian language social and digital media sites. In addition, we are discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.
We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia. We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”
Pittsburgh Penguins Impact:
The new deals should have no impact on the Pittsburgh Penguins or Russian star Evgeni Malkin. In 2019, Malkin became a dual citizen of the U.S. and Russia. If the war and subsequent sanctions escalate, Malkin will not be affected professionally.
He has not yet spoken on the matter, though he’s largely avoided any public political affiliations.
Some, including Hall of Fame goalie Dominik Hasek, have called upon the NHL to remove Russian players, however, the second paragraph indirectly addresses that position; Russian players play on behalf of their NHL teams.
IIHF Bans Russia, Belarus
“The IIHF strongly condemns the use of military force in Ukraine and urges the use of diplomatic means to solve conflict,” the IIHF said in a statement.
IIHF President Luc Tardiff offered his own thoughts on Twitter:
“The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine. We nevertheless have a duty to care to all of our members and participants, and must do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a self environment for all teams taking part in the IIHF World Championship program.”