Sequentially. Dominik Hasek, a goaltender legend and former National Hockey League (NHL) player, has made no secret of his recent condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Most recently, he praised the exclusion of Russian athletes from the tennis classic in Wimbledon. Particularly explosive. The NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators is scheduled to take place in Prague on October 8th and 9th. The Czech ice hockey legend announced on Twitter that he will do everything possible to ensure that the game does not take place unless Russian players are excluded.
The gold medalist at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics wrote, “If the NHL would let a Russian player play despite the current situation, that would be unforgivable,” Hasek said. “If that happens, I will do everything I can to ensure that these games do not take place in our country. I will address the government of the Czech Republic, organizers, potential partners and the public. If the Games take place, I urge you to condemn this decision. Be aware that it would be publicity for Russia and what it is doing,” Hasek pointed out.
“We would support the Russian army’s aggression against a democratic country, the killing of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and crimes against humanity. The NHL game in Prague was meant to be a hockey celebration, not an advertisement for Russian crimes in Ukraine. That would not only be disrespectful to the NHL, but especially to Ukraine and its citizens,” the former goaltender said.
Alex Barabanov and Nikolaj Knizow currently play for the San Jose Sharks. Jakow Trenin is in the line-up for Nashville.
Hasek himself played in Russia during his time. In Russia, Dominik Hasek’s words naturally triggered negative reactions. Nikia Scitkow, his former team-mate at Spartak Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League, duly dished out: “He’s most likely suffering from a concussion. If Hasek says something like that, he should also return the money he earned in Russia. Don’t mix politics with sport. Hasek was a great goalkeeper, but he’s a bad person. So I don’t take his statements seriously,” Scitkow said.