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SJHN Daily: Russian NHL’ers Facing Death Threats Because of Putin’s Invasion



Credit: San Jose Sharks

With the world following along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the hockey world has not been immune to the discussion, and Russian athletes have faced backlash.

Today, the IIHF announced sanctions on Russia and Belarus.

In the KHL, two teams (Dinamo Riga and Jokerit) announced withdrawals from the KHL, and attention has increased on Russian players in the NHL.

Unfortunately, some of the attention has taken a turn for the worse as players in North America have seen death threats and anger directed towards them and their families. With that, there has been a call for more protection for those Russians in the league as animosity continues to build.

Ukrainian-born NHL player agent Dan Milstein represents many Russians signed to NHL contracts, including Nikita Zadorov.

Zadorov took to Instagram recently to speak out against the war.

Milstein represents some of the biggest names in the NHL, including Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Ilya Sorokin. He also represents five members of the San Jose Sharks organization, and of them, four are Russian natives. Hopefully, Alexander Barabanov, Alexei Melnichuk, Artemi Kniazev, and Nikolai Knyzhov will not experience the same negativity, though support for Ukraine is strong in San Jose.

Ukrainian Flags Fly in Protest at Sharks Game

There has been a marked increase in hostility toward Russian NHL’ers since Putin’s incursion, even in public forums, such as this take from Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek:

Other proposed options carry more of a future impact, such as the one put forth by Canadian Olympian Bruce Kidd:

For what it’s worth, I believe we have to be careful going too far the other way, like Hasek has, or like those who are threatening Milstein’s clients and other Russian NHL’ers.


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