The KHL is floundering. In spite of talks of a move of teams into China, the collapse of the Ruble and other factors has put the league, which at one point dreamed of challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy, into financial problems.
And now an important former Soviet NHL face has said he believes Russian players shouldn’t be allowed to come to North America until they’re older.
Via the Associated Press:
Fetisov, who is now a senator in Russia, tells Russia's R-Sport news agency that federal law should be used to stop Russian players from moving to North America before they turn 28.
The aim is to keep "our most talented guys, the ones who the people come to see."
He also wants to see foreigners fall under that rule, as well:
re Fetisov's new Iron Curtain proposal: he wants it to cover ALL KHL players under 28, not just Russians. pic.twitter.com/E5qY19A17F
— Igor Kleyner (@IgorKleyner) May 22, 2015
The story calls them “Soviet Style” restrictions, which honestly is a bit of a misnomer.
It’s not like these guys have to enlist in the army and play for national pride around the globe, beating the likes of college kids from other countries – or losing like in 1980.
Russia has its fair share of issues, but it's not like people are sent to Gulags anymore.
KHL players are indeed monetarily compensated, and Fetisov likely wants to protect professional hockey in Russia, which as a politician, involves the lifestyle and some sort of monetary well-being of the nation. After all, the story notes that Fetisov, who was one of the former Soviet players who broke the famed Iron Curtain, is a Senator now.
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