Correction: Olympics-Russian Hopes story (Apr 9, 2017)

MOSCOW (AP) In a story Apr 7 about Russian hopes for men’s hockey in a Winter Olympics, The Associated Press misidentified a actor quoted in a piece. The scold name is Matt Duchene.

A corrected chronicle of a story is below:

Russia hopes for boost from Olympic hockey turmoil

After a week of misunderstanding for Olympic hockey, Russia thinks it is staid to be a vast leader in South Korea subsequent February


AP Sports Writer

MOSCOW (AP) – After a week of misunderstanding for Olympic hockey, Russia thinks it is staid to be a vast leader subsequent Feb in South Korea.

Its fans have waited some-more than 25 years for an Olympic bullion medal, and a tip joining wants to quarrel a NHL for general markets so a deficiency of NHL players in Pyeongchang could be, well, a golden opportunity.

The Olympics are ”the biggest, many poignant eventuality in tellurian sports,” Vyacheslav Bykov, who won Olympic bullion as a actor in 1988 and 1992 and after coached Russia’s inhabitant team, told The Associated Press on Friday. ”Competing during a Olympics is most some-more critical than a Stanley Cup.”

The Russian hockey complement is a tangled web of sports, supervision and blurb interests, yet all see Olympic bullion as a inhabitant priority. Since Bykov and a post-Soviet Unified Team won bullion in Albertville 25 years ago, a best Olympic outcome for Russia has been a 1-0 detriment to a Czechs in a bullion award diversion in 1998 – a initial Olympic contest with NHL participation. On home ice in Sochi in 2014, Russia mislaid 3-1 to Finland in a quarterfinals.

The NHL’s proclamation Monday that it won’t tighten down so a players can transport to Pyeongchang leaves Russia in a singly clever position. It is home to a Kontinental Hockey League, widely regarded as a strongest outward North America with talent including former NHL stars like Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Voynov who are personification closer to home. And if some NHL players are authorised to play in a Olympics, Russians including Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, as good as Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin have all pronounced they devise to participate.

That would make Russia a expected favorite even if Canada and a U.S. are means to count on a handful of NHL stars, too.

”They’ve got a outrageous advantage given they’ve got NHL guys, they’ve got guys that have left home to play,” pronounced Corey Hirsch, goaltender for Canada’s china medal-winning group during Lillehammer. ”They’re going to have NHL players. But it’s not going to be like we’re going behind to a 1980s. … They’ll have some good players, yet they’ll have some weaknesses, too.”

Added Matt Duchene, a Canadian who plays for a Colorado Avalanche: ”They have some career guys who’ve played in a KHL and put adult outrageous numbers and are used to a vast ice. we consider Russia would substantially a favorite usually given of who they have personification over there.”

Less obvious to North American fans are Russian players like Vadim Shipachyov, a tip scorer during final year’s universe championships, and Evgeny Dadonov, who have both been widely reported in Russian media as deliberation moves from SKA St. Petersburg to a NHL this summer.

Whether they pierce could be a litmus exam for Russia’s Olympic hopes.

With players potentially confronting a choice between NHL contracts and what could be a inhabitant team’s initial bullion award in a generation, a Russian Hockey Federation is perplexing to ”bring home” stars from North America and stop rising talent from withdrawal a KHL, authority Arkady Rotenberg pronounced Wednesday. If Russians wish to go Pyeongchang notwithstanding holding current NHL contracts, Rotenberg vowed to assistance with their authorised costs.

Rotenberg typifies a tighten links between sports and a supervision in Russia.

A tighten crony of Vladimir Putin who became a billionaire in vast partial due to supervision contracts, he chairs a RHF house and sits on a KHL board. His nephew, Roman Rotenberg, is clamp boss of SKA St. Petersburg, a KHL group that sealed Datsyuk, Kovalchuk and Voynov regulating income from state gas association Gazprom.

The KHL relies heavily on payments from Russian state companies and informal governments. With a Kremlin focused on determining supervision spending, it has left by some gaunt years recently – yet KHL teams have a lane record of anticipating income – and salary-cap exemptions – when a tip Russian actor wants to come home.

”I consider all a fans in Russia will be happy if a players, Russian players, will come to a KHL and play here, paint a inhabitant group during a Olympics,” Bykov said. ”Yes, it’s patriotic, yet it’s also any player’s personal preference … It’s not an easy conditions for any player.”

Taking a report mangle for a Olympics is a no-brainer for a KHL, that already crafts a deteriorate to accommodate not usually a universe championships yet national-team tuneups sparse by a year.

The KHL has been pulling to kick a NHL to a potentially remunerative Asian market, with a group in China given August. If a players turn Olympic stars in South Korea while a NHL sits things out, it could assistance a Russia-based joining concrete a participation in Asia.

The KHL has attempted to take advantage of NHL missteps in a past, quite by attracting star players to come to Russia during a final lockout, yet a attempts to enhance outward a former Soviet Union have mostly turn caught in financial problems or miss of seductiveness from internal fans.

For many in Russia, though, a NHL-KHL amour is distant reduction critical than a Olympics.

”It’s a tip of a pyramid,” Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told state news group Tass. ”No business interests, no detriment of gain – yet we can plead those things – should shorten your eventuality to uncover what we can do during a Olympics.”

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