NHL has sent Russia to the penalty box. The National Hockey League sentenced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday and declared that they are suspending all the relationships with its business partners in Russia effective immediately. The NHL became the first professional sports league who are taking a stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They are not only suspending their partnership, but along with the suspension, they are going to stop its Russian language social and digital media as well. In addition, the league will be ‘discontinuing any consideration’ of Rusia as a potential location for future events.
“The National Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quick as possible,” the statement reads. “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 Russia. We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”
The NHL’s statement follows the lead of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), which stated on Monday that teams from Belarus and Russia will be banned from taking part in any international hockey events until further notice. The IIHF also declares that they are going to relocate their 2023 World Junior Championship Tournament from Russia.
Several NHL’s tops members are from Russia, including Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin. In an interview with the media, Ovechkin stated that he wanted “no more war” he even mentioned that “Please, no more war, It doesn’t matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world.”
Just like many other players Ovechkin’s family also lives in Russia.
Wayne Gretzky, the all-time leading scorer of NHL’s had made a statement that the war between Russia and Ukraine is basically a ‘senseless war’. He even appreciated the IIHF’s decision to suspend all the Russian players from participating in World Junior Championship.
Russia addresses its action against Ukraine as a ‘special operations’ and they also mentioned that this is not something to occupy territory rather it is designed to destroy its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.