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Vladimir Putin could prevent Matvei Michkov from playing in the NHL

The KHL was created in the early 2000s to keep Russian players in their homeland and prevent them from playing in the NHL. It’s worked for some, but there are still plenty of players who have made the decision to come and play in North America. This time, the rules could change.

TVA Sports’ Jean-Nicolas Blanchet spoke with UQAM history professor Jean Lévesque about what Russia might do to prevent Russian players from settling in North America.

According to Lévesque, Vladimir Putin could simply prevent Russians from coming to play in the NHL. He has the power to do so, according to the professor specializing in international sport and Russian politics.

Lévesque explains that the Russian president could impose an “embargo” that would prevent players from leaving the country. Players already in the NHL would therefore be able to stay in the league, but they would not be able to return to Russia, or else they would not be able to return to play for their NHL team.

Canada and the United States support Ukraine, which is at war with Russia. As Lévesque explains, this means that these two countries are indirectly at war with Russia, and the measures will apply to them.

This would allow Russia to keep its talented players and bring the KHL back to a high level.

Now, Kent Hughes’ draft decision has been complicated. Matvei Michkov is still in Russia and will remain there for the next few seasons. By the time his contract expires, Putin’s measure could already have been taken.

Kent Hughes certainly won’t want to risk his fifth overall pick on a player who may never play in the NHL.

Hughes’ decision could also be influenced by another factor: Mishkov’s attitude.

La Presse journalist Mathias Brunet explained on BPM Sports on Wednesday that things aren’t looking good for the Russian.

“I don’t like what I’m hearing about Matvei Michkov’s personality.” – Mathias Brunet on BPM Sports

Brunet didn’t really explain what might make people think that, but it’s not looking good for the Russian player. It seems we’re hearing nothing but bad things about Michkov these days, and that’s got to be scaring a lot of general managers who were thinking of drafting him.

In gusto

– Kovacevic is enjoying his summer.

– We love him Montembeault!

– Shanahan still believes the Leafs have potential.

– Good news.

– Things aren’t going well for the Blue Jays.

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