Oct 3, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT
November will be a key month for Russian NHL players hoping to make the Sochi Olympic team.
Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak, the goaltender on the 1980 Soviet Union Olympic team, and Olympic coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov will scout North American professional players in person.
“I will definitely go to North America in November in order to cover as many players as possible, not only goaltenders,” Tretiak said, according to R-Sport. “Bilyaletdinov will also go, but I want to meet with the guys personally, talk to them, evaluate their level of readiness ahead of the Olympics.”
Russia has not won an Olympic hockey medal since a bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, and it has never won Olympic gold. The Soviet Union won all but two Olympic hockey tournaments from 1956 through 1988, and the Unified Team won gold in 1992.
The men’s hockey gold might be the most coveted medal for the host nation come February, just as in the Vancouver Games. The home-ice advantage will certainly help Russia. Neither Canada nor the U.S. won medals at the last two Olympics held outside North America (1998 and 2006).
Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin is expected to lead the 25-man Russian Olympic team. He was the first Russian torchbearer during the torch relay that began Sunday (video here). Russia is stacked with star forwards, including Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.
A big question for Russia is in goal. NHL starters Sergei Bobrovsky, Evgeni Nabokov and Semyon Varlamov were invited to their pre-Olympic camp. The enigmatic Ilya Bryzgalov, currently without a team but reportedly close to signing with Las Vegas of the ECHL, was not invited to that camp, but he is still eligible to be chosen.
Bryzgalov and Nabokov split time in goal at the 2010 Olympics, where Russia was eliminated by Canada in the quarterfinals.
“I think that Ilya is a good goaltender and if he plays fantastically, than why not?” Tretiak told R-Sport. “But it is the coaches’ business to decide who will go.”
Apr 16, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT
Olympic swimming champion finished 2013 race before explosions.
Apr 16, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT
Deal takes Nike, USATF through next seven Olympics.
Apr 16, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT
Decathlon champion talks Montreal 1976, Steve Prefontaine and the greatest athlete of all time.
Apr 16, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT
Police commissioner asks spectators not to flock to Boylston Street on Monday.
Apr 16, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
Judge will spend break reading 2,000-page court record.
Apr 16, 2014, 4:17 AM EDT
Korea Skating Union is protesting the makeup of judges, not the results.
Apr 15, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Survivors, first responders, those affected by attack take part in tribute.
Apr 15, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
Teams’ tweets sent at same time Tuesday morning.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
World’s fastest man might not race again until June.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
What is the competition like in Phelps’ potential events?
Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Prosecution asks for break until May 5.
Apr 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT
Ceremony, moment of silence to honor, remember last year’s tragedy.
Apr 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
‘World’s Strongest Man’ talks about nude photo shoot, pro wrestling career, meeting Andre the Giant.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Phelps announced as headliner for meet next week, ending two-year break.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
22-time Olympic medalist expected to come out of retirement next week.
Apr 14, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Woman who finished 20th found day after disappearing.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT
It’s too early to draw conclusions on Sochi, FIS official says.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Pistorius hugged by woman as he enters court, signs autograph after Monday’s session.
Apr 13, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT
Ski and snowboard slopestyle’s injury rates highest among Sochi sports.
Apr 13, 2014, 7:56 AM EDT
More checkpoints, police officers along Boylston Street to the finish.
- Summer Sanders returns to run Boston Marathon again 0
- Catching up with Bruce Jenner 0
- Boston Marathon finish line security visibility increased after backpack incident 0
- ISU receives South Korea complaint over figure skating judging 7
- Boston Marathon tribute, moment of silence held near finish line 1
- Can Michael Phelps excel in comeback? 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ cross-examination ends at murder trial 2
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (55)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (46)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (37)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)