As the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces continues, the fallout in the sporting world follows suit. Let’s update the situation since our post on Sunday:
The IIHF Council has suspended all Russian and Belarusian national and club teams from IIHF competitions until further notice and withdrew the hosting rights of the 2023 #WorldJuniors from Russia.— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 28, 2022
READ MORE: https://t.co/SpSMGTlZw1#hockey #icehockey #Ukraine #Russia #Belarus pic.twitter.com/YYb1JduvWE
The IIHF banned Russia and Belarus from participation in tournaments this year, and stripped them of hosting duties for the 2023 World Juniors, but did not take the 2023 World Championships from St Petersberg. This is a disappointing response, but nothing compared to the statement released by honorary President of the IIHF, Rene Fasel.
Fasel. For ever the apologist. IIHF's Honorary (!) President is critical of the federation he once led as one of Putin's enablers, for their sanctions against Russia. Fasel's most used phrase at the IIHF was "I hate principles". It's evident. https://t.co/0fIhKpGqGr pic.twitter.com/5Xw8ThzGsS— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) March 1, 2022
Disgraceful, and the IIHF must remove his honorary title, if for no other reason than the absolutely stunning omission of any empathy for the people of Ukraine and their suffering in his statement.
Meanwhile, CCM has cut ties with Alexander Ovechkin and all Russian players in its promotions due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
CCM Hockey chief executive Marrouane Nabih: “Although Mr. Ovechkin is not responsible for the Russian government’s actions, we took the decision to not use him (or any Russian player) on any global CCM communication at this point.” https://t.co/ZF4rctB8Fu— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) March 1, 2022
Following the lead of the Winnipeg Jets, who had a local Ukranian Men’s Choir sing the Ukranian National Anthem at their game last night against the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced they will play the anthem before every game for the remainder of the season.
BREAKING— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) March 2, 2022
Russian and Belarusian athletes will participate as neutrals at the Paralympics.
They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table.
As we write this, the International Paralympic Committee is holding a press conference to discuss what actions it will take against Russia and Belarus participating in the 2022 Paralympic Games, set to start Friday in Beijing. As you can see by this tweet, it’s getting fairly emotional:
Holding up a newspaper, Ukrainian journalist with the Kyiv Post asks IPC President Andrew Parsons:— Ben Steiner (@BenSteiner00) March 2, 2022
“What would you say to Yevhen Malyshev parents?”
Malyshev was a Ukrainian national junior biathlete who was killed yesterday in a bombing in Kharkiv. pic.twitter.com/G0jY65kaKA
Meanwhile, former Canuck Markus Granlund has left his KHL team as they prepare for the start of the playoffs.
Olympic champion Markus Granlund is the first Finnish player to leave his KHL-club, Salavat Yulayev Ufa, which is set to start the playoffs Wednesday. As per Russian sports site @championat— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) March 2, 2022
Granlund confirms to Finnish media, but without yet telling the reason. pic.twitter.com/92RByQ8KTf
We’ll continue to update you as often as possible on relevant events.
Meanwhile in the NHL, last night was not a good one for the idle Vancouver Canucks, as a number of the Western Conference teams ahead of them recorded wins. Anaheim, Vegas, Edmonton and Calgary all won, as well as the Jets, who inched closer to the Canucks thanks to an 8-4 stomping of the Habs in Winnipeg.
The Canucks are 5 points back of the Edmonton Oilers, holders of the final Wild Card slot after their 3-0 win in Philadelphia. Two games for the scoreboard watchers tonight will see the Los Angeles Kings in Dallas to take on the Stars, and the Nashville Predators visiting the Seattle Kraken.
The Canucks play the New York Islanders tomorrow before wrapping up the road trip with a visit to Scotiabank Arena in Toronto to take on the Leafs.
The AHL’s players of the month for February were announced, and Abbotsford Canucks F Sheldon Dries was the first star, after a fantastic month.
Sheldon Dries has been selected as @theAHL Player of the Month! ⭐— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) March 1, 2022
Dries scored 12 goals and added seven assists for 19 points in just 11 games in February
He is now tied for the AHL lead with 2️⃣8️⃣ goals in 38 games!
| https://t.co/8YeQaXOPhd#AbbyCanucks pic.twitter.com/28gKnDLdtF
The Canucks are currently 7th in the Western Conference, and are in Toronto tonight to take on the Marlies.