Thursday, August 12, 2004


World Cup: Russia...Let's not and say we did!

So, now more Russian players have decided not to play in the World Cup of Hockey.

As if Gary Bettman doesn�t have enough problems on his plate with the CBA, now his showcase tournament is being given a big �meh� by quite a few star players.

I promise I will never use the expression �meh� again. If I do, you may shoot me.

From this TSN report, we see that Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhamonov, Alexei Zhitnik and Valeri Bure have declined the opportunity to play in the World Cup.

Ok, Val Bure is now big loss.

This brings me to an earlier post I wrote regarding Khabibulin, the Russian team and possible future defections...

How can a player or worker possibly improve their working conditions? Like any labour strike, the player can simply choose to withhold their services. It's the best and most powerful tactic availble to their disposal.

If Sergej Federov joins Khabibulin in this 'strike', and other players follow, then the Russian Federation just may get the message and realize that they have lost the support of their best players. The Russians can't be truly competitive if the best players continually spurn their homeland.

If nobody else joins Khabibulin in pulling out, then the Russkies will just move on as always. If a star like Federov decides to join Khabi, then others may follow, and the domino effect might be enough for Steblin and/or Tikhonov to get canned.

The Russians are now without Nabokov, Khabibulin, Mogilny, Val Bure, Zhitnik, Zhamnov, Federov...

Now that a big chunk of their best players have pulled out, has the Russian Federation got the message loud and clear?

I haven�t heard much scuttlebutt about movements within the Federation, which leads me to believe that particular body is still constipated with a bad case of Steblinitis.


Jiri Fischer has been named Pavel Kubina�s replacement for the Czechs on the World Cup team. After a pretty poor regular season, I can�t understand why Fischer was selected to the World Cup team over other better replacements. Lener must have something against Jaroslav Modry and Filip Kuba, who have both played superior hockey to the Fischerman over the past year.

Well, I guess the Russian players have no national pride. 'Cause that is all there is to this World Cup Tournament.
Maybe you can do the research for me, but I don't think there is any money involved for the winners.
It's just for fun.
Not a lot of pride...but not a lot to be proud of, either.

The country isn't the same USSR they grew up in...many have been assimilated to American lives and have grown 'soft'...:)

Really, I think it's a backlash against the corrupt Russian system and that's why I'm not going to come down too hard on them. I don't think Federov would skip the tournament for a few aches and pains if the system wasn't as corrupt as it is.

Russia is a fast-growing country, but the hockey federation is still stuck in the cold-war era. Maybe the Russian players are too pampered, but a change is needed and maybe this will help push the old cronies out.
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