The most pressing issue facing our world today is the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And this invasion extends far beyond these two nations, so far in fact that American professional sports leagues are scratching their heads, figuring out how to respond.
Now, this one Hall of Fame player called on the NHL to take this drastic step against Russia.
Hockey is easily one of the most popular sports in Russia and eastern Europe.
And it is easy to see why.
Ice and fighting seem to embody the Russian spirit.
So not surprisingly, Russians have been well represented in the National Hockey League for decades.
Perhaps the most notable Russian hockey player to ever play in the NHL is none other than the legend himself Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
There is no denying that Ovechkin is a future Hall of Famer, but due to the anti-Russian fervor sweeping the world, his legacy is in serious jeopardy.
This is partly self-inflicted.
Over the years, Ovechkin has been pictured getting very cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Make no mistake, Alexander Ovechkin supports Putin. Disgraceful. pic.twitter.com/rcRF9CuSAq
— TroyW (@TroyWoodworth68) February 26, 2022
For this reason, people are beginning to call on the NHL to ban Russian players such as Ovechkin from being allowed to play in the NHL.
One such person is turning heads across the hockey world.
This person is Czech born hockey hall of famer Dominik Hasek.
Hasek played as a goaltender for 31 years across various professional hockey leagues including the NHL.
Hasek even went on to win a gold medal for the Czech national team in the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Now, Hasek is sounding off on the NHL for allowing Russian players to participate.
Hasek claimed, “Every adult in Europe knows well, that Putin is a mad killer and that Russia is waging an offensive war against a free country and its people”
Hasek then went on to say that the league, “must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players.”
He also said the NHL shares an, “indirect co-responsibility for the dead in Ukraine” unless it suspends Russia-born players.”
Those are some very harsh words from the Hall of Fame goaltender.
For now, it seems unlikely that the NHL will actually ban Russian-born players from participating.
Having said that, sports leagues across the world have banned Russian national teams from participating in their respective tournaments, most notably FIFA and UEFA.
Let’s just hope that this violent conflict ends sooner than later and that Ovechkin can dovetail his Hall of Fame career without a scandal or an asterisk.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.