Russia will boast a whole bunch of star NHLers at the home stage of the Euro Hockey Tour to be held next week in Moscow. On Thursday, the team’s head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov announced his preliminary choice for the tournament.
With the fate of the lockout in the NHL still unclear Bilyaletdinov took the risk of calling up the likes of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Evgeny Malkin, Alex Ovechkin.
The overall list is as follows:
Goalies: Konstantin Barulin (Ak Bars), Ilya Bryzgalov (SKA), Vasily Koshechkin (Severstal)
Defenders: Anton Belov (Avangard), Egneny Biryukov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Aleksey Emelin, Evgeny Medvedev, Konstantin Korneev and Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars), Denis Denisov, Yakov Rylov and Evgeny Ryasensky (CSKA), Fedor Tyutin (Atlant).
Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Egor Averin and Sergey Plotnikov (Lokomotiv), Evgeny Dadonov (Donbass), Pavel Datsyuk, Aleksandr Radulov and Sergey Shirokov (CSKA), Nikolay Zherdev (Atlant), Dmitry Kazionov, Nikolay Kulemin, Evgeny Malkin and Sergey Mozyakin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA), Alex Ovachkin (Dynamo Moscow), Aleksandr Perezhogin and Aleksandr Popov (Avangard), Aleksey Tereshchenko (Ak Bars), Vadim Shipachev (Severstal).
The services of such high-profile players will be timely as Russia currently sits third in the Euro Hockey Tour five points behind reigning champions the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, it isn't known what progress, if any, was made during the second straight day of a new round of NHL labor talks, in the dispute that is threatening the entire hockey season.
Owners and players, who met without their frontmen – players' association executive director Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman – surely sense that time is now a factor and a deal must be made soon to get the game back on the ice.
The talks will resume later Thursday with the experts saying they are pleased with the progress made.