Legendary net minder and head of the Russian Hockey Federation, Vladislav Tretyak, has praised the game of the NHL stars who returned to Russia due to the lockout in the North American league.
“Just look at the top scorers in the leading KHL clubs. They are – [Ilya] Kovalchuk, [Aleksandr] Ovechkin, [Evgeny] Malkin and [Pavel] Datsyuk. They are a great example to the other guys,” Tretyak told Sport-Express newspaper.
“I want to speak about [Pavel] Datsyuk in particular. Recently, I saw him play for CSKA in Novosibirsk. What can I say, the man shoots, get the rebound himself – and a couple of seconds he stops the puck behind his own goal. Pasha does an absolutely crazy amount of work. He is certainly the best central forward in the world. In general, it is very good for the KHL to get these players,” he added.
On Thursday, Russia’s hockey coach, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, has announced his selection for the upcoming home Euro Hockey Tour stage, with all the big names on the list.
“It’ll be useful to see, on which lines they (Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Malkin and Datsyuk) will be playing,” the 60-year-old stressed. “In Moscow, we expect to have our best squad… or rather, one of the best.”
The Channel One Cup is scheduled to take place in the Russian capital between December 13 and 15.
“We’ve extended our line up, inviting six more players,” he said. “We have to be ready if the lockout ends and the guys would have to return to their clubs in the NHL.”
But with the talks on a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association stalled, the Moscow crowd are most likely to see the hockey greats in the national team jerseys.