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01-01-2011, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by finchster View Post
I am not clear on the rules for switching nationality but for Zherdev and Babchuk it is next to impossible to do so since they have played official competitions for Russia. Babchuk has only played in the u18’s so perhaps there is some leeway for him, but Zherdev played in the world championships so I think he has a 0% chance to play for Ukraine. It is sad because many players who choose to play for Russia end up being secondary or depth guys for the Russian team, they would be leading stars for Ukraine. Without a professional set up however, Ukraine will always lose players to Russia.

From what I have read the Ukrainian Federation’s short term plans is to get a team in the KHL, get citizenship for some players and get those players to bolster the Ukrainian National team in the short term. Long term with a professional set up there isn’t much for Ukraine to do, while most players on the Ukrainian National team now were all born in the 1970’s, if you look at players who were born in just in Kiev, there is a steady stream of good players from that city yearly. I think a KHL team with a good youth set up could turn Ukraine around in 5 years

Pure fantasy, but if you were to get all players born in Ukraine I believe Ukraine would be better than Latvia
Well, Babchuk did represent Russia at the U-18s but I really don't see that being a problem since it was so long ago. I know that Nabokov represented Kazakhstan in 1994, but has since represented Russia in a number of tournaments. And let's not forget about Peter Stastny who represented Czechoslovakia, Slovakia and Canada in his career. I'm not sure about how long the wait time is between representing countries, but I believe it is something like 4-5 years.

I also agree that Ukraine would be better than Latvia. Hell, I think they could actually be a competitive nation if they had all of their countrymen play for them instead of Russia. Ponikarovsky, Fedotenko, Zherdev, Babchuk, Gaiduchenko, Mikhnov, etc are better than what a lot of the top 15 countries have. It's unfortunate that these guys don't all play for them because it could make a huge difference for Ukrainian hockey.

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