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01-01-2011, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by smitty10 View Post
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.
The players you named all had extenuating circumstances as to why they were allowed to switch nations. Nabokov stated he was forced to play for Kazakhstan and didnít have a choice in that period of time. The IIHF heard his case and agreed with him so he was allowed to play for Russia. Stastny had the unique situation of defecting, so he wasnít allowed to play for Czechoslovakia. He did play for Canada in the 84 Canada Cup, but that is a non IIHF event so the rules of who can play for who are less strict. Dainius Zubrus played for Russia at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey (Non IIHF), but played for Lithuania just a few months later in the World Championships. In the case of players from Ukraine they had a choice, I am sure these Russian clubs influenced them to play for Russia but at the end of the day they were free to make their decision.

Originally Posted by smitty10 View Post
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.
Also guys like Tverdovsky, Vishnevskiy are solid KHL defenders from Ukraine. Ukraine doesn't have any problems getting kids interested and playing hockey as evidenced by the number of players who come from there. They lack professional clubs and elite level development in their own country to keep kids with their program. Getting a professional club in the KHL could turn Ukraineís program around in a few short years in my opinion.

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