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01-01-2011, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by finchster View Post
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.

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.
I agree, HC Budivelnyk will be great for Ukraine's development of hockey. IMO the KHL should expand operations to Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and maybe even Japan in the next 5-10 years. Eliminate some of the Moscow based teams and expand the league to help develop more talent from non-traditional and failing hockey markets. I think this would be great for hockey as a whole and may even help with International teams. Poland and Ukraine have both been fairly strong at one point and could be again if the KHL expanded farther outside of Russia.

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