Hey, thank you to everyone who responded. Interesting stuff. Would be cool if Z did play for the Ukraine. I don't think it's out of the question. He is a proud kid, and someday soon teams will be lobbying for his talent in the Olympics. I am sure he will be invited in 2010.
I don't know how Z feels about the U.S., but based on his young age, I could see him becoming a U.S. citizen at some point.
All I do know, is it would be nice to have some natural goal scorers on Team USA, in addition to all the politically correct players, face-off studs & 2-way centers. I mean, the point is to score goals; the rest is for the birds... and all the experts on HF Boards.
It's too late for him to get US citizenship and play for them. You have to have played for the countries team for 4 years to be eligible to switch.
Catch with Ukraine is that...well....thats where he was born and raised, but went to Russia for the hockey program (like many American kids go to the OHL in Canada for hockey)
catch being: if they continue to blacklist him - will he want to play for Russia?
big thread in the Olympics forum about it now, but Z didn't even make the taxi squad or even be a call-up to the taxi squad so far...which defies logic
Hard to say what motivates him. Sure, if it were me, I think I'd want to play for Ukraine (and personally, I'd hope Nik would, too). Maybe in his heart of hearts he wants to play for Russia. Maybe it has more to do with who his teammates would be than which country he'd represent. That seems possible, especially for a young kid.
Columbus isn't New York City, Chicago, LA, Toronto, Montreal, etc.... but as mentioned before, it does have a large Russian population - very large for a city its size. One of my best friends was born in Moscow, moved here as a kid and went to high school with me, and now makes a nice sum of money just driving various elderly Russian patients to doctor's appointments and translating for them.
I think Nikolai is naturally a quiet kid. It's hard to judge a book by its cover but you can kind of see it in his face. And I get the impression that he hasn't has an extremely easy life. That being said, he'll be happier enough here when he gets a better handle on the situation. Columbus doesn't have any other pro sports teams - you think Alexander Frolov gets recognized on the streets a lot in LA?!?! or Prucha in NYC? On the cosmipolitan city front - just imagine his reaction after a few weeks in Calgary, Raleigh, Edmonton, etc..... could be worse.