Personally, I’m only “for”. Moreover, de facto it has already happened. Some clubs, and the leading ones – Ak Bars and Lokomotiv, initially refused the services of guest workers. Others signed two or three. And even then, in the course of the championship, they get rid of them. So, yesterday “Neftekhimik” drafted French defender Ovitya with refusals.
If we take all the KHL migrants and divide by the number of Russian clubs, we get less than three foreign players on average per team. Now! Nevertheless, by all accounts, the current KHL championship is one of the most interesting and intriguing in the entire 15 years of the league’s existence. Of the 22 clubs, only HC Sochi does not qualify for the playoffs. Even in the NHL, this is rare. Last season, the composition of the top 8 in the East was determined long before the end of the regular season.
In a word, the Ministry of Sports and the FHR will simply legalize what is already in practice. For, of course, after the excommunication of almost all European national federations from the national team of players involved in the KHL, the number of people wishing to move to us has greatly decreased. In particular, only Pulkkinen remained in Traktor from Finland.
Yes, Americans and Canadians still go to Russia for crazy money for their level with great pleasure. But why should we fill the league with outright recyclables from overseas farm clubs?! Take the same Lipsik from Magnitogorsk – in Washington, the Canadian never rose above the fourth link, receiving miserable crumbs of ice time. What can he teach the local youth? Yes Jagr. Yes, Hasek. Yes, Thoresen. Yes, Dallman. Yes, Yashkin. But not all nonames – just to choose the norm! And three vacancies for high-quality foreigners are quite enough.
I often hear that competition is the engine of progress, which means that all restrictions should be removed altogether. Like in the NHL. I have one answer for all these alleged freethinkers – and they have nothing to fend off. If you want to play in the NHL, create a franchise with your own money, buy players, build a palace. Are you ready to shell out billions of rubles from your pocket? Not! Well then, shut up. I did not give anyone consent from my taxes to feed any foreign garbage for slaughter!
If the Continental League sits entirely on the neck of the state, then the KHL must a priori obey the instructions of the Ministry of Sports and the FHR, and most importantly, pursue exclusively national interests, and not enrich and develop foreigners! What’s incomprehensible here?! So, the path of our youth!
After all, what are the five current legionnaires? This is essentially the entire draw of the majority and the deprivation of the natives of practice in all other key segments of the matches. How can Russians grow, remaining on backup dancers with roles with a few words?! Therefore, we do not have attacking defenders with center forwards, because these key positions in the leading links, as a rule, are occupied by the Vikings.
About 15-20 years ago, exactly the same situation was observed with goalkeepers. There was simply no one to take to the national team, except for the veteran Sokolov. But Vladislav Tretiak headed the FHR, introduced a powerful tax – mind you, not a ban, as they later did in the youth leagues of Canada – on foreign goalkeepers, and now we don’t know what to do with Russian goalkeepers!
The NHL has been shouting to us for a long time: change your mind, trust your own people more! You have a great school. What the hell did you keep under Finn Koskinen in SKA Shesterkina, and Georgiev for some reason ended up in Finland? As soon as Igor flew across the Atlantic, a Muscovite from the Rangers immediately threw out the Swedish king Lundqvist, and then became the absolute best in the entire NHL. He was nominated for the title of the most valuable player in the NHL-2022. Sorokin was marinated in third roles in the national team, and now the entire Islanders rests on him. Today, Ilya repelled all 49 shots of Edmonton McDavid and Draisaitl (3:0), for which he was awarded the first star of the day.
Kochetkov was driven in the lower leagues at home, the giants did not pay any attention to the strongest goalkeeper of the 2019 Youth World Cup. So, the season before last, Peter traveled between Vityaz, Torpedo and HC Ryazan. A year ago, right up to the early completion of the KHL championship, he was cuckooing in Nizhny Novgorod. However, it was worth moving to the AHL in January, as already in the spring he was transferred to the Carolinas, where the Russian managed to play both in the regular season and in the playoffs. And yesterday, Kochetkov, having played in the NHL less than ten games, signed an incredible four-year contract with the Hurricanes for $ 8 million!
If we have learned to prepare goalkeepers so well, what prevents us from working with outfield players with the same success? It is the dominance of the legionnaires! Yes, unique talents like Ovechkin and Malkin, Tarasenko and Kaprizov will always make their way, and everyone else needs help. Purposefully and consistently. Russian juniors should compete with each other, and not with already established foreign uncles with multimillion-dollar salaries, which just protect them from competition. Let only the coach try to remove such an alien rich man from the top link, he will immediately receive a hat from the authorities, who are arrogant at our expense!
The KHL has essentially gone the way of Switzerland, where there are no more than four landsknechts per team. Although, of course, state money is not close there. The national manufacturer is supported even more rigidly in the youth leagues of Canada – no more than two Europeans. I report this for those idiots who are convinced that the limit on legionnaires is a purely Russian invention.
As an anti-example, let’s look at what the KHL clubs have achieved, where there are no restrictions on the workforce. Only the Prague “Lion” once hobbled to the final of the Gagarin Cup. But the Czechs not only won a bunch of world championships, but even snatched the first NHL Olympics. And what about the rest – all sorts of Jokerites, Medvezhchaks, Slovans, Poprads, Riga and Minsk Dynamo, Barys? Yes, for them to get into the playoffs is already happiness!
In passing, I note that the legionnaires have already buried our women’s and men’s basketball, finished off the long-suffering football. When did Spartak manage to win all six matches in the Champions League group? That’s right: under Romantsev and without a single foreigner. What the current red-and-whites are playing at, I don’t understand – and I don’t want to understand! But the “Spartak” of Simonyan, Beskov, Romantsev, when we didn’t hear about legionnaires, it was impossible to confuse with anyone.
Domestic hockey, fortunately, we saved on time with the introduced limit. It’s time to move on – to open the doors of our youth even wider! The NHL will only thank you: in the ice game, Russia still produces world-class goods. It will be enough for us and the North American clubs with the proper prudent approach.
Here in a purely private NHL, let the Russians, nurtured in the state KHL, compete with the cream of the planet! This is fair competition.