Russian Sports Ministry plans measures to curb number of ice hockey players leaving to play abroad

The Russian Sports Ministry and members of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, will together develop measures aimed at reducing the number of young ice hockey players going to play abroad, Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said at a forum in the city of Perm, RBC Sport reported on Saturday.

“We need to protect the Russian ice hockey players, coaches, and academies and put restrictions preventing young talents from leaving the country,” he said, adding that Russia needed to create conditions “allowing ice hockey players to fully develop their talents and receive financial support”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also attended the forum, suggested that something had to be done "with the wheeler-dealers who employ young academy players abroad.” He added that “although Russia is a free country where everyone makes their choice, it’s also clear that [ice hockey international transfers] is but a type of business, and not a noble one, and it lacks regulation.”

Over a dozen young Russian ice hockey players joined clubs in the North American National Hockey League (NHL) this summer, including Ivan Miroshnichenko (Washington Capitals) and Dmitry Voronkov (Columbus Blue Jackets).

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