- Editor's note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California's Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.
It’s official: The Czech Republic will allow the Sharks and Nashville Predators to bring their Russian players into the country.
The Sharks and Predators are scheduled to open the NHL’s regular season in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8, as part of the NHL’s Global Series.
Tomas Pojar, Advisor for Foreign and Security Policy for the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, confirmed to Czech news outlet Seznam Zpravy: “This is a private event, they have visas, so from the state’s point of view there is no reason not to let them in. National security is certainly not threatened by their presence. And I’m not even mentioning that, in addition to Schengen visas, they have long-term American work visas and live in the USA.”
This follows what NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed to San Jose Hockey Now last Friday: “Everyone who needs visas already has them.”
That included, for the Sharks, Russian winger Alexander Barabanov.