Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Russia wants players back in KHL for Olympics

Finland v Russia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 12: Artemi Panarin (C) of Russia celebrates his goal with team-mates Yevgeni Dadonov (L) and Vadim Shipachyov (R) during the IIHF World Championship group B match between Finland and Russia at CEZ Arena on May 12, 2015 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Getty Images

MOSCOW (AP) The Russian Hockey Federation wants as many players as possible back in the Kontinental Hockey League next season in preparation for the Olympics without the NHL.

Board chairman Arkady Rotenberg said in a statement Wednesday that the federation will try to keep KHL players from leaving for North America and bring NHL free agents back this summer. He said some Russian players want to go to the Olympics even with an NHL contract. He says that decision is worthy of respect.

Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin reiterated Tuesday he plans to represent Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea despite the NHL announcing it would not participate.

Rotenberg said the federation will help players with legal issues so they can play.