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More Than Just A Game For The Olympic Athletes From Russia

from Grant Robertson of the Globe and Mail,

After being battered, manhandled, shut out and generally embarrassed by a team of hockey players from Russia over the weekend, a few shell-shocked American players struggled to explain what had just happened. "I don't really have words for it," forward Ryan Stoa said....

But one man knew exactly what he'd just seen. Leaning against a wall in the bowels of the Gangneung Hockey Centre after the game, a wry smile on his face, Igor Larionov recognized it. The former Soviet and NHL star needed just two words to describe what transpired on the ice.

"Foreign affairs," Mr. Larionov said with a laugh. "Let's put it that way."

Hockey wasn't supposed to matter at these Olympics because the NHL isn't here....

But then, the Russians played the Americans and suddenly it was the 1980s again. It was NHL-fast, it was dirty and it was inspired. But it was a certain kind of inspired that international hockey hasn't seen in while. Anyone who thinks there aren't a few games at these Olympics that matter more than others hasn't been reading the headlines.

"We're talking about sports. But next to sports goes politics," said Mr. Larionov, a veteran of the Soviet "Big Red Machine" that was as much a demonstration of Russian hockey prowess in the 1980s as it was an expression of Kremlin ideology.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: igor+larionov

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com