Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/17/05 at 02:50 PM ET
Imagine an Olympic hockey tournament with Nikolai Khabibulin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhamnov and Sergei Samsanov not playing for Russia. As incredulous as it sounds, it looks like this is where Russia is headed. The Russians - like all other countries that will compete in the '06 Games in Italy - have until next Monday (Oct. 24) to submit a list of candidates to their National Olympic Committee for the '06 Games in Turin, Italy. And the buzz in the international hockey community is that the Russians are seriously considering not having the aforementioned players at the Olympic competition. The Russians are expected to name Khabibulin, Kovalchuk and company to the list of candidates next week but it is doubtful they will make the trip to the Olympic competition. "We will not crawl on our knees asking players to play for Russia," Russian coach Vladimir Krikunov is quoted as saying in Russian newspapers. Krikunov is also quoted as saying, "There is no way Khabibulin is our No. 1 goalie."
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