Russian NHL players speak Ukraine invasion

Russian NHL players are speaking out about their country’s invasion of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin and Russia invaded the country of Ukraine on Thursday, February 24th 2022.

There are currently 55 players of Russian nationality playing in the NHL during the 2021-22 season. Several of the leading scorers in the NHL are Russian, including superstars Alex Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeni Malkin and Artemi Panarin.

One of the best goaltenders in the NHL is also Russian. Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy is a four-time Vezina Trophy finalist and one-time winner. Vasilevskiy leads all NHL goalies with 28 wins in the 2021-22 season.

Russian NHL players are unlikely to speak strongly on the invasion, as many of their families live in Russia. Criticizing President Vladimir Putin could put their families living in Russia at risk.

Rangers’ forward Artemi Panarin previously had to take a leave of absence from the NHL after criticizing President Putin back in 2019. Panarin feared for his family’s safety after speaking harshly about the Russian President.

Here’s a list of Russian NHL players who have spoken about the invasion of Ukraine:

Alex Ovechkin 

Washington Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday, February 25th, 2022. Ovechkin has a relationship with Putin and his family lives in Russia, so this was difficult for him to address. The Capitals’ superstar stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “out of his control”.

Ovechkin doesn’t want anymore war and hopes the Russia/ Ukraine conflict can end as soon as possible. “Please, no more war. It doesn’t matter who’s in the war, Russia, Ukraine, different countries. I think we live in a world, we have to live in peace, great world.”

Nikita Zadorov 

Calgary Flames’ defenseman Nikita Zadorov addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday, February 25th 2022. Zadorov published a photo on his Instagram with the phrase “NO WAR” in red text on a black background. In Zadorov’s Instagram caption for the photo, he wrote “STOP IT!!!” in caps lock.


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A post shared by Nikita Zadorov (@zadorov_16)

This list will be updated on an ongoing basis.