NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
| photo: AP

In February, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the NHL severed trade relations with Russia. “We immediately condemned Russia. We cut off our business, which resulted in the loss of many millions of dollars, “Bettman said in Tampa Bay on Friday during the first round of the playoffs.

“I think it’s fair to point out that our players play for NHL teams, they don’t play for Russia. They are in a rather difficult situation, especially those who have a family in Russia. It can be difficult for a lot of people to understand, but I think it’s a reality that needs to be taken into account, “said Bettman.

How it will be with a possible participation in the World Cup, which should be played after eight years in 2024, is not yet clear, according to the head of the overseas league. Russian sports teams and clubs have been excluded from international competitions due to the war in Ukraine, as have Russian and Belarusian athletes in most industries.