Russians Want their Top Ice Hockey Players to Play in the Continental Hockey League
How it works
Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in Russia. Since 1972, when the USSR National ice hockey team won a sensational victory over the Canadian National team in the super series of eight friendly matches, ice hockey continues to grow in popularity with every year. Ice hockey is very dynamic game causes spectators to experience a lot of strong emotions. The players skilled movements in combination with bright colors and cheerful music create a fascinating shows which people in Russia love to watch immensely.
One of the reason for the vast popularity of ice hockey in Russia is that players on National team are some of the World’s best players. The victory in the recent Olympic Games in Pyongyang proves it is true. However, as soon as some sportsmen achieves any significant results in ice hockey he is most likely to leave the country and move abroad either to Canada or to the USA in order to become a legioner on local teams. Because sportsman cannot earn a lot of money in Russia and the training to become an ice hockey player are very expensive, players often have to play overseas, so managers in the leading ice hockey clubs must pay sportsmen better and develop a new training system which can make a training much more affordable.
How it works
According to Travis Hughet in “”Slava Fetisov broke Hockey’s Iron Curtain, and now he proposes it come back””, the Russian Continental Hockey League is facing a certain problem when so many skilled young ice hockey players go overseas to play hockey. While some great Russian sportsmen such as Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Borovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov have become a benefit for the USA hockey teams, it would be much better for KHL if those sportsmen under the age of 28 were still in Russia.
Because of very difficult economic situation in the country Russian players are paid low salary. On the other hand, sports clubs in other countries offer much more money and many players from Russia are vialling to take those offers. Vyacheslav Fetisov was the first ice hockey player from the USSR who left the country for the NHL in 1989. Although he had to suffer a lot from the Soviet government to go to play overseas, Fetisov never gave up until finally he signed a contract with “”Devils””.
And in spite of his own experience, Fetisov (who is now a member of the Federation Council from the Primorye Territory) proposes that the ice hockey players cannot be released to North America from the KHL until they are 28 years old. He said – “”To make it work, you just need to add one phrase to the rules: club-player relations should be regulated not only by the labor code but also in other documents”” – he sees it as the only one solution for the problem of losing so many talented sportsmen.
One of the way to approach that problem is to pay sportsmen better than they are payed now. According to official statistic on the NHL website, 232 Russian ice hockey players played in the NHL, including 218 field players and 14 goalkeepers during the period from 1983 to 2018. Why are those numbers so high? Players wanted to be better payed. When most of sportsmen signed their contracts, the ruble cost two or even three times more than it costs now.
To play overseas has become for them the only one opportunity to earn more money. Thanks to the fact that Russia is now democratic country the government cannot oblige people to stay inside the country. However, the government could influence ice hockey sports clubs in order to make them pay better their players. That might help to solve the sportsmen leaving the country problem.
However, just increasing salaries for ice hockey players cannot entirely end this problem. More important to make ice hockey training more affordable. Thousands of Russian children dream to become successful ice hockey players. They are aware that the training would be very hard and that they might suffer from physical and emotional pain, children still ask their parents to let them have the training. When they agree, parents have to pay for the training lessons and for every participation of their children in matches. They also have to cover the expense for traveling to other cities to play a game there, not to mention to buy a lot of very expensive sportswear and equipment.
Parents whose children have ice hockey training often have to ask for the huge loans from banks, even to sell their property in some cases in order to get enough money for their children to continue. When children grow up and become a professional ice hockey player, a lot of them have parents who have to pay back money to the banks for the rest of their lives. That why young players are so desperate to earn money as much as possible in a short period of time.
It is clear, the training to become ice hockey player has to be more affordable. One way to do so, for instance, is to establish sports ice rings in every districts of the big Russian cities where children could practice ice skating during the winter time. Also it will help when young ice hockey players perform training session for children as a part- time job and the fee for those training session must be covered by sports clubs where the players belong to. In this way, young sportsmen could earn money while train children and parents will save a lot of money on training lessons.
In a brief, until economic situation in Russia is awful, a very high number of talented ice hockey players will leave the country and go to play hockey overseas. However, if the government and sports clubs work together to create an affordable training systems for future sportsmen and find a way to pay much better salary to ice hockey players, the problem where Russia mass loses a lot of great sportsmen could be solved. We love hockey, and we want our top ice hockey players to play in The Continental Hockey League. In this way Russians will wetness many another sensational victories and will be proud of their country.