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Stanley Cup trophy will not be allowed to tour Russia or Belarus this year

Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner of the North American Ice Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed that the Cup itself will not be going to Russia or Belarus in the coming months,

Update:
The Stanley Cup trophy
JONATHAN ERNSTREUTERS

Irrespective of Tampa Bay Lightning or Colorado Avalanche being winners of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, the trophy itself will not be going to Russia or Belarus in the coming months, Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner of the North American Ice Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed.

Speaking in Denver, Daly said league officials had informed both teams that their Russian players would have to wait before taking the Cup home.

Traditionally, each player on the winning team takes possession of the trophy for one day. But with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entering its fourth month, and Belarus considered an ally of the Russian attack, Daly said players from those countries would not be able to take the trophy home anytime soon.

“As far as this summer is concerned, the Cup will not go to Russia or Belarus,” Daly said, noting that in the future nothing was ruled out if the conflict ended.

“It can happen like we did with the pandemic, but it won’t happen this summer,” he warned.

Russian players in Stanley Cup final

Three Tampa Bay players are Russian: star forward Nikita Kucherov, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 2021 playoff MVP, and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

Colorado has two Russian players on its roster, right winger Valeri Nichushkin and left winger Mikhail Maltsev, who has yet to make the playoffs. However, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said teams would still be able to draft players from Russia or Belarus in the upcoming NHL draft.

Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a save against Valeri Nichushkin #13 of the Colorado Avalanche
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Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a save against Valeri Nichushkin #13 of the Colorado Avalanche MATTHEW STOCKMANAFP

“They will be fully available for selection, as they are every year,” he detailed about players from those two countries.