Hockey Canada has signed a formal request to the KHL asking the league to release its players for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Sportsnet can confirm.
Igor Eronko of Sport-Express first reported the news.
The letter was signed by Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney as well as several other representatives from European associations that would be affected by a potential KHL Olympic boycott, Eronko reports.
Earlier this month, the KHL suggested it could block its players from participating in the upcoming Games amidst uncertainty surrounding a doping investigation that could see all Russian athletes banned from the upcoming Winter Games.
The IOC has been investigating allegations of state-sponsored doping during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, and will rule on those findings Dec. 5.
According to Russian News Organization TASS, IIHF President Rene Fasel said the KHL’s ability to ban its players differs from the NHL as it falls under the umbrella of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation:
“KHL, being a member of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, has to follow the statutes and bylaws of the IIHF and they have to release foreign players and the national team players from other countries to play in the Olympics,” Fasel told TASS.
A KHL ban on the Olympics would mean an entire overhaul of Team Canada’s scouting. More than half of the 26 players on Canada’s Karjala Cup roster earlier this month—one of a few pre-Olympic tournaments used to evaluate players ahead of the Games—are currently skating for KHL teams:
|8||Wojtek Wolski||Forward||L||6’3||220||02-24-1986||Zabrze, POL||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|9||Mason Raymond||Forward||L||6’1||179||09-17-1985||Cochrane, Alta.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|10||Derek Roy||Forward||L||5’9||187||05-04-1983||Rockland, Ont.||Linköping HC (SHL)|
|14||Brandon Kozun||Forward||R||5’8||170||03-08-1990||Calgary, Alta.||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)|
|15||Eric O’Dell||Forward||R||6’1||201||06-21-1990||Ottawa, Ont.||HC Sochi (KHL)|
|17||Gilbert Brulé||Forward||R||5’11||187||01-01-1987||Edmonton, Alta.||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|19||René Bourque||Forward||L||6’2||216||12-10-1981||Lac La Biche, Alta.||Djurgårdens IF (SHL)|
|20||Matt Ellison||Forward||R||5’11||200||12-08-1983||Duncan, B.C.||Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)|
|21||Quinton Howden||Forward||L||6’2||190||01-21-1992||Oakbank, Man.||Dinamo Minsk (KHL)|
|22||Dylan Sikura||Forward||L||5’11||159||06-01-1995||Aurora, Ont.||Northeastern University (HE)|
|23||Andrew Ebbett||Forward||L||5’9||176||01-02-1983||Vernon, B.C.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|25||Matt Frattin||Forward||R||6’0||205||01-03-1988||Edmonton, Alta.||Barys Astana (KHL)|
|26||Christian Thomas||Forward||R||5’9||174||05-26-1992||Toronto, Ont.||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)|
|29||Rob Klinkhammer||Forward||R||6’3||214||08-12-1986||Lethbridge, Alta.||Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)|
|2||Karl Stollery||Defence||L||5’11||181||11-21-1987||Camrose, Alta.||Dinamo Riga (KHL)|
|3||Zach Whitecloud||Defence||R||6’2||209||11-28-1996||Brandon, Man.||Bemidji State University (WCHA)|
|4||Chay Genoway||Defence||L||5’9||170||12-20-1986||Morden, Man.||Lada Togliatti (KHL)|
|5||Chris Lee||Defence||L||6’0||187||10-03-1980||MacTier, Ont.||Hockey Canada|
|6||Maxim Noreau||Defence||R||6’0||198||05-24-1987||Montreal, Que.||SC Bern (NLA)|
|7||Simon Després||Defence||L||6’4||218||07-27-1991||Laval, Que.||HC Slovan Bratislava (KHL)|
|11||Jesse Blacker||Defence||R||6’2||195||04-19-1991||Toronto,, Ont.||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|12||Geoff Kinrade||Defence||L||6’0||185||07-29-1985||Nelson, B.C.||Kunlun Red Star (KHL)|
|28||Mat Robinson||Defence||R||5’10||185||06-20-1986||Calgary, Alta.||CSKA Moscow (KHL)|
|1||Justin Peters||Goaltender||L||6’1||210||08-30-1986||Blythe, Ont.||Kölner Haie (DEL)|
|30||Ben Scrivens||Goaltender||L||6’2||181||09-11-1986||Spruce Grove, Alta.||Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)|