Hockey Canada signs letter asking KHL to release players for Olympics

Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

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.

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Johnston: Lots of questions still to be answered with Olympic hockey
Originally aired November 16 2017

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:

No. Player Position Shoots Height Weight DOB Hometown Current team
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)