A game of what if…
Ok, so remember a few years back a Russian billionaire, I believe either Roman Abramovich or Platon Lebedev wanted to buy a hockey team, and make it entirely out of Russians, and win a cup, and prove that Russians were the best hockey players in the world. What if this happened…This was mentioned a few years ago, but it was mentioned several times on hockey night in Canada I believe. I’m not even sure if I remember the story correctly, but lets imagine it does happen…
I know I should prolly edit the article, but I just found the link, it was Roman Abramavitch, here it is.
Apparently he was first interested in the Canucks, and obviously didn’t get them.
What team would it be??? The Pittsburgh Penguins are for sale, aren’t they? But with the Blues recently being sold to Checkets, he wouldn’t have many options.
Now, really how hard would this be. In goal, Bryzgalov and Khabibulen would likely be easy to add, and the Devils are desperate to dump Alex Mogilny, Valeri Bure is relatively unwanted in Los Angeles, and Malakhov in New Jersey… is he retired?? Could he come back? It looks unlikely that the Maple Leafs will re-sign defenseman Alexander Khavanov, and Samsonov is a UFA this summer, of course they’d have to complete a sale within several months for this to happen.
And what would the results of this be?
Well I think there could be a couple Canadian GMs who would attempt to build an all-Canadian team. Of course most of them would be on teams like Calgary, and Edmonton, where it is already prodomenantly all Canadians as key players. Would you want all Canadians on your team? Well I can say safely, while I’d love to see an all-Canadian team win the cup for the first time since the 1975 Philadelphia Flyers, I wouldn’t want to see the Leafs win the cup without Mats Sundin. And then Steen, Ponikarovsky, Kaberle, and Tellqvist are vital parts of the team.
In other Canadian cities, the Senators would likely want to keep Hasek, Havlat, Chara, and Alfredsson. Montreal has key players like Markov, Huet, Koivu, and Kovalev, the Canucks have Markus Naslund and a handful of defenseman, several Russians, and for the Albertan teams… well really it wouldn’t change much at all.
And imagine the Russian team made the finals, and then a team made by an angry GM who wanted an all-Canadian team, made the finals? Canada vs Russia, that would sure be a hell of a series. But I’m not sure there are many Canadians who would let the Russians take our Stanley Cup without at least knocking a few out of the game.
Would the fans except such a team? Would the board of governors except a team? Well they except the Dallas Stars, why not a team of Russians, hey, these are the guys who allowed the shootouts, nothing is out of their reach.
I’d like to read your thoughts on this issue, because it would interesting indeed, I decided to bring it up because of the constant talks on the business side of the game, and it got me to thinking if whatshisnameovich would buy a team.