NHL won’t allow Stanley Cup to go to Russia this summer

stanley cup
Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Stanley Cup Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanley Cup’s annual summer travels will not include a stop in Russia or Belarus this year.

Every member of the team that wins the NHL title typically gets to show off the trophy in their hometown. However, Russian and Belarusian players will not receive the honor this year, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a news conference Wednesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.

Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche have been advised of the NHL directive.

Stanley Cup won’t go to Russia

The league’s action stems from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Belarus has been a supporter of the Russian aggression.

“With respect to this summer, the Cup isn’t going to Russia or Belarus,” Daly said. “To that extent, we may owe a Cup trip in the future. That can happen like we did with the pandemic, but it’s not happening this summer.”

Among the impacted members of the Lightning roster are forward Nikita Kucherov and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Avalanche have just one Russian on the roster, winger Valeri Nichushkin, who was born in Chelyabinsk.

NHL came down hard on Russia

The league came down hard on Russia in February after the International Ice Hockey Federation sanctioned Russia and Belarus, which is supportive of the invasion, banning both nations from upcoming world championship tournaments.

“The National Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible,” the league’s statement said. “Effective immediately, we are suspending our relationships with our business partners in Russia and we are pausing our Russian language social and digital media sites. In addition, we are discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.

“We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia. We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”

–Field Level Media