Hypocrites. The NHL is weak to refuse the Russians, but the Stanley Cup is not allowed into Russia

Elena Kuznetsova

Elena Kuznetsova

Why the Stanley Cup will not come to Russia

This year, at least one of our hockey players will become a champion. But he will not get the traditional day with a trophy at home.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman traditionally held a press conference before the start of the first match of the Stanley Cup Finals, where, together with Bill Daly, he spoke about income this season, the level of the salary cap next season, about preparing for the World Cup, and the main news for the Russians was that that the main league trophy this year will not reach us.

The Stanley Cup will not come to Russia

At least one Russian hockey player this year will become the owner of the Stanley Cup. Either Nikita Kucherov, Andrey Vasilevsky and Mikhail Sergachev will write their names on the trophy for the third time in a row, or Colorado forward Valery Nichushkin will become the champion. One of the main championship traditions – each team member gets his day with the Stanley Cup. In summer, the trophy travels all over the world, but will not reach Russia. At least not this year.

“We informed both finalist clubs that this summer the Cup will not go to Russia or Belarus. Perhaps we will do this in the future, as we did during the pandemic. But it won’t happen this summer,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

This, in general, was expected, because at the end of February the NHL issued a statement in which it announced the suspension of relations with business partners from Russia and the refusal of any NHL events in Russia in the near future. Although the league is weak to refuse star Russians, and it continues to actively promote them. Only business, nothing personal – the Ovechkins, Kucherovs and Vasilevskys bring in a lot of money. What is this if not hypocrisy? In addition, Daly confirmed that Russian and Belarusian players will be available for selection in the upcoming draft.

The NHL is heavily dependent on the Russians.  It is almost impossible to “cancel” our hockey players in America
The NHL is heavily dependent on the Russians. It is almost impossible to “cancel” our hockey players in America

NHL revenues are rising, the salary cap too

The NHL will surpass its pre-Covid revenue this year and hit a record high in its history. The league will earn more than $5.2 billion this season, and that’s just conservative estimates. Prior to that, the best season was 2018/2019, when the league generated $4.6 billion in revenue.

“We continued to work and fulfill the basic principles of our business. Attendance is back to where it used to be, maybe even a little better. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, revenues were 88% of the first two rounds of 2019. We continued to make NHL hockey through the toughest times. Managed to stabilize the business and overcome [трудности]. We expect revenue to grow steadily. According to my calculations, in two or three years we will pay off our debts. I cannot make calculations for the next year until we fix the income for the current season, but the situation is strong and stable.

Valery Nichushkin

Valery Nichushkin

Photo: www.nhl.com

I think increased performance correlates with interest in the game. Our league balance is unmatched by other major leagues. This gives incredible races in the regular season and completely unpredictable playoffs, ”said Bettman.

The salary cap next season is set to rise by $1 million to $82.5 million. In subsequent seasons, as players finish paying down debt to owners to balance earnings, larger salary cap increases are likely.

“Tampa” beautifully outwitted the salary cap.  Could Kucherov play before the start of the NHL playoffs?
“Tampa” beautifully outwitted the salary cap. Could Kucherov play before the start of the NHL playoffs?

“Kucherov’s trick” remains legal

After Tampa’s cunning dealt with the salary cap problems last season, there has been talk in America about whether it’s time to close this loophole. Then Nikita Kucherov missed the entire regular season after the operation – his contract for $ 9.5 million was withdrawn from the salary cap, which allowed Tampa to maintain the championship team. Kucherov fully recovered just in time for the start of the playoffs, where the salary cap no longer applies, and became one of the heroes of the team on the way to the next title.

Bettman said the league has no plans to discuss changes to the long-term injured system. “I don’t think Tampa used loopholes, this is an unfair wording. I know that this issue has been discussed for 17 years. They are not using loopholes, but effective management of the salary cap. Everyone works under the same collective agreement,” Bettman said.

World Cup – 2024

The NHL continues to work on the organization of the World Cup in 2024 and is in talks with the players’ union and the IIHF. The league is interested in holding the tournament in February, but some European leagues are pushing the idea of ​​holding the tournament in September, before the start of the 2024/2025 season. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly expressed his optimism that the World Cup will take place one way or another.


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