Helsinki Hartwall-Arena 5–8. The first Euro Hockey Tour sub-tournament of the season to be played between Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland in November will be carried out due to the corona pandemic with strict security measures.
The pandemic has affected more or less all the teams participating in the Karelia tournament. The most special line was chosen by Russia, which plans to send a team of people under 20 to Helsinki.
– We wondered what was really going on there, Lions Head Coach Jukka Jalonen told a virtual press conference of the Finnish Hockey Association.
– They made such a special, independent decision, and did not ask anyone anything – which is, of course, quite strange.
Finland, as the host country of the tournament, was in contact with Sweden and the Czech Republic.
– And, of course, to Russia, how to work here, Jalonen added.
– Today, information from these three other countries has left or will leave the Russian Federation that it will not succeed. It is not possible to participate in this tournament with the U20 team, he said about the tight line.
“It doesn’t work for others”
Jalonen estimates that if a team represents Russia in the tournament, it is a team selected from KHL.
– Whatever Russia does, it is quite unclear, at least for us Finns. If they want to play in this tournament, then they should get the men’s team on their feet. That is what the rules say and they know it well.
According to Jalonen, the situation is not yet dramatic, because there is time to make changes.
– Maybe they hit the ice with a stick, because their twenties can’t play right anywhere now. Got the idea that here it would be good to sparring with a little better teams and players. Of course, that doesn’t happen to others.
The situation therefore seems to be that Russia will either change its player choices or have to leave the tournament. Jalonen reminded that in the latter case, the final decision would be a matter for the other three countries.
– Everything is possible, but we believe that there is a smart solution to the situation in Russia.