Skip to content

Nichushkin selection to Team Russia causing rift in leadership

Jan 11, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

Valeri Nichushkin Getty Images

When Team Russia announced their roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Valeri Nichushkin‘s name being on it was a bit of a surprise.

After all, he’s just 18 years old and he doesn’t have a long history of international experience. According to a report from Russia, his selection has caused a bit of a rift between Team Russia’s coach and GM.

Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said Nichushkin’s inclusion was “an advanced payment” that he “must justify.” In other words, it’s a risky selection that had better pay off.

Team Russia’s GM Alexei Yashin (yeah, him) views it differently.

“It’s hard to talk about an advance payment. It’s the wrong word,” said Yashin, who played 850 career NHL games. “Nichushkin has earned the call to the Olympics with his game.”

Nichushkin has nine goals and 22 points in his rookie season with the Stars. Yashin says his performance is reminiscent of rookie seasons from John Tavares and Sidney Crosby. You can’t say he’s not going to the wall for the guy he picked.

There’s a lot of pressure for Russia to win big at the Olympics. They last won a medal in 2002 (bronze) and they were embarrassed by Canada when they were knocked out in 2010. Now that they’re playing host, they want gold badly. If Nichushkin helps them do that, Yashin will look like a genius.

Latest Posts
  1. Predators, Taylor Beck agrees to one-year contract

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    Taylor Beck Getty Images

    He was a restricted free agent, but was still taking part in training camp.

  2. Risk Factors: Buffalo Sabres edition

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    No, this post doesn’t just include the word “everything.”

  3. Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’

    Oct 1, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Apparently they won’t hand him Cody Eakin’s two-year, $3.8 million deal.

  4. Video: Flames’ Gaudreau scored another nice one

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Here are some assorted goals for entertainment purposes.

  5. Report: Marc Staal wants at least $6M per year from Rangers

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s reportedly asking for a hefty six or seven-year deal.

  6. NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

    tkachevvlad Getty Images

    Updated with GM Craig MacTavish’s comments.

  7. Sabres expect Kaleta to miss about one month

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs V Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Buffalo was fearing a broken jaw, which would be even worse.

  8. NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT

    islanderslogo

    It looks like the transition from Charles Wang’s ownership will ramp up soon.

  9. Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    What a difference injuries and a nearing regular season makes …

  10. Drouin’s goal is to return for Lightning opener

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    He says the “progress has been really good.”

  11. Risk Factors: Toronto Maple Leafs edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    Randy Carlyle Getty Images

    Will this be another season to forget for Toronto?

  12. Babcock was raving about Smith’s performance versus Leafs

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    Called him “the best defenseman on the ice.”

  13. Caps still haven’t identified their 2C

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brooks Laich Getty Images

    “We’ve got three games left here, so we really need to finalize what we’re going to do.”

  14. Spezza wants to ‘get comfortable’ before talking contract with Stars

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    “I’m not naive, I know as the season goes on it’ll become more of a talking point.”

  15. Jets get good news on eye injuries to Cormier, Galiardi

    Sep 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Patrice Cormier Patrice Cormier

    Looks like both have avoided serious damage.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2428)
  2. R. Johansen (2167)
  3. E. Malkin (2165)
  4. F. Forsberg (1887)
  5. J. Drouin (1866)
  1. P. Datsyuk (1852)
  2. C. Giroux (1837)
  3. G. Nyquist (1721)
  4. J. Harding (1707)
  5. T. Krug (1692)