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. Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead

    May 23, 2015, 10:54 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs play the Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Chicago had the lead. Gave it up. Tied it up again.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4

    May 23, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Anaheim can put Chicago on the brink of elimination.

  3. Kelowna Rockets fined $500 for complaining about officiating at Memorial Cup

    May 23, 2015, 4:44 PM EDT

    Portland Winterhawks v Kelowna Rockets Portland Winterhawks v Kelowna Rockets

    Oilers’ prospects Leon Draisaitl and Marc-Olivier Roy were among those who received 10-minute misconducts on Friday night.

  4. Report: Devils made offer to KHL forward Sergei Kalinin

    May 23, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT

    Sergei Kalinin Sergei Kalinin

    His teammate Vladimir Sobotka is likely staying in Russia.

  5. Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’

    May 23, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

    Ben Bishop Ben Bishop

    The Bolts’ starter has allowed five goals in each of his last two starts.

  6. Report: John Cassaday to replace Tim Leiweke as MLSE president and CEO

    May 23, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    MLSE MLSE

    A formal announcement could come as early as next week.

  7. Report: Coyotes to hire analytics guru John Chayka

    May 23, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

    Coyotes-logo

    He’ll serve as an assistant to GM Don Maloney.

  8. Deadline approaching for Jackets to sign prospect Peter Quenneville

    May 23, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

    Brandon Wheat Kings v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    He would be eligible for this year’s draft, if he doesn’t come to terms by June 1.

  9. Video: Lightning-Rangers game gets heated in final minutes

    May 22, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT

    Lightning-Rangers skirmish

    Kucherov, Paquette, and Glass all receive misconduct penalties.

  10. Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The score was one-sided, but this game could have gone the other way if not for the Rangers’ netminder.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Johnson (1680)
  2. S. Stamkos (1561)
  3. K. Versteeg (1492)
  4. N. Horton (1407)
  5. P. Kane (1396)