Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the NHL announced Monday that they are suspending relationships with its business partners in Russia effective immediately. In addition, the NHL will be "discontinuing any consideration" of Russia as a potential location for future league events.
The league noted in their statement that they are "concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia."
"The National Hockey League condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible," the league announced in a statement. "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."
Several of the NHL's top stars are from Russia, including Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin. Ovechkin spoke to the media on Friday and stated that he wanted "no more war" regarding his home country's invasion of Ukraine.
"Please, no more war," Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world."
Like many of the league's players, Ovechkin's family currently lives in Russia.