Svitov, Chistov and Kiril Koltsov forcefully drafted into the Army

By Eugene Belashchenko

On Thursday, October 25, 2001 in the afternoon the Moscow Police visited the hotel where Avangard Omsk was staying after their Wed. game with CSKA Moscow. They took Alexander Svitov, Stanislav Chistov and Kiril Koltsov under their escort and took them to the local military base of the Moscow garrison. It appears that the Moscow Military garison is the body drafting the players into the army. The players are already part of Avangard, which counts as service in the Airborne Forces (VDV), but Moscow’s military priorities superceed that of Omsk.

A likely version that has been suggested is that CSKA Moscow is not doing well and Vladimir Krutov is looking for additional reinforcements. If the players are drafted into the Moscow garison they could play for CSKA to serve their time in the army. Another version is that this could be a move directed at Avangard president Bardin from the political system. There will be an Avangard Omsk press conference on Friday regarding the Thursday incident.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR NHL TEAMS:

By the letter of the law, Russian citizens who are drafted into the army remain in service for the standard period of 2 years. There are exceptions, such as those who are attending universities get a break. In the case of hockey, players can play their way through their time in the army. However, by law this means that the players will remain in Russia for another 2 years. This is not fact however, as NHL teams or the Russian teams could probably “buy” out the army time through unofficial sources. Again, there is no sure impact on the NHL teams right now, but things will become more clear on Friday.

Eugene Belashchenko

www.russianprospects.com