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NOVOGORSK /Moscow Region/, July 29. /TASS/. Russian ice hockey national team’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok said on Wednesday the coaching staff mulls traveling to the United States in late August to get to meet with Russian potential candidates for the national squad currently playing in the NHL.
"We will personally travel to the United States during the upcoming season because I do not know many players in person so I need to take a look at them and get to know them," Znarok told journalists. "Anyway we are planning the visit for late August, although the question of involving the NHL players still remains open."
Last month Znarok already mentioned that the departure of talented Russian ice hockey players to the US National Hockey League (NHL) poses a problem for the formation of the national squad for the next year’s IIHF World Championship in Russia.
Following the end of the current season a number of the most possible candidates for the national team have already signed or are about to sign contracts with NHL clubs. Among them are such players from this year’s national team as defenseman Yevgeny Medvedev and forwards Artemy Panarin, Sergey Plotnikov, Anton Slepyshev and Sergey Kalinin.
Russia handed over its champions title at this year’s IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic to Canada after the crushing defeat 1-6 to the Canadians in the final match in Prague in May.
The 2010 and 2014 Olympic Champions Canada were indeed hungry for the world champion’s title, which they last held in 2007, and barraged into the final match against the reigning world champions Russia in a crushing winning spree boasting a record of 60-15 (goals scored and goals missed).
On the whole, the Canadians weighty 6-1 win was also proved by the statistics, which showed that the reigning Olympic champions outshot the Russian squad in the final match by the whopping 37-12 margin.
Znarok, who led the team to the world championship’s title last year in Belarus, praised his team’s game during the final match in Prague saying the players kept fighting team Canada until the very last minute.