MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Three more Russian ice hockey players from the US-based National Ice Hockey League (NHL) have been summoned to the national team ahead of the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia next month, a senior Russian hockey official told TASS on Tuesday.
In an interview with TASS, Roman Rotenberg, the vice president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF), said the three players at the issue are Artemy Panarin and Artyom Anisimov, both playing for NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, and Dmitry Kulikov, from NHL’s Florida Panthers.
"We have summoned Panarin and Anisimov to the national team," Rotenberg said. "We are waiting for them to arrive shortly…"
Commenting on Kulikov, Rotenberg said that "we have sent him an invitation," adding that "we are maintaining a dialogue with him."
Two weeks ago, the RHF announced that it summoned eight national players from the NHL, namely goaltenders Sergey Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jets) and Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche); defender Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens); forwards Nail Yakupov (Edmonton Oilers), Sergey Plotnikov (Pittsburg Penguins), Sergey Kalinin (New Jersey Devils), Alexander Burmistrov (Winnipeg Jets) and Viktor Tikhonov (Arizona Coyotes).
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are scheduled to be held in the country’s capital of Moscow and in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22. The games of the global ice hockey tournament will be hosted by the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow and the Yubileny Arena in St. Petersburg.
A total of 16 national teams, qualified to play in the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Championship, were divided into two groups. The 12,000-seat VTB Ice Palace in Moscow will host the matches of Group A, which comprise the teams from Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
The 6,000-seat Yubileny Arena will see the matches of Group B teams, which are from Canada, Finland, the United States, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Germany and Hungary.
During the knock-out stage the stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg will each host two matches of the quarterfinals round, while both semifinals, the match for the third place and the final are scheduled to be held at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow.
This will be the 7th IIHF World Championship held in Russia as it was hosted by Moscow five times, namely in 1957, 1973, 1979, 1986 and 2007, and once by St. Petersburg in 2000.