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The Channel One Cup is meant to serve as an Olympic tuneup this year, and the host Russian squad is loading up with plenty of noteworthy talent.
Here’s a look at the roster, which features several former NHL players:
Forwards: Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Kalinin, Nikita Gusev, Vadim Shipachyov, Ilya Kablukov, Evgeny Ketov, Sergei Plotnikov, Sergei Shirokov (all SKA Saint Petersburg), Kirill Kaprizov, Valery Nichushkin, Ivan Telegin, Sergei Andronov, Maxim Shalunov, Mikhail Grigorenko (all CSKA Moscow).
Defensemen: Anton Belov, Slava Voynov, Vladislav Gavrikov, Dinar Khafizullin, Yegor Yakovlev (all SKA Saint Petersburg), Bogdan Kiselevich, Nikita Nesterov, Alexei Marchenko (all CSKA Moscow), Ilya Lyubushkin (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl).
Goalies: Vasily Koshechkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Ilya Sorokin (CSKA Moscow), Igor Shestyorkin (SKA Saint Petersburg).
Russia, however, has been suspended from competing at the 2018 Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in light of rampant doping in that country.
Per the IOC, clean, individual, invited athletes will still be able to participate, “be it in individual or team competitions, under the name ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).” They will play with a uniform bearing the OAR name and under the Olympic Flag, and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.
What this all means in regards to the composition of the men’s hockey roster remains to be seen.
Canada, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, and South Korea will also ice teams at the event, which will take place from Dec. 13-17 in Moscow.