ZURICH – The International Ice Hockey Federation approved a request from the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association and declared the naturalized players Kevin Lalande and Geoff Platt eligible to represent the Belarusian national team in IIHF events.
Both Lalande and Platt were born in Ontario, Canada, and have been playing for Dynamo Minsk, the Belarusian team competing in the Kontinental Hockey League, for several years.
According to the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws players with multiple citizenships can play for a national team under certain conditions including an approved international transfer and evidence for having played in and been a resident of the national team’s country for at least 24 consecutive months – if the player has not yet represented a national team in an IIHF championship or Olympic ice hockey tournament – or for 48 consecutive months respectively if a player has represented a different country’s national team in the past.
Goalkeeper Kevin Lalande, 26, transferred to Belarus for the 2011/2012 season and has played two full years in the country for Dynamo Minsk and Yunost Minsk.
Forward Geoff Platt, 28, joined Dynamo Minsk for a first stint in 2008 and has been playing for the Belarusian club since the 2009/2010 season, thus fulfilling the requirement of having played four full and consecutive years. The former player of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks helped Canada win gold in the 2003 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
Both players could have their premiere with the Belarusian national team in its next tournament, the European Ice Hockey Challenge in Innsbruck, 7-9 November, where Belarus will play against host Austria, France and Slovenia.
Belarus will host the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in its capital of Minsk from 9 to 25 May 2014.
Explanation on IIHF Eligibility Rules
IIHF Statutes & Bylaws