QUEBEC CITY, Canada – Russia coach Vyacheslav Bykov cut three forwards after the 4-1 exhibition game win over hosts Canada while Alexander Ovechkin began to practice.
21-year-old Nikolai Kulemin, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect who was playing for Europe’s club champions Metallurg Magnitogorsk, as well as World Championship veterans Evgeni Artyukhin and Petr Schastlivyy were cut. Artyukhin and Schastlivy both played for CSKA Moscow, where Bykov is head coach as well.
“Unfortunately, these players failed to recommend for the roster. Other players are stronger and fit more to the tactical concept,” Bykov was quoted in a press release.
While those three players are travelling home to Russia, Alexander Ovechkin had his first practice with the team on Wednesday after insurance issues had been solved.
Bykov named Alexei Morozov captain. Sergei Fedorov and Maxim Sushinsky are the alternates.