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Russian hockey fans have something to look forward to this winter-National Hockey League stars are coming over to play two friendly matches
Russian hockey fans have something to look forward to this winter-National Hockey League stars are coming over to play two friendly matches (in Moscow on December 11 and in St. Petersburg, December 12). In the Moscow friendly, to be held at the Luzhniki stadium (the venue of four USSR-Canada Super Series matches in 1972), the NHL stars will be facing a Russian national squad coached by Vladimir Yurzinov, a participant in those historic fixtures. The following day, they move to St. Pete to take on a team of Russia's Professional Hockey League (PHL). Its head coach, Boris Mikhailov, took part in the 1972 matches USSR vs. Canada, as well. Interestingly enough, foreigners loaned out to Russian Super League clubs will be playing on the PHL team in the St. Petersburg friendly. So it may well be that NHL's Sergei Fyodorov will meet here with Vincent Lecavalier, a star of the latest World Cup who has signed a contract with the Russian club Ak Bars, based in Kazan. The participants in the two upcoming friendly matches will also include Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore, Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, Mats Sundin, Luc Robitaille, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Tie Domi, Nikolai Zherdev, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Alexander Ovechkin. PHL Vice President Vladimir Shalayev, one of the event's organizers, told this RIA Novosti correspondent the AMG agency had guaranteed that all of the NHL players on the original participant list would show up. According to Shalayev, the NHL team are setting out to Russia December 7, to stop over for a match in Latvia. And after playing in Moscow and St. Petersburg, they will head on to Bratislava, for a match with the Slovaks. There is one thing that remains unclear, however. Igor Larionov, a famous striker of the Soviet and Russian national hockey squads, is holding his farewell match in Moscow on December 13, and he has invited many of the NHL stars to take part in it. But will the friendlies let them make it to Moscow that day? Russian Hockey Federation President Alexander Steblin, asked for clarification, said he knew no details about Larionov's match, but assured that the two friendly matches with the NHL would take place as scheduled, on December 11 and 12, that is
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