- © RIA Novosti. Aleksey Kudenko
© RIA Novosti. Aleksey Kudenko
MOSCOW, December 12 (R-Sport) - Russia’s national hockey team coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov picked eight locked-out NHL players Wednesday for this week’s Russian round of the Euro Hockey Tour, but left out Alexander Semin of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Russia’s 22-man roster for the games against Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic includes star centers Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pavel Datysuk of the Detroit Red Wings.
Other NHL players in the side are New Jersey Devils wing Ilya Kovalchuk, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin and Toronto Maple Leafs wing Nikolai Kulemin.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nikolai Emelin and Columbus center Artyom Anisimov also made the cut.
Semin is playing for KHL team Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod during the lockout, but has struggled to earn ice time and overcome fitness problems.
Bilyaletdinov paid tribute to Semin’s role in winning the world championship with Russia in May, but said he had been omitted for his lack of fitness.
“Of course he’s a good player and was a great help to us at the world championships, but at the moment I think he’s not quite ready,” he said.
“He’s played little for the team recently. We need to wait for him to get into good form.”
Another notable omission is Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during the lockout.
Russia starts its home round of the Tour, branded the Channel One Cup, against Sweden on Thursday before games against the Czech Republic on Saturday and Finland on Sunday.
The roster, in lines as used at open training session Wednesday:
Goaltenders: Konstantin Barulin (Ak Bars Kazan), Vasily Koshechkin (Severstal Cherepovets).
Line 1: Denis Denisov (CSKA Moscow), Fedor Tyutin (Columbus Blue Jackets/Atlant Moscow Region), Nikolai Zherdev (Atlant Moscow Oblast), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals/Dynamo Moscow), Alexei Tereshchenko (Ak Bars Kazan).
Line 2: Maxim Chudinov (SKA St. Petersburg), Dmitry Kalinin (SKA St. Petersburg), Sergei Plotnikov (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), Artyom Anisimov (Columbus Blue Jackets/Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs/Metallurg Magnitogorsk).
Line 3: Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan), Evgeny Biryukov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins/Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Alexander Perezhogin (Avangard Omsk), Sergei Mozyakin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk).
Line 4: Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens/Ak Bars Kazan), Evgeny Medvedev (Ak Bars Kazan), Vadim Shipachev (Severstal Cherepovets), Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils/SKA St. Petersburg), Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings/CSKA Moscow), Alexander Radulov (CSKA Moscow).