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NHL Notebook: NHL International tournament to come in 2025 will not include Russian players and Bruins’ Milan Lucic pleads not guilty to domestic abuse allegations

Aleena Aksenchuk
6 months ago
The NHL and NHL Players Association are nearing an agreement to put the league back into international play for the foreseeable future, starting with a proposed four-nation tournament.
“We’re hopeful to have an international tournament in February 2025,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in Sweden last week.
“We’re working with the players’ association on the construct of that. Then, after that, we would like to be in a regular rotation between the Olympics and the World Cup every other year. That obviously involves us having an agreement to go to Milan [in 2026], and that is still a work in progress.”
The tournament will not be named the World Cup of Hockey but will follow a four-team format involving only NHL players and is believed to involve Canada, Finland, the United States, and Sweden. The goal for the NHL and NHLPA is to have games in Europe as a part of the agreement, but nothing has been decided thus far. 
However, the tournament will not feature a team representing Russia due to the unprovoked attack and war on Ukraine. Other hockey unions, such as Finland and Sweden, reportedly would not agree to participate if Russian-born players were involved in the tournament.
“There’s a bigger issue at play here,” NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh told Daily Faceoff‘s Frank Seravalli. “You have other federations that won’t allow other players to play in the tournament. You have to take all of that into account.”
For Walsh and the rest of the NHLPA, their job is becoming increasingly more difficult as their role is to defend and protect their members regardless of nationality or heritage. 
“I represent everybody,” Walsh said. “I’m going to support my guys. It’s a really complicated situation. It’s complicated but yet very unfortunate. It’s an awful situation, you think about trying to separate sport from what’s happening in the world and it’s really complicated right now.”
Despite the tough challenge ahead, the NHL and NHLPA are still working with the International Olympic Committee and the IIHF on an agreement for NHL players to once again join one of the most exciting events, the Olympics. They hope to reach a consensus for the 2026 Winter Games in Milan, Italy, and then plan to announce a schedule that alternates the World Cup of Hockey and the Olympics every two years.
The planning for the Olympics also involved a discussion of Russian players’ participation. Walsh told Servalli, “I’m of the mindset that I hope that the world is in a different place in 2026. But we don’t know what is going to happen. There’s a good chance the world won’t be in a different place.”

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Bruins’ Milan Lucic pleads not guilty to domestic abuse allegations

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault and battery against a family member in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday, subsequently being released on his own recognizance.
As reported by the Associated Press, Lucic did not speak in court, and his plea was entered on his behalf with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Jan. 19, 2024. His release came with bail conditions prohibiting him from abusing or harassing his wife and from consuming alcohol. Lucic was granted permission to appear at the next hearing via video call.
Citing sources, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported that a 911 call was made saying Lucic attempted to choke his wife, Brittany, following a verbal argument that allegedly turned physical. According to the police report obtained by the Boston Globe, the argument allegedly began over a missing cell phone. 
Lucic, 35, was subsequently arrested by Boston Police.
The forward allegedly pulled his wife’s hair, and police had identified “redness on the victim’s chest area,” according to the police report. 
“She stated that she attempted to walk away from her husband and stated that her husband grabbed her by the hair and pulled her backwards,” police wrote in the report, according to the Globe. “She stated that in doing so, the suspect stated to her that she was not going anywhere.”
Police reported that Lucic was visibly intoxicated when he answered the door, with no explanation of the incident. Officers also observed a broken lamp on the nightstand in his bedroom and what appeared to be broken glass. His children were reportedly in the home as they were hosting a sleepover with friends at their downtown condo that evening. 
The NHL has yet to weigh in on the arrest or charges. However, the Bruins announced on Saturday that Lucic would take an “indefinite leave of absence” from the team following the incident.

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