Ask the Red Wings about selfish Russians. Those bastards (Konstantinov, Fedorov, Larionov, Kozlov, Fetisov) really hurt them. And Brylin and Zelepukin had nothing to do with us winning the Cup. Look, I'm pissed at Kovy, but it's ridiculous to generalize about all Russian (or Eastern European players). The only reason they're the only ones taking more money to leave is they're used to Russia. Americans/Canadians would be hopelessly uncomfortable trying to learn the language and dealing with the crappy travel conditions..
This is an issue of one selfish player ignoring a contract he signed, and the effect that contract had on this franchise. We have every right to be pissed at him for that. I certainly am. That does not mean that we should assume that all Eastern European players would do the same. I would gladly take Malkin, Datsyuk, or Ovechkin on the Devils. I have no problem with Loktionov, and my issues with Volchenkov have nothing to do with his nationality.
As for fewer Russians being drafted in the first round, I think it has more to do with the difficulty Russian players face with assimilation. It's not easy for a young kid to travel halfway around the world, to play in a highly competitive league, while not speaking the language. Some players thrive with the challenge, others don't, but it's a lot safer to spend that high draft pick on a kid from the US or Canada, who is more likely to be comfortable developing. Especially because, considering the language barrier, it can't be easy for an NHL exec to get a great read on a Russian kid's maturity and resiliency.
Edited by mouse, 11 July 2013 - 08:58 PM.