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Dear Russian Players, Agents And Advisers…

Dear Russian Players, Agents and Advisers,

This letter is for you. For those of you who have a better life in North America and Europe based on your athletic ability. For those of you who come to the “west” for a better life, better education, to escape tyranny, and potentially make millions of dollars.

This is especially for all of you who are making big money in the NHL. Like Alex Ovechkin, Evegeni Malkin, Panarin, Radulov, Kuznetsov, Tarasenko and all the other wealthy Russian players in the NHL.

Igor Larionov, Pavel Bure, Alex Mogilny, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and all the others who are still making huge money in the “west” because of what the “west” gave them.

If you support Russia, and President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, please leave. Leave all the money, and the better life and return to Russia. Stay there.

To all of you who have millions of followers, a platform to speak out, and the ability to make a difference, then it is time to say something.

For almost three decades I have helped Russian and Ukraine players find work and opportunity in the United States, Canada and Europe. In every instance it was because they wanted a better life and better opportunity. Now, some of those same players who have better lives in and out of hockey are also silent.

I have owned The Junior Hockey News for over eleven years, and I have not made a political statement before. But, I have a small voice and platform, and now I can not remain silent.

Ninety nine percent of Russian people have never been to Ukraine. I am willing to bet that there is less than one percent of Russian players, agents or advisers who have been to Ukraine. I am also willing to bet that nearly every one of them find the actions of Putin to be criminal.

Why are you not saying something? Don’t give me the bullshit that hockey isn’t political after so many of you talked about “representing your country” in the Olympics and other international events. After some of you post pictures with Putin on your social media. Because if Russia is really your country and you are afraid to speak out, then go back there and live there.

Don’t give me a story about how Putin could go after your family members. If you were so concerned you would have them living where you are.

If you actually support Putin, then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Unlike most of you who are Russian, and those of you that read TJHN, I have actually walked the streets in cities that are getting bombed today. I know people who are hiding in subway tunnels who do not know if their home’s will be standing when they come out from under ground.

Its easy to say nothing. To sit in your comfortable home with your comfortable life. Its easy to not be controversial and simply go about your business as if nothing is happening that can effect you. That is the way of the coward.

Yes, I know I will see some followers leave, and I will lose some readers. That’s ok. As I sit about 120 miles from the Ukraine border this morning, and as I watched Ukraine people walking the streets of Krakow last night, I am reminded that my home is not so far away from the slaughter.

If it can happen in Ukraine, it can happen in North America and the rest of Europe.

There will be no more news reported today. If you like and agree with what I have said here, post it, share it, retweet it. Don’t just like it and move on, take a simple action and let everyone know what you believe in.

For all of you who say nothing, you are saying everything. The silence of your voices and inaction is deafening.

Joseph Kolodziej

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