Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Vitali Yeremeyev Asks Off Team Kazakhstan

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to
Vitali Yeremeyev, NY Rangers '00-'01

From European Hockey:

Goaltender Vitali Yeremeyev, who tended the net for Kazakhstan at the 2006 Winter Olympics, will no longer be available for the Kazakh national team.

The 30-year-old goaltender has decided to stop his international career in order to keep his club career going. Yeremeyev has been stellar in net the past two seasons for Russian giants Dynamo Moscow, having been voted best goaltender of the 2004-05 season.

New rule changes within the Russian league are behind his decision. As of next season, dual citizens (in Yeremeyev’s case, Russian-Kazakh) who are not eligible to play for Team Russia will now also count against the "foreigner cap" for teams. An exception could be made when the player will put in a request to become eligible. The IIHF offers this option to players, but the player will have to wait four years on this.

Furthermore, the new rule set has teams fined nearly EUR $150,000 if they dress a foreign goaltender. As of the 2008/09 season, a total ban is placed on foreign goaltenders.

These rule changes were applied after a growing number of teams were giving less time to homegrown talent, instead hiring North American netminders. With the rules in place it will mean the Russian federation soon will have a deeper pool of goaltenders to select from, as all goaltenders in the League will eventually be eligible for the National Team regardless of their origin.

The decision by Yeremeyev is a blow for the Kazakhstan federation, who saw a second goalie in as many years become ineligible, when last year Evgeni Nabokov was ruled eligible to play to for Russia in international tournaments.

Yeremeyev's goals-against-average for the '04-'05 regular season (the year he was the RSL's Goaltender of the Year) was 1.18, to go with a 0.90 GAA over 10 games in the post-season.

I have seven problems, and you're five of them
Yeremeyev in net for Dynamo, facing down a shot from Spartak's Ruslan Zaynullin

For more on Yeremeyev's adventures with Team Kazakhstan, check out The food in Torino was terrible!.