June 16, 2020

Potential trouble for Mika Zibanejad and other Rangers overseas

Henrik Lundqvist and Mika Zibanejad (Getty Images)

The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of their Return to Play plan. That is specifically the opening of team training facilities for optional participation to train and skate. The Rangers can’t mandate players overseas to attend during this time. However there could be some serious trouble on the horizon for those not here in North America by the end of this month.

Expiring Visas

Zibanejad (Getty Images)

One of the big hurdles that teams will need to address are expiring visas. If players are not back from Europe or elsewhere by June 30th, they may find it very difficult to return.

As the NHL and NHLPA negotiate an agreement to resume play, work visas must be addressed. The league’s calendar “ends” on June 30, and visas expire at that time. Since the pandemic makes it extremely difficult for the quick process of renewals, players were told in a memo “it is essential that you return as soon as possible to give your club enough time to process a renewal application on your behalf.”

Sportsnet

Currently these are the Rangers known to be overseas:

  • Mika Zibanejad
  • Henrik Lundqvist
  • Pavel Buchnevich
  • Kaapo Kakko
  • Jesper Fast
  • Alexandar Georgiev
  • Filip Chytil
  • Lias Andersson
  • Vitali Kravtsov

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