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Hockey legend Mike Vernon on the modern game, doping and Sochi


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Hockey legend Mike Vernon on the modern game, doping and Sochi

Hockey legend Mike Vernon not only had a great career, but one that is arguably Hall of Fame worthy. The retired goaltender won the President’s trophy with the Calgary Flames in 1988 before moving to Detroit in 1996, where he helped the Red Wings clinch the Stanley Cup.

The 50 year old, who was passing on his knowledge to children in Budapest this week, won over 300 games in his NHL career.

Euronews met up with him to have his thoughts on modern hockey and the upcoming Games in Sochi.

euronews:
‘‘Will the NHL stars go to the Olympics and play with the KHL stars?’‘

Mike Vernon:
‘‘I think there will be a resolve to it. I think the NHL will allow all their players to play for their respective countries. I believe that is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, there’s an issue with the Player’s Association agreement with the NHL owners, and it’s about liability and insurance – who’s going to be responsible if someone gets injured for that player and their contract.’‘

euronews:
‘‘Some athletes mentioned that they might boycott the Olympic Games in Sochi because of this. What do you think about this question?’‘

Vernon:
‘‘I think they’re just trying to put a lot of pressure on President Putin and the committee in Russia to maybe recognise this and move forward. Russia is a very strong power and they speak their will, unfortunately, and we’re just trying to talk nice to them and hopefully we can get something resolved with them.’‘

euronews:
‘‘Do players use, or could they use, any kind of doping, especially taking into consideration that in the NHL each team plays more than 80 games in a season, so it is very tough for everybody.’‘

Vernon:
‘‘The National Hockey League does not carry out doping tests because of the NHL Players Association’s contract between the owners and the players. I think eventually things will break down there, but I don’t believe that there are a lot of players using performance enhancing drugs, or we would have heard about it during the Olympics or the World Championships.’‘

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