The Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Hockey League has suspended all operations in light of Russia’s ongoing attack against Ukraine.
A statement translated from the Ukrainian Hockey League website stated, “that the competitions of the 2021/22 season have been suspended due to the introduction of martial law on the territory of Ukraine. Thus, in order to ensure safety, matches of the regular championship of the Hockey Superleague Parimatch will not take place. We urge you to remain calm and not panic.”
Sokil Kyiv was sitting atop the Ukrainian Hockey League standings at the time the league ceased operations. Sokil Kyiv has developed many of Ukraine’s top NHL talents including Dmitri Khristich and Alexei Zhitnik who both appeared in NHL All-Star games during their careers, as well as Stanley Cup Champions Ruslan Fedotenko and Anton Babchuk.
The Vegas Golden Knights selected defender Artur Cholach, who spent the 2020-2021 season with Sokil Kyiv, in the 6th round, 190th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. Cholach is currently playing for the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
Similarly, all hockey from youth to professional has been suspended in Ukraine. The Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine posted various statements on their website over recent days calling the current Russian invasion “perhaps the most critical moments in [Ukraine’s] history.”
The UHL and Federation also called upon all those who could to donate financially to the Ukrainian Army, stating, “we call on all the people involved in hockey, our fans, all those who can join this initiative to help our army financially.”
Also providing verbal support on the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine’s website were former NHL players Dave and Wayne Babych, whose grandfather was born in Ukraine.
“Our hearts are with you now. We are now watching the events in Ukraine with great anxiety,” reads the statement, which was conveyed by Ukraine national team coach Konstantin Simchuk. “We wish all Ukrainians stability and steadfastness in this terrible time.”
Dave Babych spent 19 seasons in the NHL playing 1,194 games, while 519 games in the league.
Internationally, Ukraine currently ranks 27th in men’s hockey, and 38th on the women’s side.