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October 5, 1999
Bure's friends a concern to league
TORONTO (CP) -- Pavel Bure's friendship with a certain Russian businessman-politician has attracted NHL scrutiny. "It's a relationship we're concerned about and a relationship we're monitoring," says Bill Daly, the league's chief legal counsel.
The admission is made towards the end of an investigative report, Major Misconduct, to be broadcast tonight (8 p.m. EDT) as the season premier of CBC's The Fifth Estate. Produced by Neil Docherty, it delves into Russian organized crime and possible links with Russian players on NHL teams. The players mentioned in the documentary deny any improprieties.
"Hockey, once a pillar of national prestige, has fallen on hard times in post-Soviet Russia," veteran reporter Linden McIntyre states on the show. "Connections with gangsters these days are almost impossible to avoid." NHL players have been targets of extortion because of their big salaries. Vancouver Canucks forward Alexander Mogilny was the subject of a $150,000 shakedown when he played for the Buffalo Sabres. A Russian acquaintance was convicted following a U.S. trial.
Major Misconduct studies the alleged friendship between New York Rangers forward Valeri Kamensky and Vyacheslav Sliva. One of Sliva's contacts was a reputed Russian godfather in North America. Sliva was deported from Canada to Moscow in 1997 for lying to immigration officials in order to enter the country. In deportation hearings, court heard that Sliva was a "thief in law," who continued to run a criminal empire built on extortion, fraud and robbery during his 34-month stay. But Sliva did not disclose his background when he arrived in Canada in 1994 as a visitor, claiming he was visiting Kamensky (when Kamensky was with the Quebec Nordiques) and listing his sister-in-law as his wife.
A Russian related to Sliva, Vyacheslav Ivankov, operated a company known as Slavik Incorporated, and on company documents the president was shown to be Viacheslav Fetisov, now an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils and one of the Detroit Red Wings shown on video earlier in the program carrying the Stanley Cup through Moscow's Red Square.
"We investigated the situation," said Daly, the NHL's lawyer. "We're satisfied there was no personal association at all (between Fetisov and Ivankov)." Neither could an association between Kamensky and Sliva be established by the NHL, Daly said. Bure is to earn close to $9 million US this season with the Florida Panthers.
When McIntyre asks him at the player's Florida apartment if Russian
hockey players are targets, Bure laughs and denies he has ever been pressured
to pay protection money. Anzor Kikalishvili is a good friend, Bure says.
Kikalishvili is no longer allowed to enter the United States because of
alleged criminal ties. "Yeah, I know all those rumours about him," Bure
responded. "But it's rumours." Bure denies he has a position with a Moscow
company known as 21st Century. Bure and Kikalishvili are pictured in 21st
Century advertisements on Moscow streets. "If I have any links to criminal
elements then I would not be sitting in this office today, an office that
is only 100 metres from the Kremlin, the president of our country," Kikalishvili
told The Fifth Estate. "If I am not considered a criminal in my own country,
then how can I be considered a criminal in another country?" A few weeks
after Kikalishvili's interview with The Fifth Estate, his Moscow office
Страничка Павла Буре на сайте "Звёзды
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня
от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.