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Slava Fetisov wants to ban young Russians from joining NHL

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In this photo taken on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and famous Russian retired professional ice hockey defenseman Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov attend an amateur ice hockey match in Perm, the region in the Ural Mountains, about 1500 kilometers (950 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Government Press Service)Alexei Nikolsky/AP

Slava Fetisov, seen here with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was a beneficiary of  reduced restrictions on Russian players moving to the NHL.

MOSCOW (AP) — Former Detroit Red Wings star Slava Fetisov has called for Russia to reintroduce Soviet-style restrictions to prevent promising young hockey players from moving to the NHL.

Fetisov, who is now a senator in Russia, tells Russia’s R-Sport news agency that federal law should be used to stop Russian players from moving to North America before they turn 28.

The aim is to keep “our most talented guys, the ones who the people come to see.”

Fetisov was one of the first players to benefit from the relaxation of Soviet-era rules which prevented any hockey players from leaving. He moved to the NHL in 1989 with the New Jersey Devils when he was 31, and went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings.

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