The signing of Miks Indrasis has been announced by the Schwenninger Wild Wings – despite a battle with Spartak Moscow
German ice hockey team the Schwenninger Wild Wings have announced the signing of Latvian forward Miks Indrasis, even though the veteran is caught up in a bitter battle with Spartak Moscow after reportedly already agreeing a deal with the Russians.
The Wild Wings announced the capture of Indrasis – who has been a decade-long presence in the Latvian national team – in a statement on Monday.
“I am thrilled to play for the Wild Wings and would like to thank the management for their trust and professionalism,” said Indrasis.
“My ambitions are pretty simple. I want to compete for the championship with Schwenningen. I’m looking forward to the start of the season with great anticipation and can’t wait to see the fantastic fans.”
Indrasis, 31, has become embroiled in scandal in recent weeks after KHL team Spartak Moscow announced in June that they had signed the Latvian on a one-year deal for next season.
That surprised many as the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, previously banned sports stars from playing in Russia, saying any athletes who did so would automatically be exiled from the national team.
Indrasis faced backlash in his homeland after the Spartak news emerged, but in a further twist the hockey star came out days later to publicly deny that he had a “valid contract” with the Moscow team, calling the news a lie.
Spartak vowed legal action in response and said they would seek compensation from Indrasis for breaching their agreement.
Russian outlet Championat reported on Monday that Indrasis had still not terminated his deal with Spartak, and that he owed the Russians around 5.6 million rubles in compensation (almost $100,000).
Hockey has become something of a touchstone for political tensions in recent weeks, with authorities in Sweden and Finland joining Latvia in banning players from their respective national teams if they play in the Russia-based KHL.
That is a fate suffered by Latvian goaltender Janis Kalnins, who has signed an agreement with Amur Khabarovsk.
The 30-year-old has defended his decision, telling the media in his homeland: “It was the best option for my family and for my life after hockey.”
“I am a grown man and I am aware of the reaction that people can have and how the media will twist it. We each live our lives and make decisions that are best for ourselves and our family,” he added.
Czech starLukas Klok, who terminated his agreement with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk after the onset of the conflict with Ukraine, recently argued that players should have the right to choose.
Klok, who is now bound for the NHL and the Arizona Coyotes, said he had been treated perfectly well during his time in Russia, even after the conflict flared up in February.