The story of “Kaprizov refused entry to the United States” does not make sense


Photo: Ronald Martinez – Getty Images

We are now a week into this “Kirill Kaprizov is wanted in Russia” saga and we still don’t know anything. We are told that Kaprizov is in Russia and the most recent reports indicate that he has been denied access to the United States twice, once via Dubai and once via the Caribbean islands.

According to league sources, Kaprizov recently left Russia for Dubai and tried to return to the United States. He was unable to enter the United States, however, possibly because he currently does not have a work visa despite signing a five-year contract last September. As The Athletic reported on July 1, several Europeans — not just Russians — got exceptions to play visa-free last season because US consulates were inundated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaprizov, sources say, attempted to cross the ocean via the Caribbean islands after failing on the Dubai route. Again, it was not allowed. Kaprizov then returned to Russia, where he remains.Michael Russo (Athletics)

let’s think about it

Some legendary movies and TV shows stem from storylines that wouldn’t make sense after 2005. Why? Because the fundamental dilemma facing the main characters would be non-existent if everyone over the age of 10 had a cell phone.

Alone at home, for example, no longer works if mom can just text, call, email, or Snap Kevin to apologize and make sure he’s okay. Kevin could just tip his pizza delivery guy from their app. Mom and dad probably have a Ring doorbell that sends videos of the “wet bandits” to their cell phones.

road trip is another classic example. This movie doesn’t happen if Josh Parker and his long distance girlfriend text throughout the day and Facetime regularly. Even if she’s bad at answering text messages, chances are he’ll end up sending her a VHS sex tape he made with another girl.

And when I read the above update on Kirill Kaprizov, “expired plot” is what immediately came to mind.

Something is wrong…

Look, maybe you can convince me that the Dubai part of this story is true. Flying directly to the United States from the United Arab Emirates can be a difficult process for a non-citizen with an expired visa. But, even then, Kaprizov is more than 1,000 miles from the Russian border.

Then, after being denied entry to the United States, Kaprizov finds his way to the Caribbean islands and tries again to enter America. This is where the story gets too far-fetched for me to follow. If Kaprizov had been to the Caribbean islands, he is now about 500 miles from Miami, Florida. Even if he can’t enter America immediately, why would he go back to Russia then?

Does it matter if it takes 5 days or 5 weeks? Give Kirill some security, as he sits quietly in a luxurious suite atop a 5-star paradise hotel in Aruba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, St. Lucia or Barbados. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild can use modern technology (like cell phones) to work with Kaprizov’s representatives in a combined effort to solve their American extraterrestrial issues.

Everything makes more sense than going back to Russia

Between his own 7-figure salary and Craig Leopold’s $100 million, I’m sure they can find a way to pay the Caribbean room service bills, right? In reality, money shouldn’t be an issue that sends Kaprizov back to Mother Russia, begging Putin’s forgiveness.

Of course, Kirill Kaprizov’s family and friends back home are an important part of that equation. But if we accept Russo’s report as gospel, then Kaprizov has already sealed his fate in the eyes of the Kremlin when he tried to defect.

This blog is not intended to make you further worry about the well-being of Kirill Kaprizov. As far as we know, he’s living the good life in the Caribbean or he’s safe in the United States. Shit, maybe he really went back to Russia. No matter where it is, hiding its location would make sense for a variety of reasons.

I’m just pointing out the obvious. What we’ve been told, so far, doesn’t really make sense. Not in 2022. Nor for a wealthy professional hockey player with his resources.

Eric Strack | Minnesota sports fan


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