The ‘Kaprizov Denied US Entry’ Story Makes No Sense

Photo: Ronald Martinez – Getty Images

We are now a week deep into this ‘Kirill Kaprizov is wanted in Russia‘ saga and we still know nothing. We’re told Kaprizov is in Russia and the most recent reports say he was denied access to the United State twice, once through Dubai and once through the Caribbean Islands.

According to league sources, Kaprizov left Russia recently for Dubai and tried to return to the U.S. He couldn’t clear into the U.S., though, perhaps because he doesn’t currently have a work visa despite signing a five-year contract last September. As The Athletic reported July 1, several Europeans — not just Russians — were given exceptions to play last season without visas because U.S. consulates were inundated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaprizov, sources say, tried to cross the ocean by way of Caribbean Islands after not succeeding in the Dubai route. Again, he wasn’t permitted. Kaprizov then returned to Russia, where he remains.Michael Russo (The Athletic)

Let’s Think This Through

There are some legendary movies and TV shows that were spawned from plotlines that would never make sense after 2005. Why? Because the root dilemma faced by the main characters would be non-existent if everyone over 10 years old had a cell phone.

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

Road Trip is another classic example. That 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 returning texts, there’s little chance he winds up sending her a VHS sex tape that he made with another chick.

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

Something is off…

Look, you might be able to convince me that the Dubai part of this story is true. Flying directly into the United States, from the United Arab Emirates, might be a difficult process for a non-citizen with an expired visa. But, even at that point, Kaprizov is over 1,000 miles from the Russian border.

Then, after reportedly being denied entry to the US, Kaprizov finds his way to the Caribbean Islands and tries again to enter America. Here’s where the story gets too far fetched for me to follow. If Kaprizov had made his way to the Caribbean Islands, he’s now 500-ish miles from Miami, Florida. Even if he can’t immediately get into America, why would he go back to Russia at that point?

Does it matter whether it takes 5 days or 5 weeks? Just get Kirill some security, while he quietly sits in a luxurious suite atop a 5-star hotel of paradise in Aruba, Turks and Caicos, 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 his US alien problems.

Anything makes more sense than returning to Russia

Between his own 7-figure salary and Craig Leopold’s $100’s of millions, I’m sure they can figure out 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 for Putin’s forgiveness.

Sure, Kirill Kaprizov’s family and friends back home are an important part of this equation. But if we’re accepting Russo’s report as gospel then Kaprizov already sealed his fate in the eyes of The Kremlin when he attempted defection.

This blog isn’t meant to make you more concerned about Kirill Kaprizov’s well-being. For all we know, he is living the good life in the Caribbean or he is safe in the USA. Hell, maybe he really did go back to Russia. No matter his whereabouts, hiding his location would make sense for a variety of reasons.

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

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan