MOSCOW, March 28 (R-Sport) - Talented but wayward Russian hockey star Mikhail Anisin, better known for his off-the-ice problems than his goalscoring, could be called up to the national team, new coach Oleg Znarok said Friday.
Anisin, 26, has not played since he was fired by Ukrainian KHL team Donbass Donetsk after he was filmed swinging punches at doctors in a hospital where he was being treated following an alleged drunken brawl with a teammate in a nightclub.
His fortunes could, however, see a dramatic improvement now that the Russian national team is headed by Znarok, who coached Anisin at the high point of his career, a KHL championship-winning season with Dynamo Moscow in 2012, when the diminutive forward was league top scorer in the playoffs.
"We don't rule out him appearing in the team. He's a good player," Znarok said in a news conference at RIA Novosti.
Anisin and Znarok earlier parted under a cloud when the forward refused to play for Dynamo after arguing with club management over a pay rise.
Anisin comes from Russian sporting royalty - his father won three world championship gold medals with the Soviet national team in the 1970s, while his half-sister Marina Anisina won an Olympic gold medal for France in ice dancing in 2002.