The Federal Court of Canada scheduled new hearings on the case of Nikolai Kulemin, a 32-year-old striker of Metallurg (Magnitogorsk, Russia), a member of the Russian national ice hockey team.
Kulemin's goal is to receive Canadian citizenship. A court rejected his first petition in 2017 despite argumentations of the player's connection with Canada.
"Russia has given me a lot, but I consider Canada to be my home. My children deserve the opportunity to live in a free and democratic country," Kulemin said in a statement, sports.ru reports.
Kulemin and his wife filed for Canadian citizenship in December 2014. The hockey player put emphasis to his life in Canada from December 2010 till December 2014.
The judge then rejected the petition noting that the player had not spent enough time in Canada. During the lockout in the 2012/13 season, the striker returned to Russia and played for Magnitogorsk.
However, Kulemin decided to challenge this decision by claiming that a person could remain a resident of Canada even in one's absence, if one has a strong connection with the country.
In the NHL, Nikolai Kulemin played for Toronto in 2008-2014 with a break on the lockout and the New York Islanders (2014-2018). He has had 669 matches in regular NHL championships, in which he has scored 274 points (121 goals).