TORONTO -- There was one question Nail Yakupov couldnt escape during the NHLs scouting combine. Mikhail Grigorenko and Andrey Vasilevskiy kept getting it, too. Even Alex Galchenyuk -- an American despite his Russian-sounding last name -- was unable to get through an interview this week without being asked why hed rather play pro hockey in North America than the Russian-based KHL. "I told (my parents) that since I was a little kid my dream was to play in the NHL and win a Stanley Cup," said Galchenyuk, who was born in Milwaukee. "Its not to play in the KHL and Gagarin Cup. I think I want to be a great player in the NHL and play against the best players. ... "I just want to play in the NHL and I see myself in the NHL." Its become increasingly difficult for Russian teenagers to convince NHL teams of that fact. Consider that 47 Russians were selected in the 1992 draft alone, yet only 39 have been taken in the past five years combined. The point will come into focus even more this month at the draft in Pittsburgh, where Yakupov is expected to be the No. 1 pick overall and Grigorenko and Vasilevskiy are potential first-round selections along with Galchenyuk. However, even the top-ranked Russian players elicit concern from some NHL teams. Its a taboo subject for many -- general managers and scouts alike are loathe to speak publicly on the topic -- but the continued threat posed by the KHL is causing many to think twice before drafting teenagers from Russia. "Part of the problem is you never get them to buy in," said Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney. "Theres always that little option that when you face some adversity, its easier just to say nyet and go in the other direction (to the KHL) instead of making it work. You have that out. "I think I can speak to probably every manager in the game saying theres some hesitation there." That much was made clear to the current batch of Russian prospects as they were subjected to interviews from as many as 20 teams. Even Yakupov and Grigorenko, who both moved from their homeland to play in the Canadian Hockey League, found themselves repeatedly explaining their future intentions. "All the teams asked me about this, about the KHL," Grigorenko said. "I understand why theyre concerned about this, but I told them I will not go there for sure." The 18-year-old managed to display a sense of humour about the topic. He went through interviews on Thursday wearing a polo shirt adorned with a large red Maple Leaf that he picked up at a local mall. "Everyone was laughing," Grigorenko said. "I came here last year to play in the NHL. Its my dream, I will wait for the chance. I just want to play in the NHL." However, theres no denying the strong allure of the KHL. Both the Washington Capitals (Evgeny Kuznetsov) and St. Louis Blues (Vladimir Tarasenko) have had trouble luring recent first-round picks to North America. Players are able to earn a lot more money in Russia than theyd get on an entry-level deal in the NHL and they dont have to worry about the possibility of being sent to the American Hockey League, where they make considerably less. The chilling effect it has had on the NHL is undeniable, with only eight Russians selected in the 2011 draft and just 30 players from that country having appeared in a game this season. Edmonton holds the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and will have Yakupov visit the city this weekend for a follow-up interview. That organization hasnt selected a Russian-born player since 2006 and GM Steve Tambellini is anxious to become better acquainted with Yakupov. "You have to get to know the player, you have to get to know the person," said Tambellini. "You have to find out what really motivates them and why and what their goals are. And then maybe you get a sense of if there should be some hesitation or not." Yakupov sat down with 18 different teams this week and fielded several questions about his nationality. The consensus No. 1 pick in this draft for the past year, there have been some whispers that it could end up working against Yakupov. If Edmonton were to pass on him, Columbus might do the same with the second pick given the trouble that organization had previously with top-ranked Russians Nikita Filatov and Nikolai Zherdev. However, Yakupov says hes "not worried" about teams being unsure of him because of his homeland. He hails from Nizhnekamsk in the far east of Russia and insists that hes his own man. "Every player has his way, you know?" said Yakupov. "Im Muslim, Im not Russian. If you say what happens with the Russian factor, its his life. I have my life. Ive got to work. 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Henri Richard Jersey . -- The Guelph Storm are moving on to the Western Conference final after defeating the London Knights 5-4 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League playoff action. Guy Lapointe Jersey . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.TORONTO – TSN today announced that curling analyst Linda Moore, a 25-year veteran of the network’s curling broadcast team, is retiring from broadcasting. Moore, a national and world champion and Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games gold medallist, is stepping away from the broadcasting world due to a chronic health condition. Moore has been part of TSN’s curling broadcast team since 1989, working alongside acclaimed curling play-by-play voice Vic Rauter. TSN curling analyst Russ Howard, a two-time Brier champion and 2006 Olympic gold medallist, has been a mainstay in the booth with Moore and Rauter since 2008. TSN will introduce a roster of guest analysts to its best-in-class curling coverage throughout the 2014-15 season, which is set to begin Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 10:30 a.m. ET with opening draws from the 2014 HOME HARDWARE CANADA CUP. “I’ve been a part of the TSN curling family since 1989. I have had 25 wonderful years at TSN that I will cherish,” said Moore. “Unfortunately, I am physically unable to keep doing the job that I love. I had to make a very difficult choice, but it’s time that I focus all of my energy on my well-being.” Continued Moore: “I want to thank Vic Rauter for being my guide during those years, as well as Russ Howard and Ray Turnbull for sharing the booth with me. Thanks as well to Scott Higgins and all our incredible producers; Andy Bouyoukos and the other talented directors; my colleagues Cathy Gauthier and Bryan Mudryk; and everyone involved with TSN curling. This is a group of talented people who are passionate about sharing the superb skills of curlers with fans, and I have been proud to be a part of the crew for so long. I wish the TSN crew all the best for the coming season.” “As well, thanks to the fantastic curlers, hard-working event host committees, and the fans who have let me into their homes for so many years. You may still see me at your local curling clubs, helping to coach a team at a practice or bonnspiel.dddddddddddd” “Linda is one of the best analysts to work in curling broadcasting,” said Mark Milliere, Senior Vice-President of Production, TSN. “She has been consistently astute, thoroughly prepared, and she understands the mental side of the game better than anyone in the sport. On behalf of everyone at TSN, our heartfelt thanks to Linda for elevating our broadcast coverage over the past 25 years. Linda, you will be sorely missed.” “Linda is not only an excellent curling analyst, she’s also an excellent broadcaster,” said Scott Higgins, Senior Producer, Curling on TSN. “She has been incredibly well-researched, with a natural ability to tell stories. Her greatest strength is her depth of knowledge, and her insights into the game within the game.” About Linda Moore For a quarter-century, Linda Moore has provided colour commentary for TSN’s highly acclaimed curling coverage, including Season of Champions events such as the Tim Hortons Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and the men’s and women’s World Curling Championships. She also served as a curling analyst for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Moore won the 1985 Canadian and World Championships, and took home the gold medal in Calgary at the 1988 Winter Games when curling was a demonstration sport. She was a professional curler for eight years and retired from competitive play in 1988. Following her retirement from competitive curling, Moore served as Executive Director of CURL BC for 19 years, promoting the sport and developing curling programs throughout the province. She also served as executive director of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation from 2005-06. As a Level 4 certified coach, Moore has been actively involved in coaching for many years. Moore was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1991 and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 as part of the 1985 World Championship team. 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