09/20/2012 08:45 EDT | Updated 11/20/2012 05:12 EST

World ice hockey leader Fasel sees upside, downs for Europe as stars return during NHL lockout

GENEVA - International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel says the flow of star players to European teams during the NHL lockout could distort national competitions.

Fasel tells The Associated Press he sees increased attention for European hockey balanced against potential damage to leagues' integrity, especially if players return to North America midseason.

Fasel says "it's questionable how fair it is to the others (teams) and the whole league system."

The world hockey leader says "the integrity of the game is, for us, something very important. It's not just business."

Fasel says it's good for fans to see stars come home, including Alex Ovechkin to Russian club Dynamo Moscow and Switzerland's Mark Streit with Bern.