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But if they fold you still get paid for the amount of time you were there, and then you could easily come back to the nhl if its before the trade deadline..

Either way I still think he wants to stay because as I said he is driven to prove he is still one of the best playing with the best. He can't do that in Russia at the moment.

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Truly the end of an era, he was in my opinion the best of his generation (the guys 10 years younger than Gretzky and Lemieux) and one of, (if not the) best Europeans to ever play in the NHL. He leaves on a relatively high note, will let his career wind down in Europe and be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible.

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NHL, Russian league reach peace deal

The NHL reached an agreement with a new Russian hockey league Thursday that temporarily ends the threat of players being lured away by big-money offers.

The pact to respect player contracts across all borders followed offers made last month by teams in Russia's Continental Hockey League - which begins play in September - to entice Evgeni Malkin out of the final year of his deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=36816...mp;service=page

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NHL, Russian league reach peace deal

"The NHL reached an agreement with a new Russian hockey league Thursday that temporarily ends the threat of players being lured away by big-money offers.

The pact to respect player contracts across all borders followed offers made last month by teams in Russia's Continental Hockey League - which begins play in September - to entice Evgeni Malkin out of the final year of his deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins."

Source: http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=36816...mp;service=page

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A one year deal worth $2million US (tax free) with Atlant Mytishchi which ironically will earn him more money next year when you add to that amount the cost of his buyout.

Source: http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=36807...mp;service=page

Emery won't be back to play for a Canadian based NHL team then, next season. He'll have to stay away (give up Canadian residency ties) for 2 years minimum to avoid being taxed by Canada on his worldwide income (i.e., including this tax free, or near-tax free, Russian income).

Wait 'till he sees how much it costs to fill his Hummer over there!! ;)

I can't see him enjoying it -- (language, culture, etc. sorta like hockey-Siberia for him), but one never knows.

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  • 3 months later...

i really didn't think the khl would have such an immediate impact on the nhl. first players signed with the new league, then they started ditching their contracts to return to russia (radulov and valentenko) now some fourth round draft pick just forced the sens into a trade:

Ottawa prospect Alexander Nikulin finally got his wish.

The Senators traded the disgruntled forward to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Drew Fata.

The 23-year old Nikulin told the Senators last week that he will return to Russia if they didn't have a deal in place by today.

Originally selected by the Senators in the fourth round (122nd overall) in the 2004 NHL entry draft, he had 14 goals and 36 assists in 71 games for the baby Sens last season. Prior to coming to North America, Nikulin played for five seasons with CSKA Moscow.

Fata, 25, has played in seven games this season with Phoenix's American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, where he has recorded no points and six penalty minutes. He signed with Phoenix as a free agent on July 2, 2008.

Fata split the 2007-08 campaign between the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 71 games with the Sound Tigers, he scored three goals and added 11 assists, while recording 197 penalty minutes. He also played in a career-high five games with the Islanders, recording one assist and four penalty minutes.

courtesy of tsn

i don't think the khl will be able to sustain itself in the long run and even if it can these backdoor dealings certainly won't but it looks like it'll get worse before it gets better. i know the nhl did this for years before any agreement was in place but i'm not sure it should be spineless in this situation. if nikulin wants to leave, let him go.

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i really didn't think the khl would have such an immediate impact on the nhl. first players signed with the new league, then they started ditching their contracts to return to russia (radulov and valentenko) now some fourth round draft pick just forced the sens into a trade:

Ottawa prospect Alexander Nikulin finally got his wish.

The Senators traded the disgruntled forward to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Drew Fata.

The 23-year old Nikulin told the Senators last week that he will return to Russia if they didn't have a deal in place by today.

Originally selected by the Senators in the fourth round (122nd overall) in the 2004 NHL entry draft, he had 14 goals and 36 assists in 71 games for the baby Sens last season. Prior to coming to North America, Nikulin played for five seasons with CSKA Moscow.

Fata, 25, has played in seven games this season with Phoenix's American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, where he has recorded no points and six penalty minutes. He signed with Phoenix as a free agent on July 2, 2008.

Fata split the 2007-08 campaign between the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 71 games with the Sound Tigers, he scored three goals and added 11 assists, while recording 197 penalty minutes. He also played in a career-high five games with the Islanders, recording one assist and four penalty minutes.

courtesy of tsn

i don't think the khl will be able to sustain itself in the long run and even if it can these backdoor dealings certainly won't but it looks like it'll get worse before it gets better. i know the nhl did this for years before any agreement was in place but i'm not sure it should be spineless in this situation. if nikulin wants to leave, let him go.

It generally adds up to players wanting to play pro hockey Bigs. Given a choice between the KHL with NHL type money and the AHL, which would you choose. It's a no brainer for these young players that can now make money and return to their families.

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It generally adds up to players wanting to play pro hockey Bigs. Given a choice between the KHL with NHL type money and the AHL, which would you choose. It's a no brainer for these young players that can now make money and return to their families.

yeah, i get it. i'm having a hard time swallowing it but i get it. nikulin is a different story, imho. he still isn't guaranteed to play in nhl he's just been given a new address. in this case, i would've let him walk. i know it's better to get something than nothing in return but are we going to let all these players dictate where they want to play and for how much because they 'threaten' to leave?

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yeah, i get it. i'm having a hard time swallowing it but i get it. nikulin is a different story, imho. he still isn't guaranteed to play in nhl he's just been given a new address. in this case, i would've let him walk. i know it's better to get something than nothing in return but are we going to let all these players dictate where they want to play and for how much because they 'threaten' to leave?

I totally agree, there has to be a bilateral agreement with the KHL and NHL so that this won't happen in the future. I'm having a hard time swallowing it as well but maybe we're headed back to the 60's and 70's where there was minimal European presence in the NHL. Bottom line is, money talks, actually let me rephrase that, money screams.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/s...ac-e9b1bdfb55d6

Rumblings from Russia

Reports suggest some Continental Hockey League teams are finding times tough, Jim Matheson reports from Toronto.

Jim Matheson

Canwest News Service

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hall of Famer Igor Larionov didn't stickhandle questions about some Continental Hockey League (KHL) teams in Russia not paying their players because of tough economic times.

There have been reports that Ufa, the team that signed forward Alexander Radulov even though he was still under contract to the Nashville Predators, hasn't paid its players in three months.

The Metallurg team in Magnitogorsk, one of the league's powers, has also had money problems in the city where 3,000 workers have been laid off, and the Cherepovets club in Severstal may not have paid its players since August. Moscow Spartak and MVD Balashika, a club sponsored by the Ministry of the Interior (police), are also apparently behind in payments.

It's even possible Omsk, Jaromir Jagr's new team, may also have been delinquent, although Jagr may not have to worry. Paul Kelly, executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Association, says the former New York Rangers' star probably got his money up front.

"I'm getting some stories about this, and I have addressed that with Alex Medvedev (president of the KHL)," said Larionov, who's on the directorate of the Russian League and also an executive with the St. Petersburg team. "It's a big concern, the sponsorship of some of these teams. We have to make this work."

The same thing hit the World Hockey Association in its infancy when players on, say, the Minnesota Fighting Saints, who hadn't received cheques in a long while, were once paid out of a paper bag from the proceeds of a nearby bar.

"You can't compare the KHL to the WHA, though, because the WHA and NHL were on the same continent (vying for players)," said Larionov, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night. "We're talking about a big super power, Russia, with the support of the government and companies. We should be in better shape."

Larionov admits the KHL isn't even as big a worry to the NHL as the WHA was back in the 1970s, but it's probably not going away.

"I don't think it's a threat to the NHL right now. Some NHLers went to play in Russia, but not many big names, except Jagr," he said.

How big a gap is there between the calibre of play in Russia and the NHL?

"Not even close," said Larionov, who is a flag-waver for his country, but also played 14 seasons in the NHL.

There's 24 teams in the KHL, probably too many.

"We have great support from gas and oil companies, but problems are there. There are some games where there are 1,000 or 2,000 people. We need ticket sales to apply to salaries," Larionov said.

The league has talked of expanding outside of Russia, but there might have to be contraction in the KHL first.

"We are going to sit down in March or April to discuss where we think the KHL should be in three or four years," Larionov said. "We've talked about China and Japan."

The situation with Radulov is still very much up in the air. The NHL and KHL can't even agree where to arbitrate the dispute.

- 30 -

if Obama follows through on his plan to stop importing oil from the Middle East within a decade, there could be more trouble for these companies... that Middle East oil is going to be on the market somewhere, probably competing with the Russian oil...

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  • 2 months later...

the swiss took out the KHL team (radulov's, no less :P ) in the champions league final yesterday (they'll play the nhl cup champs for the victoria cup and 1m CHF, i believe).

as alexyashin so aptly pointed out:

OLE OLE OLE OLE.............................................. 4-0 pour nos petits Suisses!!!

= Zurich budget 20 millions

= Metallurg budget 65 millions

the league isn't looking so great in the early stages. :D

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http://www.iihf.com/nc/home-of-hockey/news...rt-rations.html

KHL on tight rations

Financial situation forces Russian clubs to adjust player contracts

02-02-09 JOERI LOONEN

After years of prosperity, the endless stream of Rubles by Russian entrepreneurs is coming to a halt. Hampered by the long arms of the financial crisis, the KHL faces its first existence test already halfway into its inaugural season.

The current circumstances scream for creative minds to step up in order to save teams from going into insolvency and therefore rescue the league from losing teams.

The club owners plea for a revision and a downgrading of existing contracts. On the other end of the negotiating table, the players’ association is not willing to go there. KHL president Alexander Medvedev speaks with a more moderated tone trying to align the two sides. He acknowledges the precarious matter, but ensures the KHL’s future is safe.

Here is an overview of the most recent events:

Halfway December 2008, a KHL club team delegation met with the KHL board of directors in the Baltschug Kempinski Hotel in Moscow. The reason for this extraordinary meeting: To find measures for the league and teams to deal with the financial situation.

The KHL club directors delegation was comprised of: Mikhail Golovkov – Dynamo Moscow, Yuri Yakovlev – Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Leonid Vaisfeld – Atlant Mytishchi, Gennadi Velichkin – Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Viesturs Koziols – Dinamo Riga, Shamil Khusnutdinov – Ak Bars Kazan and Anatoli Tenitsky – Salavat Yulayev Ufa. Their objective: To reduce player salaries and the sooner the better.

According to Yakovlev, the problems are acute. “It is not easy, but we have no choice. It will be a matter of awareness and consciousness of the players,” he stated. “It is clear that such measures will not be painless but we have nowhere else to go than to face reality. We will do our utmost to achieve this going through negotiations with the KHL Player Association.”

KHL managing director Vladimir Shalayev confirmed the claim. “The teams do not want to wait until next season and most of all would like to see a central reduction of wages through a new agreement.”

So far two teams, Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Khimik Voskresensk, have announced financial hardship, but Shalayev is not convinced it will end with just these teams. “It is possible that at the start of the new fiscal year, more problems can arise for other teams.”

Despite the plea from the teams, KHL PA chairman Andrei Kovalenko defended the interests of his clients. He rejected the proposal of reducing salaries. “There is a signed agreement that there won’t be any changes to the players’ contracts until April 30. We will not make any concessions.”

The former NHLer does not foresee that the situation will lead to a labour dispute.

“I don’t think it’s worth it after the league has been in existence for a just one year. If so, than the KHL would collapse. We are ready to address the problems, but we will not allow an outright cut of salaries.”

Although he fully realizes the situation in the global markets, Kovalenko does not see any reason for urgency. “Before the season, all the clubs confirmed that they got their budgets guaranteed. Of course we should look for ways to get out this crisis but let’s stick with what was promised the next four months and then debate further. The KHL should be able to support teams in trouble financially.”

The chairman also offered some ideas to cope with the crisis. “Let the persons who demand this pay cut take a look at themselves first. The presidents, directors and accountants can also cut their salaries. Why does it have to start with the players?” he questions. “Russia could also withdraw from the Euro Hockey Tour tournament. That way we have more room in our league calendar so we can create a more efficient travel schedule for the teams.”

Mixed reactions could be heard from the players. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl star forward Alexei Yashin stated he can very much understand that the league wants to reduce salaries. “This situation is severe, not just in Russia. Whether it comes to cutting salaries is up to our Players’ Association but if they come up with a joint solution that is consistent with the laws, than I will comply.”

Spartak Moscow forward Alexei Akifiev was less understanding. “What is the point to sign contracts if this is allowed to happen? Are they just a piece of paper without any laws existing supporting the content? Our league claims to be the best in the world, but it will lose credibility if it will reduce salaries of existing contracts without protection from the league. I think players from other leagues would not like to join such a league if there is no certainty,” he fears. “We are already taking a pay cut due to the fixed dollar rate which was set at the start of the season at 23.5 Rubles. Now they want even more from us?”

The fixed amount was agreed upon when the KHL started. In the players’ contracts the amount in Rubles was set to a fixed Dollar rate of 23.5. Currently, the Dollar is already at 27.4 Rubles meaning there is no mechanism in place to preserve the value.

“The fixed exchange rate occurs in contracts of many KHL teams, but this was done on specific request of the players themselves,” said Alexander Medvedev. “When they signed the contracts during the summer, they thought the Ruble would get stronger but who would have imagined this crisis?”

For sure, the local government in Togliatti didn’t. Plans for the construction of a new arena have been going on for seven years. Yet, Lada Togliatti, one of Russia’s former super powers, is still playing in the old arena. Finally, ground clearing started back in October but the whole project might come to an abrupt halt already a few months later. Financial issues are the root cause. It could put the team’s KHL future in jeopardy.

Shalayev said: “The rules clearly state that if there won’t be an arena that fits the KHL requirements, Lada Togliatti will not be allowed to compete in that league.” The building freeze raised a storm of emotional pleas from both Lada’s coach Piotr Vorobiev and the fans.

“We are one of the few teams that play with home-grown players but if we have to play in the second division, those players will leave,” Vorobiev fears.

Lada Togliatti fans even went a step further and wrote a letter to Russia’s president Dmitri Medvedev asking him to intervene. “The new arena is not just important to the team but will also breathe new life to sports in Togliatti. Furthermore it will help the economy as it will create new jobs which will alleviate the current crisis,” the letter concludes.

One thing seems for sure: The days of unlimited financial resources in the KHL seem over.

“We need to save on everything,” stated Alexander Medvedev. “We will change the division setup so we can save on travel expenses. Secondly, the average salary ($800,000) is not on par with the quality of the players. Thirdly, perhaps we need to cut salaries as of next season.”

Other than to focus on savings alone, the KHL president feels that allowing beer companies to sponsor hockey again would provide new revenue streams. The proposal is currently up for debate in the Duma, the Russian parliament.

“This is a complicated situation, we need to think about how to maintain the game and the players together with Andrei Kovalenko. I am sure though that we can survive this season as the budgets are guaranteed. There have been delays in salary payments with two teams and we are looking for options to help them,” Medvedev reassures. “Let me stress that all the teams will be able to bring the season to an end.”

Notebook:

The Sergei Zinoviev saga continues. After having been granted his release from Ak Bars Kazan the forward signed a $1.5 million contract with Dynamo Moscow for the remainder of the season. His stay in Moscow will be limited though. For next season, he is said to have already agreed on a contract with SKA St. Petersburg.

Barys Astana defenceman Kevin Dallman set a new Russian record for goals scored by a defenceman in a single season. The team captain currently has 23 goals with which he broke last year’s record of Oleg Piganovich (22). Next on his list is getting a 25-year-old record out of the books. Soviet legend Vyacheslav Fetisov looked to have set an eternal record of 49 points in a season. The Canadian is now short of Fetisov’s record by just two points. His performance is even more notable given his team ranks just 15th in the KHL this season.

Good news for KHL fans outside Russia. The KHL has begun to show live coverage of KHL games on its website www.khl.ru

Following the debate in Sweden, Russian hockey is also pondering to change its ice size. A committee has been formed to put together a study on this subject. Alexander Medvedev has already stated he would be in favour of reducing the rinks’ width by two metres as it would make the game more spectacular. He has already come up with a name for this new size: ‘The Russian Standard”.

- 30 -

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?...e=lebrun_pierre

KHL president talks about Jagr, Emery and his beef with the NHL

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The phone rings, and a man with the world's thickest Russian accent is ready to get right down to business.

"It is Alexander Medvedev. What questions do you have?"

We had arranged to interview the KHL president and Gazprom (a natural gas company) owner through a league spokesman. We thought the timing was right given the Jaromir Jagr rumors, the Ray Emery situation, the world economic crisis, the nose-diving Russian ruble, falling oil prices and, well, the KHL's survival.

An Edmonton Journal blog had the industry chirping Tuesday when it speculated the Oilers were taking another run at Jagr (they tried to sign him in July). The Oilers denied it. As we pointed out Tuesday, Jagr can't leave his Russian contract with Omsk Avangard; and besides, if he did somehow sign with the Oilers, he'd have to clear NHL waivers first.

"Mr. Jagr played today for Avangard," said Medvedev, who was in New York to take in the Capitals-Rangers game. "Legally, he has a contract. It would surprise me if it was really true that Edmonton tried to negotiate a deal with Mr. Jagr. I don't like those rumors. But Edmonton publicly announced it wasn't the case."

Besides, continued Medvedev, Jagr is signed for "two years plus one [option]."

"And there is no out clause [in the contract]," added Medvedev.

As we told you puckheads Wednesday night, Emery ended his weeklong holdout and reported back to Mytishchi Atlant on Wednesday. Mind you, Emery and his agent J.P. Barry will continue to try to get what they consider their full payment on what the goalie is owed so far this season. They argue the Russian club has used the wrong exchange rate in doling out his U.S. dollars. The Russian ruble has been pounded in recent months, leading to this kind of situation with likely more than a few KHL clubs.

"He reported back today," Medvedev said of Emery. "It would be good if Mr. Emery settled his grievance with the club. But it's an internal matter of the club."

Despite the massive economic factors pounding his league, which is in its inaugural season, Medvedev said the board of directors recently approved some "anti-crisis" measures that would help ease the pain. He took offense when we asked him about his league's survival.

"We are not speaking about survival; we are speaking about development," he said.

His voice really got excited when we brought up his ongoing discord with the NHL, saying he hoped the NHL would not continue with "its line of arrogance and ignorance."

"I will not hide this frustration," he added.

Among his beefs with the NHL is the league's refusal at this point to commit to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. At this point, the NHL is booked only for 2010 in Vancouver, after which the league says it will consider whether or not to continue with player involvement. The NHL Players' Association has made it clear it definitely wants to continue taking part, but the players need team owners to be on board.

"I believe it would not only be anti-sport but antihuman to prevent the best players from the NHL from going to the Olympics," Medvedev said.

He believes the NHL is using the 2014 Olympics as bait in the backdrop of its current problems with the Russian hockey federation and the KHL.

"There should be no place for the blackmail of the Olympic Games," said Medvedev.

We can hardly blame the NHL on this one. The KHL poached Alexander Radulov; the Russians refuse to negotiate a new player-transfer agreement; and the NHL should just roll over and hand over 2014? Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

But we'll say this: Medvedev is an impressive guy. He's no-nonsense and he's not going to back down from the NHL.

The question is, will his KHL survive long enough to make in-roads against the NHL?

- 30 -

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