Friday, September 12, 2008


NHL vs. KHL: Don't Expect the IIHF To Help "Us"

by Jes

This whole NHL vs. KHL Cold War has been rumbling all summer long, and it's not going to go away any day soon.

It was thought that the IIHF might not allow Radulov to play in Int'l events, in order to keep peace with the NHL and in their good books heading into the Olympics.

From recent comments by IIHF head Rene Fasel, that doesn't appear to be the case.

"When Aleksander Radulov returned from the NHL to Russia, he did not need an international transfer card because the NHL is not a member of the IIHF. Consequently, as there is not transfer agreement between the NHL and IIHF, we cannot prohibit him from playing for Salavat."

"There is no doubt that Radulov violated his contract", but the current situation needs a political compromise. "The parties need to get to the table and develop common rules" and the KHL and NHL should find a compromise "that satisfies both Nashville and Salavat as well as Radulov.

In fact, the Russian side is doing a lot of efforts to cooperate. They have prepared a legal text of the memorandum on the mutual respect of contract and to show their goodwill, they have shown willingness to forget about five of the disputed players.

The NHL, on the other hand, is just using the Radulov case as an excuse not to negotiate and reach an agreement. And Bill Daly is accusing me for lacking courage?

Prohibiting Radulov for playing will not solve the problems. The problems can only be solved at the negotiating table".
You know, Fasel is quite right in that the IIHF really doesn't have to or have the legal right to do anything to the KHL or NHL in these matters. The leagues don't have any sort of connection of agreement, so it's carte blanche to steal players back and forth.

Remember when Malkin broke his contract with a Russian club to play with the Penguins? We were all applauding him for that, weren't we?

So, why shouldn't Russian clubs be able to pull the same stunt? It's a different league on a different "K"ontinent, right? These are two competing businesses, after all.

I believe Fasel when he says that Daly and the NHL are simply using Radulov as an excuse not to negotiate. It has always been clear that the flow of players from Europe is a 1-way street and the NHL only pays anything to European clubs because they are strongarmed into doing so.

It is best that the IIHF not take sides in this issue, and simply try and broker a deal between the two sides and get a transfer agreement in place.

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1) The bizarre Radulov desire to return to the NHL could be possibly be due to KHL behind the scenes pushing Alex back?
2) If he returns before the season he technically wouldn't be in breach of contract, and the KHL has the issue resolved and they save face with this solution
I can't understand why you would possibly think that? It's pretty clear the KHL was trying to make a point by doing it. They signed him mere days before they came to an agreement with the NHL, knowing full well that an agreement was on the horizon.

I would think it would be more that HE realized the mistake he made (whether he really isn't enjoying it in the KHL or is just trying to make sure he has a future in the NHL) and just wants to mend the fence with the NHL.
I've heard there was more to his returning to Russia than simply wanting to make more money. Some people suggest that there were some personal reasons behind it as well, which I doubt were solely linguistic...

Anyway, I'm curious to see if he returns, and if Nashville puts this all behind them and welcomes him back with open arms. I remember when Alexei Yashin returned to the Senators, and he was basically booed out of town...
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