Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF.
Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:
Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.
After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.
“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).
“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”
From the IIHF:
The IIHF Disciplinary Committee is reviewing a report that was received on 21st October 2008, which outlines that player Matt Murley, 28, (home IIHF member national association USA Hockey) has played without a valid IIHF International Transfer Card (ITC) for the Russian club Amur Khabarovsk.
The IIHF Disciplinary Committee has informed the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, the Hockey Club Amur Khabarovsk and the player, Matt Murley, that the committee has opened an investigation with regards to this matter.
Amur Khabarovsk is participating in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) of Russia, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR).
As Stu Hackel at the NY Times Slap Shot blog notes, Murley is still under contract to the Carolina Hurricanes, and as recently as October 15th the KHL’s President Alexander Medvedev stated that Murley was not yet cleared to play in their league. Nonetheless, Hackel points to a Russian stats site that indicates Murley has played in four games thus far.
The leading professional ice hockey leagues from Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland (as an associated member) have established a new organization named “Hockey Europe”. The purpose of the Group and its founding members is to promote cooperation, amicable relations and unity of these Leagues and their member Clubs in a middle of the heavy heated competition between the new launched Russian Ice Hockey League KHL and the North-American NHL.
*my thanks to David for dropping me a note about this
Press Release from the KHL:
Resolutions of the Board of Directors of the Kontinental Hockey League
The Board of Directors of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) adopted a number of important resolutions at its October 21 meeting that are of great consequence to the future operations of the League. The meeting focused primarily on matters involving internal medical support services, first and foremost those concerning the medical monitoring of athletes.
Most significantly, the Board heard a preliminary report from a special KHL commission investigating the circumstances of the death of Omsk Avangard hockey player Alexei Cherepanov. As a result, the Board resolved to adopt a series of measures aimed at preventing future tragedies in hockey:
from Kevin Allen at Mucking and Grinding,
Former Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Mark Popovic became the latest NHL player to be lured away by the new Russian Super League, agreeing to play for St. Petersburg next season for approxately $1 million….
Bryan Berard, unable to secure a contract from any NHL team, has agreed to attend the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp on a tryout basis. Berard, whose career was derailed several years ago when he was blinded by an errant stick, played last season for the New York Islanders
added 4:36pm, from the Delco Times,
“Bryan has been around a number of years now (and) he has been a good defenseman for quite some time,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “I’m excited about Bryan’s willingness to come here on a try out. It will certainly pick up the competition level of what is going to take place in training camp anytime you can add a player like him.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Left wing Ladislav Nagy views his decision to sign a $5.6 million, two-year deal to play in the Russian Super League as a temporary stop and not a long-term plan.
“Nagy fully intends to come back to the NHL if he can find a situation where he will be given the minutes in order to produce at the elite level he is capable of,” said his agent, Matt Keator….
“The level of talent in Russia is improving every year with top NHL players heading over there,” Keator said. “It has become a viable option for players to play at a high level and be very well compensated. As this league grows and matures, it will pose more and more competition to the NHL for players.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning have added an exhibition game against HC Slovan of the Slovak Extraliga, the top professional hockey league in Slovakia, at 1 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 at Samsung Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. This will be the first-ever NHL exhibition game in Slovakia.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Insisting he’s broken no rules, Radulov has already played three exhibition games with his new club. The rising star painted himself as a patriot returning home, signalling a return to prominence for Russian hockey in a question-and-answer session this week with Russian reporters.
“The NHL for 15 years has brought young players from Europe, first and foremost from Russia,” according to a translation in Russianprospects.com. “I think that it is time to end this. Simply put: (It’s) time to stop robbing us.”...
“I completely agree with the position of my new club: During the signing of the contract there was no agreement between the NHL and the KHL,” said Radulov. “If we didn’t violate any rules, what is there to punish for?”
“The Russians have not been part of it for a number of years, and at this point, my sense is that they probably will recluse themselves from any transfer agreement that might be signed in the near term,” Kelly told The Hockey News in an interview that will appear in an upcoming magazine edition.
“On the other hand, I do think there is a strong interest on the part of most of the other federations – certainly, the Finns, the Swedes, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Germans, the Canadians, the U.S. – to sign off on a new agreement.”
more from Paul Kelly from an article by Adam Proteau of the Hockey News
from Mike Craigen of the Knoxville News Sentenel,
Thought not much of a threat in the past and only being able to use “home” as a their largest recruiting tool, this new league can now compete and surpass the NHL with their salary offers and have already snatched up a very respectable list of former NHL players to pad their line-ups, including; Ray Emery, John Graham, Jaromir Jagr, Jozef Stumpel, Trevor Letowski, Marcel Hossa , Josef Vasicek & Alex Radulov from the Nashville Predators.
I think this new league is fantastic for hockey on a global standpoint. For too long now, the NHL has been running the show, changing the game, setting the bar and making many decisions for the future of hockey, virtually uncontested. Though the KHL is a long way from bringing themselves to the level of play exhibited in the NHL, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see more and more players foreign & domestic flee for the larger salaries in the future.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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