Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News,
It was just last week that I warned that Russia’s nascent Kontinental Hockey League represented a legitimate threat to the way that the NHL did business.
Now, here we are just a week later, and the brewing competition between the two leagues over hockey talent—in particular Russian-born hockey talent—is threatening to escalate into a full-scale war.
Eric reviews the events of the past week, then further explores the long-term impact all this might have on the NHL.
from Snapshots at Mlive,
In the attached articles, Larionov seems intent upon not only helping SKA build a winning team, but also working on restoring some of Russia’s status as a country that can develop solid hockey players. He’s going to be a member of the KHL’s board of directors, and as such, he adds a somewhat moderate and nuanced viewpoint to a group of owners who are, by and large, economic oligarchs, and a set of GMs and coaches who are comprised Russian hockey veterans and the last of the Soviet hockey machine.
from the IIHF,
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – New hall of famer Igor Larionov returns to work in ice hockey and was named director of hockey operations of SKA St. Petersburg.
The club of the Russian KHL announced that Larionov signed a one-year contract with the possibility of extension. The 47-year-old, who was working as a wine merchant in the last years, is expected to arrive in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
A Winter Classic is the best way to settle the score.
I see beautiful retro sweaters. The NHL is wearing orange, and the KHL is wearing black. All black, from head to toe. The NHLers have mullets.
I see a European sized rink.
Because I see that the venue is in Russia.
My vision carries me over the Atlantic, over Europe, over Moscow, high over the Red Square because the WCIII will be played in Siberia. Of course.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post via Faceoff.com,
Brathwaite was not ready to be a cheerleader. So when Omsk called and offered him a half-million dollars—or twice what he was making with the Wolves—he jumped at the opportunity. Sort of.
“It was a very tough decision for me, but I still wanted to play at the highest level I could,” Brathwaite said.
The Avangard fan club was waiting at the airport when he arrived.
“I don’t know if there is nothing else to do there,” Brathwaite said, “but they are definitely European-type hockey fans.”
They would sing fight songs, bang drums and turn the stands into a carnival during home games. But it was away from the rink where Brathwaite suffered his most shattering culture shocks.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
via Slap Shot at the NYT,
Sergei Brylin has signed a three-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg, the club’s coach, Barry Smith, said Monday night. Smith’s remarks were reported in the Russian daily Sport-Express.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The new agreement between the NHL and International Ice Hockey Federation to not poach players under contract hasn’t even been put into writing yet, but it has already received its first test with reports that Alexander Radulov has signed with Salavat Ufa of the Continental Hockey League.
IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg said neither the IIHF nor the NHL has received any official documentation concerning the Radulov signing and all his organization has to rely on are media reports. But he also said if it is true that Radulov has signed a contract in Russia, it is, “a flagrant breach of the agreement.”
Updated 2:51pm ET (Alanah): Updates to the above story:
The agent for Alexander Radulov wouldn’t say whether or not he approves of his client’s decision to sign a three-year contract with Salavat Ufa in Russia, but he did acknowledge that the Continental Hockey League team offered so much money that it put Radulov in an almost untenable situation.
*note: original post-time was 11:59am ET
from Sport-Express (English version),
Despite this contract expires in a year, Alexander decided to swap more than successful career in NHL for a comeback to Russia.
“Salavat Yulaev has been trying to sign me for two years already”, said Radulov to Sport Express. “The club general manager Oleg Gross has been keeping in touch with my agent, so I was aware they wanted to see me wear their uniform.”
“Ufa team offered me a good contract and I decided to put my signature under the contract.”
“I had a brilliant season in Nashville, so I don’t see any reasons to regret that I didn’t move to Ufa last summer.”
added 10:50am, Puck Daddy has more on this…
from AllHockey.ru (rough translation),
As it became known to web portal AllHockey. Ru from authentic sources, the Russian forward Alexander Radulov having the operating contract with “Nashville”, has agreed on the solid offer from the champion of Russia - “Salavat Yulaev” - and the following season will spend in club from Ufa.
On January, 9th, 2006 Radulov has signed the contract for 3 years with “Nashville”, and before its expiration there is a half a year. The given transition in “Salavat Yulaev” can become serious blow on NHL positions from outside new Russian league.
Take it however you wish…
added 6:10pm, from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
News organizations across North America are playing today’s IIHF announcement that the NHL and KHL have agreed to honor each other’s player contracts as if it’s some kind of peace accord, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.
All the two leagues agreed to in Zurich today (Thursday) was to continue the de facto arrangement they made several weeks ago — an arrangement given teeth by IIHF president and International Olympic Committee member Rene Fasel when he said last month that any federation that violated an existing contract would be barred from the Olympics.
continued and Jeff is bang-on…
The IIHF, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association met in Zurich on Thursday to discuss issues relating to player transfers and the international hockey agenda, including the Olympic Winter Games, the IIHF World Championships, the Victoria Cup and the World Cup of Hockey.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org