Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The NHL and the European federations – minus the Russians – came to a one-year deal earlier this month that would have seen more players going back to their European teams instead of going to the minors. But after some surprising opposition from GMs around the league and the Swedish decision to pull out, the agreement now would appear to be in serious jeopardy.
The major issue, Loob said, is a provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that forces teams to sign European players within two years of drafting them, which brings them in line with major junior players. Prior to that, teams held the rights or European players in perpetuity after drafting them.
via the blog of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
I do think the WIngs will be one Swede stronger at some point this spring, and his name is Fabian Brunnstrom. He’s an almost 23-year-old forward who’s become a star in the Swedish Elite League. He went undrafted, but now NHL teams are taking notice, and the Wings are among teams who have made an offer. From what I hear, the club believes it is the front-runner to acquire Brunnstrom.
All NHL clubs are on an even field as far as what entry-level contract they can offer Brunnstrom, so on his part, it’ll just come down to where he wants to go. I hear he’s already made up his mind about coming to Detroit.
From The Moscow News Weekly,
Russia’s hockey tradition is long and exceptional. I remember the first wave of Russian players who took the NHL by storm in the 1980s, and the steady stream of players that followed. And while it is certainly still just the second-best league in the world, the Superliga offers many things the NHL can’t. For starters, the fact that teams are based in unglamorous places like Khabarovsk and Novokuznetsk appeals strongly to my sense of fairness.
And unlike the NHL, the Superliga has a bright future. Last summer, thanks to some changes in Russian contract law, a flood of Russian players came home. Russian pro hockey is also set for a major reorganization this year, and it appears that big com-panies like Gazprom, VTB and Rosoboronexport are ready to step up their investment. And though billionaire Roman Abramovich’s football loyalties are tied up with Chelsea, his hockey interest rests solely with Avangard Omsk.
more from a former Bruins fan
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The funny thing is, the Maple Leafs would have had Brunnstrom in their organization already if they’d simply listened to the advice of Thommie Bergman, their very capable director of European scouting….
The only proviso was that everyone involved, including Bergman, agreed Brunnstrom’s best development path would be through the Swedish Elite League and the Farjestad program rather than the NHL or the minors.
Leaf management, led by GM John Ferguson and assistant GM Mike Penny, thought otherwise. They were unwilling to sign Brunnstrom unless he was willing to play for the Toronto Marlies of the American League and the Leafs refused to budge.
from Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet,
As many as 20 NHL teams have shown serious interest in the 22-year-old Swedish forward this season. He’s an unrestricted free agent in terms of his NHL rights because he went undrafted. He’s a late bloomer and has really come on in the past 12 months. He has 30 points in 36 games with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League this season.
“He’s oozing skill, a great playmaker with lots of upside,” one NHL executive told Sportsnet.ca. “He won’t take the NHL by storm right away, but he’ll grow into a quality first- or second-line forward.”
Brunnstrom recently gave his agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, a short list of five teams to begin negotiating with.
The NHL and representatives of the IIHF have agreed to additional restrictions when it comes to young European players coming over to play in the NHL.
Following the five hour meeting with representatives of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden, both sides agreed that a player who is still under contract with an IIHF team and has not reached his 20th birthday must be first offered back to his team in Europe. The new proposal sees the age limit increased by two years.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
“It went well today,” Daly told The Canadian Press on Wednesday night. “We went through our respective views of what was transpiring and the possible causes. We share the same concern with respect to too many young players coming to North America before they are ready to play in the NHL. We talked about possible ways to address it. We have conceived of a possible short-term interim framework to give us more time for us to evaluate what’s going on in the market place.
“That framework is subject to all of the parties going back to their respective constituencies to discuss its merits.”
From CBS Sports wire,
Karalahti is one of 19 suspects in a widespread case of alleged smuggling and distribution of amphetamines in Finland, officials said. He will face trial in the Vantaa prison court near Helsinki on Jan. 29, the Espoo Regional Court said without announcing the exact charges.
Local media have reported that the 32-year-old Karalahti was linked to a drug smuggling network that imported and distributed drugs in Finland in July. Karalahti was taken off the ice for police questioning during a practice session last month with his Karpat team.
Karalahti left the NHL before the beginning of the 2002-03 season after being suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
from the New York Times,
N.H.L. executives and officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation will meet Wednesday in New York for talks on a new agreement governing international player transfers….
The I.I.H.F. delegation will be led by the federation president, René Fasel, who will arrive from Sunday’s European Club Championship final in St. Petersburg, Russia, between Sparta Prague and Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Fasel said that if a new agreement could not be negotiated, “chaos” could ensue when the current deal expired at the end of the season. He said N.H.L. teams would be free to raid European rosters throughout the year while paying nothing for the signings.
read on and a feature on Caps dman Mike Green.
Slap Shot at the NYT has all the details…
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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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