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“As to the future, it will depend on what kind of conditions there will be in the NHL with the new CBA.  If our contracts get slashed, I will have to think whether to return there or not. I won’t rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season.”

-Alex Ovechkin via Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider where you can read more (translated) Ovechkin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

game on.

It’d have meant more if he was still the player he was 2-3 years ago.

I’m sure the KHL would LOVE to keep him around, but unless players like Kovy Malkin or Dats toe the same line I bet the NHL doesn’t raise an eyebrow to the KHL being viable competition while creating a new a new set of boundaries in the new CBA.

Like his spunk though.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/19/12 at 01:24 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

He has a contract, the KHL can’t keep players with active NHL contracts iirc.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:30 PM ET

Paul's avatar

That was my first thought Heaton.

I know he is in the NHLPA and therefore must abide by the CBA, but I certainly would not be a happy guy seeing my supposedly contract slashed 2x so far.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/19/12 at 01:33 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

That was my first thought Heaton.

I know he is in the NHLPA and therefore must abide by the CBA, but I certainly would not be a happy guy seeing my supposedly contract slashed 2x so far.

I wouldn’t either, but the problem is the players talking out both sides of their mouths.  They claim they feel for the fans, but they only really give a shit about the fans when they’re making as much money as possible.  Same goes for the owners.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:40 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/19/12 at 01:33 PM ET

Exactly, if the owners can slash a contract that was previously agreed upon, what would stop a player—especially one that is not from North America—taking the money from the KHL?

Ovechkin is still incredibly talented, too. The NHL would be fine if the lost him (just as it was fine while Crosby was on and off the shelf). But it would be an unfortunate loss for the fans. He had a couple seasons that are only considered “bad” because he set such a high standard. He’s still at a prime age for a hockey player, and perhaps post-lockout (funny how that has a new meaning) the Caps will restore some stability to their coaching and system, and that will allow Ovechkin to settle back in to the dominant offensive player he really is.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/19/12 at 01:43 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

He has a contract, the KHL can’t keep players with active NHL contracts iirc.

Tell that to Alexander Radulov…

 

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 09/19/12 at 01:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Not as much as possible more-so than getting paid what you agreed to with your boss per CONTRACT.. it’s not like it’s an at-will termination and you can earn raises or get pay cuts.

Could you EVER imagine someone hiring a bunch of contractors to build a housing development, then halfway through the contract saying, “You know guys, we don’t have the money for this, all the workers are going to have to take a pay cut”

Could you EVER?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/19/12 at 01:47 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

He has a contract, the KHL can’t keep players with active NHL contracts iirc.

Tell that to Alexander Radulov…

This is a new rule between the two leagues BECAUSE of Radulov.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:47 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I wouldn’t either, but the problem is the players talking out both sides of their mouths.  They claim they feel for the fans, but they only really give a shit about the fans when they’re making as much money as possible.  Same goes for the owners.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:40 PM ET

Not sure that’s fair. Is the solution for the players to succumb to the demands of the owners as a sort of sacrifice for the fans to have hockey back? I don’t think so. I don’t think the players owe me that, as a fan. In fact, the players are ready and willing to give the fans exactly what they deserve—they are ready and willing to play under the previous system with the contracts that they’re currently on for the salaries they were previously, and legally, promised.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/19/12 at 01:48 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/19/12 at 01:47 PM ET

Yeah, it happens all the time in contract work.  I know plenty of web designers who have to take their clients to court because they believe the terms can change.  That’s what lawyers are for.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:48 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

Not sure that’s fair. Is the solution for the players to succumb to the demands of the owners as a sort of sacrifice for the fans to have hockey back? I don’t think so. I don’t think the players owe me that, as a fan. In fact, the players are ready and willing to give the fans exactly what they deserve—they are ready and willing to play under the previous system with the contracts that they’re currently on for the salaries they were previously, and legally, promised.

Then I hope fans show what they think about this nonsense once the season starts by half empty arenas and plummeting merchandising sales. 

I understand that the players are willing to play under the previous CBA and I would love for that to happen, but it isn’t going to happen, and they aren’t budging.  So while I blame the owners more, I blame the players for a lot of this as well.

Posted by Heaton on 09/19/12 at 01:51 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Like his spunk though

Dude.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/19/12 at 01:56 PM ET

Avatar

I’m glad Ovy is saying this.  He’s right to do what he is saying.  He signed a contract in good faith and has lived up to it to this point.  He hasn’t had a good season and then said I want more money.

All the Russian stars should have made a public announcement that if there is a lockout they would sign for the year in the KHL and honor those contracts.  It surely wouldn’t have made Bettman any more eager to negotiate a deal but maybe some of the owners would have a different tune and pressure Bettman in to actually doing his job.

I’m a Pens fan and not having Malkin would be devastating but if the NHL and owners can jerk the players around, the players should use what little means they have to do the same.

Posted by tbassett on 09/19/12 at 01:56 PM ET

Avatar

Could you EVER imagine someone hiring a bunch of contractors to build a housing development, then halfway through the contract saying, “You know guys, we don’t have the money for this, all the workers are going to have to take a pay cut”

Could you EVER?

Are you being serious?  This happens all the time.  It actually happened to me.

In the private sector, this is a regular occurance.  Only in the public sector or employees who belong to unions does this kind of thing rarely happen.  Mainly because of the threat of strike.  This is the main argument people in the private sector like me have when you see teachers striking in chicago over a 16% pay increase over 4 years.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 09/19/12 at 01:58 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

He has a contract

Exactly. Signed by his employer. And, it should be honored. Right down to the last penny.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In ‘13?

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/19/12 at 01:59 PM ET

Avatar

He has a contract,

Yeah, there’s two sides to every contract, and the NHL/owners don’t seem to be going out of their way to uphold their end.

While I suspect this is mostly talk right now, If the new CBA results in significant salary role backs, or prohibits NHL players from playing in the Olympics, i would expect that agreement between the NHL and KHL to be tested.

 

Posted by jwad on 09/19/12 at 02:00 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Teachers in Chicago taking a 16% pay increase over 4 years AND a 20% increase in their student contact time per day.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 09/19/12 at 02:07 PM ET

Avatar

Teachers in Chicago taking a 16% pay increase over 4 years AND a 20% increase in their student contact time per day.

No different than the private sector.  Massive layoffs, and the people left behind gaining twice and sometimes three times the amount of work.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 09/19/12 at 02:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

There are some very interesting legal technicalities at play here that won’t necessarily work in the NHL’s favor.

The IIHF’s new rules post-Radulov (who the IIHF chastised for his actions, but ultimately decided they lacked authority to punish anybody without a formal transfer agreement) does give them more teeth, but there’s still a tiny little problem.

The NHL and KHL have a “memorandum of understanding”, not a formal transfer agreement.

Part of the memorandum of understanding basically says that the two sides will try to solve things amicably. I could imagine an Ovechkin or a Malkin might be worth it to the KHL to break that memorandum.  The IIHF wouldn’t be happy about it, but the technicality is that they never amended their rules to specifically overcome the lack of a formal transfer agreement. 

The IIHF isn’t recognized by the NHL anyway (which is how they originally poached Malkin.  For some reason, the IIHF does everything they can to help the NHL get its way. This is partially due to the fact that they’d love to keep North Americans and professionals in international tournaments like the Olympics. If the NHLPA gets it bargained that they get the say in whether they go, the IIHF doesn’t have to give half as much of a shit about whether the NHL likes or respects them.

Ovechkin would be jeopardizing his ability to play in the Sochi games by refusing to go back to the NHL and it’s possible that the IIHF actually tries to sanction the KHL if they try to keep any NHLers under contract after the lockout, but none of this is set in stone and a guy like Ovechkin is one of probably 2 or 3 players in the whole world that could force these questions to be answered for certain.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/19/12 at 02:17 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Oh no! So the NHL will be devoid of another lazy, enigmatic, coach-killing, 30 goal, 65 point winger???
Do us all a favor and stay in the KHL Ovie.

P.S. I think it’s fairly obvious that this is a ploy to get the fans on the players side and force some owners hands.

Posted by Hank1974 on 09/19/12 at 03:57 PM ET

Avatar

Not sure that’s fair. Is the solution for the players to succumb to the demands of the owners as a sort of sacrifice for the fans to have hockey back?

Well, no.  Is the solution for the owners to forever give the players 57% of HRRr, just because that was the escalator number the two sides agreed to 6 years ago so the fans could have hockey back?

I’m marginally pro-player on this issue because I disagree with the structure the NHL is using in their attempts to fix revenue disparity in the league.  The NHL appears to be trying to make all teams at least revenue-neutral while protecting the vast profit margins of the most successful franchises.

That said, if the players are going to dig their heels in at 54 or 55 or 56 or 57% of HRR… they deserve 49.9% of the blame for the labor impasse.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/19/12 at 04:14 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Oh no! So the NHL will be devoid of another lazy, enigmatic, coach-killing, 30 goal, 65 point winger???

Yeah, like he had the 13th best career points-per-game, or the 6th best goals-per-game mark.

Wait…

(seriously, dude had one 65-point season, after producing over a point per game every season, with at least 100 points in 4 of his 7 years, and 50 goals in 3 of those seasons. c’mon)

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 09/19/12 at 04:17 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

G2L, you’re right, I should’ve specified a garaunteed contract.

Also, in the case that does happen in the private sector, you have civil court as an arbitor to determine the legitimacy of the contract.

Working in contracting currently, we have NEVER, would NEVER be able to get away with this with our vendors. EVER.  Unless we’d like to be sued, which isn’t preferable.


And Chris.. you sick f*ch.  I’m gonna go scrub with bleach, thanks.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/19/12 at 05:21 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Ovechkin, now using the word we instead of just him.

Check out TSN for more.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/19/12 at 06:17 PM ET

Avatar

Ovechkin, now using the word we instead of just him.

If only he could do that with his play.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/19/12 at 07:54 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

To me, the whole point of his statement is, how can any franchise sign a player to terms agreed on by both sides, then, one side doesn’t like it anymore. So now they want the right to change the terms. That’s not good business. Mostly, it is dishonest.

Sorry, but the owners knew what they were paying for, and, too damn bad for them.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In’13?

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/20/12 at 01:20 PM ET

Avatar

To me, the whole point of his statement is, how can any franchise sign a player to terms agreed on by both sides, then, one side doesn’t like it anymore. So now they want the right to change the terms.  That’s not good business. Mostly, it is dishonest.

Happens all the time in all sorts of businesses.  Ever hear of someone trying renegotiate/refinance a mortgage?  Didn’t they sign an agreement to pay x amount at y rate over 15-30 years?

You do that because at some point down the line your situation changes or the general economic picture changes and it makes business sense to do so. 

Just because you signed a contract last year to have your lawn mowed at 500 bucks doesn’t mean the contract you sign this year either has to be with that company or that it has to be for 500 bucks.  You can ask for less or they could charge you more.

The thing is, the CBA is the pre-eminent contract, not the individual deals written between teams and their players.  The CBA defines what SPCs can or cannot look like, SPCs don’t define what the CBA can look like.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/20/12 at 03:11 PM ET

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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.

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.

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