The Finnish Station YLE is reporting the IIHF has come to an agreement. The Russians will not be part of the agreement but the Czechs will be. It will become a free-for-all with the Russian players and for Wings fans, means more bargaining power for Datsyuk.
I imagine the NHL will be playing hardball with the REL (Russian Elite League) to force them to come on board. Until then, we may see some players deciding to stay in Russia even if they have committed to an NHL team this year.
update 1:12pm, PRAGUE, Czech Republic - The Czech hockey federation has agreed to sign a compromised proposal of the player transfer agreement between the NHL and the sport's world governing body.
The International Ice Hockey Federation delivered a compromised draft late Monday and the 14 Czech league clubs met Tuesday for a vote. The teams agreed to the deal "by a narrow majority," Czech federation spokesman Pavel Barta said.
According to the compromised deal, the minimum compensation for any European player selected in the draft will be $200,000. The Czechs had balked at the pact because they wanted the proposed $150,000 minimum raised to $300,000.
In the originally proposed five-year player transfer plan, the NHL would pay $12.5 million annually to a fund managed by the IIHF - a $3.5 million increase from the previous deal.
The compromised one-year plan will call for $9 million, and the IIHF would distribute the money among six national federations and clubs that lose players to the NHL. Russia was not part of the deal, Barta said.
The deadline for players to transfer to the NHL was set for Aug. 26.
Besides the Czechs, five other federations have said they would sign the new plan - Sweden, Finland, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. The Russian federation refused to sign because the Russian clubs would like to deal directly with NHL teams in determining player compensation.