Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/05/06 at 05:30 PM ET
Needing to replace both Malkin and Alexei Kaigorodov, their two top centres, Metallurg Magnitogorsk signed Jan Marek, the Czech league scoring champion, away from Sparta Prague. The cost: about $200,000 (U.S.) — or around the price that they may one day get from the NHL for Malkin's rights, assuming the two warring leagues ever do get a transfer agreement hammered out. "That's what makes it so interesting for us," says Dave King, the Magnitogorsk coach. "The NHL doesn't pay for any players leaving Russia — but we have to pay to get a player from the Czech Republic. We lose players to the NHL for free and then we've got to buy a player to replace them. I can tell you, the Russians are not a happy group right now."more
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