Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/01/05 at 02:24 PM ET
The first round of the Eurohockey tournament, called the Ceske Pojistovny Cup is under way in the Czech Republic which is traditionally a token marking the start of a new ice hockey season in the Old World. Its opening has always been eagerly anticipated and for obvious reasons. To this year's purely sports expectations are added different kinds of emotions, at least in Russia. Relations between Russia's ice-hockey authorities and the NHL have never before been in such a deep crisis. In essence, the sides are conducting a "cold war" or shall we call it an "ice war," that just yesterday seemed to have frozen over. Actually, the reasons behind the current crisis that culminated in Russia's refusal to sign a Player Transfer Agreement with the International Ice Hockey League (IIHL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) are far from the sport itself. Hockey players have become valuable commodities therefore adding to a clubs' "bottom line" in terms of assets. Their value in terms of cash flow and its effect on a clubs' ability to conduct business have become incredibly important.
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