Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/10/08 at 09:26 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League — considered to be the greatest threat to NHL stability since the WHA — is undergoing its own growing pains in its inaugural season, with teams missing payroll, uncertainty over the fate of its smaller franchises and worries about the possible impact of the growing world economic crisis on its well-moneyed backers, many of them who rely on high world oil prices for their wealth.
“I should be and I must be and I will be honest with you — that is a big concern,” said Igor Larionov Monday, on the day he was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, after a distinguished 27-year career, mixed between international and NHL play….
Larionov said the economics of the KHL make little sense today, given that some teams in the Moscow draw as few as 1,000 to 2,000 people per game and ticket prices are so modest - $5, $10, $15 max. At that rate, he does not believe the sort of salaries they were offering to players last season — as much as $10 million to Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Evgeni Malkin — were sustainable over the long term.
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