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The Malik Report

The real bottom line regarding the NHL-KHL ‘Memorandum of Understanding’

Both myself and Alanah mentioned the document authored by the KHL to supposedly achieve a better measure of “understanding” between the leagues who fight hockey’s version of the Cold War, but the reality of the situation remains the same—Jiri Hudler-like poaching of restricted free agents may or may not continue, and, as Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov notes (in a fantastic and lengthy analysis of the “Memorandum of Understanding”), this agreement has more to do with the KHL’s desire to establish a player transfer market that delivers high-dollar monetary compensation for any top prospect who plans on leaving Russia to play either Major Junior Hockey or the NHL as the KHL’s still furious that it didn’t earn “millions” in compensation for Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin.

The KHL’s also attempting to close any loopholes in terms of losing talented players it’s already witnessed disappear (Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov are good examples) by mandatorily drafting them into the KHL, and in the long run, what it wants is both money and the kind of prestige that comes with forcing a rival hockey league to pay tens of millions of dollars for the right to negotiate with a superstar in-the-making:

In conclusion, player poaching is not what this agreement is targeting. From the KHL perspective, it is more geared towards retaining their young talent. Only recently the news emerged that Mikhail Grigorenko, a highly touted Russian prospect who was chosen second overall in the CHL draft, is set to leave Russia to play in North America. The KHL may consider him to be under contract. And next year, if drafted in the NHL and willing to come and play in North America, the KHL may block this move citing the most recent MOU.

Continued, and it’s worth your time.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.