Monday, August 01, 2005

Russians Looking to Void IIHF Deal

It was reported on July 23rd that an agreement between the IIHF and NHL had been reached. This agreement would set transfer fees when NHL teams sign players from European leagues. The NHL would also pay $12.5 million annually to an IIHF player development fund. In return, European teams would respect NHL contracts and not be able to sign players under NHL contract.

In the meantime, it was rumored that Jaromir Jagr was considering playing with Avongard Omsk in the Russian League, a team he played with during the lockout due to his decreased earning potential in the NHL under the new CBA. This NHL-IIHF deal would prevent Jagr from having this option.

In part, because they would lose the chance at stars such as Jagr playing in the Russian League, it looks like the Russian hockey federation will not ratify this agreement.

That would mean that Russian teams could sign NHL players and NHL teams could sign Russian players and there would be no agreement on compensation (if any). Probably legal action would be taken to establish some compensation for these signings, but it would be a slow and expensive process to establish this.

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