Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mikhnov's Play To Get To The NHL

Since there is no Russia - IIHF player transfer deal this year the status of players under contract in the Russian leagues who want to play in the NHL is unclear. This leaves some high profile prospects like Evgeny Malkin unclear on what it would take for them to come to the NHL.

The Russians believe that player transfer fees are too low and want to negotiate directly with NHL teams for transfer fees of specific players. Gary Bettman has refused to allow NHL teams to directly negotiate transfer fees. Currently, transfer fees are hundreds of thousands of dollars per player and vary with the position the player was drafted.

One player stuck in this limbo is Alexei Mikhnov, who was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round in 2000. He will be the test case for a end run around the situation. Russian labor law states that anybody can leave any job with two weeks written notice even if they have a contract. Mikhnov has submitted his written notice that he is leaving.

So what happens next? Probably court cases on this subject. Cases occurred last year regarding the status of Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin. Mikhnov's team Yaroslaval Lokomotiv may be left with nothing for his departure or might be able to garner a large settlement that dwarfs anything the IIHF deal would offer. There are rumored links between the Yaroslavl team and the Russian mafia which could make Mikhnov's departure from Russia a complicated one if he doesn't play ball with them.

This is a story to watch this summer.

Here is a Jim Matheson story on the subject.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?