Saturday, July 14, 2007

Player Transfer Deal Without Russia

Yesterday, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Slovakia signed the IIHF player transfer deal with the NHL. Missing was Russia. Russia has not had a player transfer agreement with the NHL since the lockout. This current deal will run from 2007 until 2011. In short, this deal calls for a $200,000 payment per player under contract with any of the IIHF countries who signs with the NHL. There are minor penalties should the player be signed later than the normal period or not play much in the NHL (thus depriving Europe of a star). The Russians feel the dollar values are too low. They would like player transfers negotiated on a player by player basis (as is done in soccer). This would likely lead to much larger dollar figures for the true stars. The lack of a player transfer deal with Russia has led to players defecting from their Russia teams and legal battles. It has led to the drop of Russian players in the draft.

Here is the TSN story on this deal.

I'm reading today that the Russian governmnent is going to close that loophole which allowed Malkin and others to get out of their contracts.

I believe it was Jan 1/08 when it would be passed into law. Don't know where I saw it, sorry.
In the end, that loophole probably doesn't matter. If a Russian player is in North America and wants to play for the NHL it would be awfully hard to stop him. Sure there would be some kind of court battle, but in the end I find it hard to imagine against allowing the player to play in the NHL.
In the end, it's the Russian players that get screwed.

How could a Russian court stop a player from playing for an American team? Would the US gov't put the player on the plane and force them to go home?
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