2) From a source close to the situation Bettman came into the meeting all charm and (pseudo) gracious to his KHL counterpart, but with his arrogant swagger that pissed off Medvedev. However we're told Bettman's demeanor changed 180 degrees as soon as the issue of 'defected' Predator forward Alexander Radulov’s contractual situation was broached. Medvedev, offered to pay a transfer fee to the Predators in order to resolve the dispute, but that Bettman refused to consider the proposal. (The NHL has forbidden its teams to pay transfer fees to European clubs.) With Bettman not liking Medvedev's response things immediately turned very unpleasant with Bettman threatening legal action. We're told that the KHL boss actually chuckled out loud in response to Bettman's threat and retorted that he should feel free to take this issue to the Russian court of his choice. (Knowing full well the NHL would have ZERO chance of winning a decision in a Russian court room. The reverse is true in the states where Russia has failed to win any of its cases here)
3) The kicker to the whole meeting was what Medvdedev then threatened. The KHL commish informed Bettman that the KHL would hold a universal draft for the 2009-10 season that will include players currently under contract in the NHL. That had to incite Bettman even further. Not only would the KHL not reverse its Radulov stance, but they now appeared to want to make it policy. To further throw flames on an already smoldering fire Medvedev went on to tell Bettman KHL clubs will offer signing bonuses of $1M to players who are playing in the NHL this season!!
4) Now while its likely that the threat to try to pay large bonuses to lure players under contract in the NHL is a negotiating ploy by the Russians to get a better deal, it could back fire on them if they decide to push the NHL too much. What we believe will be the end result to all this is a compromise on both sides. The KHL will have to stop attempting to plunder NHL-ers and the NHL will have to agree to do the same, and have an equitable transfer agreement that compensates teams that lose players to another league. It may take additional posturing, and perhaps even some (failed) legal action, but in the end both sides will see it in their long term interests that they don't stay in a state of war with the other. Peace is usually much more profitable!