Friday, September 12, 2008

How The Russian Turns.

1) We have been literally going around in circles to keep up with the latest on the soap opera that is The Radulov saga. For those who haven't been keeping track or haven't cared what happens to Nashville (yes they still have a team) their 22 year old star forward Alexander Radulov spurred the team and the final year of his entry level contract to play at home (Russia) in the (not so) new KHL.

2) This move turned a simmering issue between the NHL and Russia/Europe into a legit all out war. As we have written about recently, nhl-khl-cold-war-intensifies there has been significant posturing from all sides. The Radulov situation has been the lightning rod of this entire situation. The NHL, although is NOT an innocent bystander (having pilfered Euro talent for next to, or literally NOTHING for years), demanded that Radulov live up to his deal and threatened to take him and the KHL to court.

3) Recently the KHL has softened its previous tough stance of threatening to try to actively pilfer other players under contract next summer. They threw out an olive branch last week when they agreed to send the Radulov case to arbitration. As we wrote/responded on the well written puckstopshere blog we would feel this was positive ONLY until we hear WHERE this case is going to be heard. (The NHL Never wins in Russian courts and the Russiand never win in North America) Until then we are dubious of their intentions, that this move by the KHL may have been an honest attempt to end this dispute with the NHL or it could be mere window-dressing designed to paint itself as the good guy. We went on to say that regardless of the real motivation the fact remains that as long as Radulov continues to play in Russia there won’t be any peace between the two leagues.

4) As we have also written on a few other blogs recently we believe this recent conciliatory tone by the KHL can perhaps traced to the fact that the price of oil has fallen 25+% in the past 3 months as a possible motivating factor here? Most of the cash to run this league is either directly or indirectly derived from this volatile commodity. In the end the KHL may see that it actually needs the NHL and the possible influx of cash from a fair transfer agreement. Certainly they can't pay those salaries based upon ticket revenues alone!

5) The most recent bizarre turn of this case occurred yesterday when apparently NHLPA head Paul Kelly while being interviewed by the Toronto media blurted out that it was his understanding from reliable sources (sounds like Ekund-but with credibility) that Radulov wanted to leave the KHL and return to the Preditors.(audio here) Quoting Kelly: I have that on extremely good authority. He's tried the KHL. He's seen what it has to offer for a few games already.... I believe there is an outcome which is doable, which will involve some type of an agreement between the NHL, the KHL, the player himself

6) We have previously discussed that its NOT against the NHLPA's interest to have players bolt to other leagues. It gives them leverage in the NHL which of course can only help boost salaries even in a capped NHL. However they can't condone players breaking valid contracts! The next question is why Radulov is suddenly desiring to return? Here are the possible reasons:
  • He saw the inferior conditions compared to the NHL. Not to knock Russia, but even with its current oil boom and subsequent elevated standard of living, its still not in the same galaxy as North America?
  • The KHL is pushing for resolution of this and would like to save face by behind the scenes 'pushing' Radulov to go back?
  • Radulov's agent saw the writing on the wall, that his client risked botching a potential lucrative/long NHL career if he stayed in the unstable KHL?

7) Whatever the reasons we're sure we haven't read/heard the last twist of this bizarre story, and the more important issue of getting a fair transfer agreement between ALL the parties from the NHL, to the KHL, and the other Euro leagues. Until this is done we haven't heard the last of these kind of situations.


POOOH said...

I say let kid alone. he want to play here let him play. he only 22. Stil to young to make desision. give break to him. i want him back here

HockeyNutz said...


So where did you cut and paste this post from? You are so predictable

So have you stopped making up rumors? Got caught in your lies too often?

Bet you thought I was gone? I am watching!


1) Pooh: We will give the kid slack IF he reports on time/leaves the KHL before the NHL season starts. If he thinks he can return after missing games without repercussions then he is mistaken(At least we believe he should be sanctioned like the NFL does) for each day he 'holds out'.
2) We don't care what his intentions good/bad, or otherwise, unless he's injured or has a serious family issue(cleared through the Nashville management) he needs to be in Music City next week!
3) Nutz: We never had any doubt that you were still with us. LOL Sorry if our recent posts have been a disappointment. We may get post ideas from others but NEVER do what Eklund was recently accused of; Plagiarizing a reporter without giving attribution. Nice to have ya back LOL

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