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May 08, 2007
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Russia Out of NHL Agreement
The agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation and National Hockey League regulating transfers of and payment for players was extended for four years today. Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Hockey Association is unlikely to sign it, which means that Russian players will move to foreign clubs for free.
The negotiations between the IIHF and NHL took place in Moscow Saturday behind closed doors. IIHF president Rene Fasel and general secretary Horst Lichtner met with NHL vice president Bill Daly. Executives from European hockey organizations were also present. Valentin Kozin, general secretary of the Russian Hockey Federation was among them.

National hokey federations are to ratify the agreement, which includes new conditions, by noon today. Details of the agreement will not be released until after it is signed. It is known that the general principles of the agreement remain the same. The essence of the agreement is that the North American NHL will pay Europeans monetary compensation for players who cross the ocean. The sum of that payment had been $200,000 per player, and it has now been raised and will be raised annually.

The IIHF-NHL agreement has been in place for 12 years. Russia decided to withdraw from the agreement two years ago, dissatisfied that the payment has become insignificant in light of modern budgets for hockey clubs, and that the NHL can ignore contracts between players and their original clubs. Last September, when Evgeny Malkin left the Magnitogorsk Metallurg club for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Russian clubs sued the Penguins for $3 million in compensation. A U.S. court ruled in favor of the Penguins, saying that, even though Malkin had a contract with Metallurg, he broke no U.S. or Russian laws.

Fasel expressed hope that Russia would join the agreement. At the Russian Hockey Federation, they said that Tretyak could only sing the agreement after consultation with representatives of the individual clubs. According to Kommersant's information, most club heads are against the agreement. Gennady Velichkin, president of Metallurg, commented, УI think that an NHL club can make a contract with a European hockey player only if he is a free agent. If a player is needed who has a contract with a European club, then please be so kind as to contact his employer.Ф



www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of May 08, 2007

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