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Alexander Steblin, president of Russian Hockey Federation, cannot seal the IIHF-NHL agreement.
Photo: Valery Levitin
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Aug. 12, 2005
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Russian Hockey Clubs Dont Meet Half-Way
On August 11, ruthless presidents of Russias Super League Hockey Clubs ultimately rejected to ratify the IIHF-NHL agreement, calling for NHL to acknowledge the Russian contracts between a player and a club. Federation president Alexander Steblin departs today to hold talks with his counterparts in other countries. But the standing of Russian clubs' presidents doesnt leave any hopes for positive results.
Two weeks ago, Russian hockey clubs' presidents rejected a new IINF-NHL agreement made out to replace the existing agreement, which has expired this summer. The new document provides for certain extension of release-money payable to the teams in Europe for players, who prefer to go overseas. To break the deadlock, NHL Chairman Cary Bettman arrived in Moscow last week. Having spoken to Bettman, the presidents went to the clubs' bosses. Another meeting attended by the RF Olympic Committee Vice President Vladimir Vasin and deputy head of the Physical Culture and Sports Agency Sergey Korol was held in Moscow Thursday, but with no results. It turned out the presidents still insist on adding a provision, committing NHL to acknowledge the Russian contracts between a player and a club. They decline even to go through the compromise draft thought not so bad by the Russian Hockey Federation. The Federation leaders have left for Zurich today to talk to spokesmen of Slovak, Sweden, Finland, Swiss, German and Czech Federations. According to Alexander Steblin, president of Russian Hockey Federation, there is no way to seal the agreement without Russias consent, but he cannot sign it. I was not authorized by the clubs presidents for it, Steblin said.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Aug. 12, 2005

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