Saturday, August 12, 2006

Malkin Goes AWOL

Is in the process of defecting.

That link has it exactly right. This is yet another bizarre twist to an already downright kooky story. I came across this link earlier in the week about Malkin's new Prison-Themed Restaurant but was saving it for Sunday's Smorgasbord because I didn't think it was worthy of its own post. But one can only now begin to note the irony about Malkin's potential to be spending time in an actual prison should he have really gone AWOL from Metallurg.

Two things to consider. #1. As I stated before the NHL is really now going to be forced to either stand by their statement that they will only ratify the contracts of Russian players who have LEAGALLY gotten out of their RSL contracts. If Malkin really has gone the defector route, there's no way the NHL can honor a contract for him submitted by the Penguins. At least not without providing special treatment to one of their favored teams, again. #2. Should he turn up in North America, there will be tons of questions about Malkin's "new" contract, his "change of heart" that he passed on through Gonchar, his Prison-themed restaurant, and of course, the real reason for him defecting. If this does not go a long way to expose the influence that the Russian Mafia still holds over Russian hockey players, nothing on Earth ever will.

On a more Caps related front, one must also begin to wonder if this will have an effect on the return of the "savior" to the Caps this fall. No, I'm not talking about A.O., I'm talking about Alexander Semin. I know I sound like a broken record player, but if you've ever read the case that the Caps filed against him and his U.S. based agent (who had strong ties to the RSL), you'd have to be pretty stupid to not put 2 and 2 together and see that he was being held hostage by the Russian Mafia. (Thanks to smarner I have the complaint that the Caps filed. If you would like to read it for yourself, please shoot me an e-mail to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com and I'll be glad to send it to you.) I can't imagine that the Russian Mafia will be happy with Malkin's defection lettalone the Russian Ice Hockey Federation. One can only wonder what the repercussions from both will be.

Stay tuned kids...


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