Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More Notices & Answers Forthcoming?

Add Yaroslavl's Andrei Taratukhin to the list. Him along with Malkin and Alexei Mikhnov bring the total to three Rooskies going around the RSL, RIHF, and coming to the NHL. This is the only thing other than expiring contracts that could force the Rooskies hand into signing onto the IIHF transfer agreement.

Though if you read further into that article, you'll notice that the Rooskies are moving to close the two weeks notice loophole, so this is your last chance Russian hockey players.

The other big point is that the NHL apparently isn't willing to ratify the contracts of Taratukhin and Mikhnov until the Malkin saga has been resolved which is interesting to say the least. The RSL is apparently more interested in keeping Malkin than these two, so while they may end up facing no legal entanglements, they'll be held hostage by the Malkin debacle. The NHL in this instance will be playing right into the hands of the RIHF federation no matter which way they go. If they refuse to ratify Malkin's contract, the RIHF wins because all three players will not be playing in the NHL. If the NHL does ratify the contracts, then the NHL will be going against their own word and employing at least one player whose Russian contract status is in clear dispute. The RIHF can claim victim status and the NHL will have a tough time getting a new transfer agreement with the European leagues because the NHL will have shown a clear disregard for the contracts in Europe.

And speaking of Mr. Malkin, apparently that "undisclosed location" is somewhere in Europe. Of course with all the twists, turns, and misdirections in this whole saga, I'll take this development with a grain of salt. I sincerely do hope that the kid is alright, this whole thing is stupid for somebody to get hurt over. I am also very interested in hearing his story. Though don't think for a second that just because Malkin turns up alive and well that this whole story will end right there. We'll be talking about this case for some time.

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