Thursday, August 17, 2006

There He Is...

Malkin now in L.A.

Here are some interesting snippets...

Barry has been with Malkin since the pair connected at an airport in Helsinki, Finland on Saturday, at which point they went into lockdown in a nearby apartment to await Malkin's visa clearance.

Ah-ha! The old "hide it right under his nose" trick.

All of the secrecy was necessary to ensure Magnitogorsk officials wouldn't track Malkin down while he waited for the U.S. embassy in Helsinki to process an American visa.

Yeah, no poop.

But one wonders, now that he's in the U.S. and "exposed" why aren't they worried about Magnitogorsk officials anymore?

CAA sports filed a two-week notification to terminate Malkin's contract with Magnitogorsk on Sunday. In early July a similar notice was served in an effort to break away from his original agreement.

Go read yesterday's update please.

A team of lawyers will soon be brought on board to determine a direction.

Again, no poop. (Those guys are going to have a field day with all of the "billable hours" on this one.)

What is known is that Evgeni Malkin is healthy and very eager to put the politics of this saga behind him.

That's nice, but it ain't gonna happen there buddy.

In the final analysis for right now, the big question of where he is has been solved, but the other questions have yet to be answered. Is Metallurg an arm of the Russian Mafia? What kind of person allows a third party to control their passport? Will the NHL risk an all-out war and ratify Malkin's contract? At this rate though, Malkin had better be as good as advertised and not be another Jiri Dopita.

Off Wing is out of sympathy for Metallurg but until more details come out, I have to disagree. Yeah, they're interested in $$$$$ more than they are in the player as person, but can you blame them? He's clearly their best player and they spent the time, $$$$$, and effort developing him. I happen to think that their demands are on the ridiculous side but you can't deny that they have a valid point here. Malkin's defection has allowed them to play the victim card to its fullest extent. We're also talking about businesses here. While humans play the sport, they are a commodity and are often going to be treated as such. Not everybody can play hockey and not everybody who can play hockey can play it as well as NHL players do. Rightly or wrongly, they are a commodity and they are sometimes going to be treated as such.

Now we're onto phase two, everybody gets lawyered up and they duke it out in court. Possession is 9/10's of the law, so while the NHL "has" Malkin, will the NHL put him to use?


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