Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Datsyuk back to Dynamo?

I don't FEEL tardy

There is a story that appeared this morning on at least a couple of Russian news sites, including Soviet Sport and Sport Express, that Dynamo has matched Avangard's offer to Pavel Datsyuk, and thus will be able to retain him.

Dynamo had an initial agreement with Datsyuk that they then backed out of, by offering a follow-up contract that did not have all of the conditions of the preliminary agreement. Datsyuk took the opportunity to instead sign a multi-million dollar deal with Avangard, which happened on Monday, but Dynamo still had 10 days to match the offer. Now it appears that some Dynamo team sponsors have stepped up to help sweeten the pot, and so at noon today in Moscow (4am our time), Dynamo presented a matching offer to Avangard and RSL officials that should allow Dynamo to retain Datsyuk.

Dynamo Moscow

"A warning shot over the bow" (additional thoughts, same day,

A mention within a post on Blueshirt Bulletin (and my subsequent comment on that post), pointing out the disparity between the reaction to the Datsyuk signing and the Kovalchuk signing, made me want to add some more thoughts here. I think one of the reasons the Datsyuk signing is causing extra concern is because Datsyuk was able to get twice as much money over in Russia (according to some reports I read) than his NHL team was willing to pay. This is a signal that the Russian league is able to shell out some big money in order to keep its star players at home. This could have a big effect on NHL rosters. With the new CBA and $39 million salary cap now in place in the NHL, and with Russia being able to successfully remove itself from participating in the player transfer agreement between the NHL and Europe (a bold tactic that many thought to be reckless at the time, but one that's turning out to be a skillful and extremely crucial move), the parameters are in place for the Russian teams to be able to step up and make a strong effort in "defending their borders." North American fans shouldn't be lulled into thinking that the Russian Super League is some backwoods league, with only sub-standard players making sub-standard wages; the Russian clubs are showing that they're willing to compete with the NHL for quality Russian-born players, and this could be a reversal of the trend over the last many years when it was a given that almost all of Russia's star players would leave to go play overseas.

New Wave As The Next Guy UPDATE - 9/11/05:

Mark Spurrier tipped me off to an article in the Detroit News which agrees the Russians have the money to sign quality NHL players, and also describes the "Yankees/Red Sox-like rivalry" between Dynamo and Avangard as being a part of the Datsyuk saga:

"Dynamo and Avangard have gone at each other before over top Russian hockey players, and now they're going after Datsyuk... Avangard Omsk's ownership is one of the two wealthiest in Russian hockey. To achieve its goals, Avangard Omsk is willing to spend almost any amount of money and try any ploy. That's why Avangard is making such a huge effort to acquire a player of Datsyuk's caliber -- to match and ultimately surpass Dynamo...

What should trouble the Red Wings and every other NHL team trying to sign its quality players, especially those with a Russian heritage: The changing face of Russia has created billionaires with sporting instincts who can afford anybody they covet-- Russian, Czech, Swede or American. Omsk is in Siberia but it's not in the dark ages-- and Avangard can afford to pay Datsyuk whatever it wants, if it wants.

The only caps in Russia are fur."

The Avangard-Dynamo rivalry is something that I had discussed in a post from a couple of months ago, Drop That Puck (go to the link labeled "Avangard Omsk Declare War on Russian Champions").


Anonymous pack attack said...

Ah, yet another reason to FEAR THE DYNAMO!

9/7/05, 2:39 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Speaking of "FEAR THE DYNAMO", P.A., I think I'm going to like your new feature, "Ask G12"... if he ever gets around to the questions that I sent in!

9/7/05, 7:57 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Here's a couple of conflicting reports on Datsyuk's contract status:

The Detroit Free Press has reported that Red Wings GM Ken Holland found out on Tuesday that Datsyuk's contract with Avangard did not include an "out clause" that would allow Datsyuk to leave in mid-season for the NHL. That's on Tuesday, before Dynamo took back the rights to Datsyuk with their counter offer.

But now, has this to say, which suggests the opposite might happen:

"Pavel Datsyuk closer to rejoining the Red Wings in NHL. has learned that Dynamo has matched Avangard’s contract offer, making the young forward obligated to play for the Moscow based club if he decides to remain in Russia. As was the case with Alexander Ovechkin prior to that young forward joining the Washington Capitals, Datsyuk is not likely to rejoin Dynamo after clearly showing intent to leave the 2005 RSL Champion. Furthermore, has learned that neither Avangard’s or Dynamo’s offer sheets have been ratified by the PHL, Russia’s professional hockey governing body, which means the young forward remains free to sign a NHL deal until the start of the NHL season in early October."

9/7/05, 11:20 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Russian Hockey Digest has posted a story with a similar angle:

Datsyuk case: Dynamo vs. Avangard = Detroit?

Even the head coach of Dynamo was quoted in yesterday as saying that he thinks Datsyuk will end up on the Red Wings now.

9/8/05, 10:36 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

Check out what this meathead has to say about Russian salaries (from the Atlanta Journal Constitution):

(Atlanta Spirit CEO)Mullin said he did not think Kovalchuk could make an equivalent sum in Russia, saying on the radio, "I don't think the economics are there compared to whatever he could average here, $5.5 or $6 [million]."

"That's based on our best knowledge of what people get paid to play in those Russian leagues and what we heard through the grapevine and, obviously, the majority of NHL players who played in the Russian league during the lockout are gone," he said. "At the highest level, if he stays in the Russian league, our understanding is he'd get considerably less than if he played in the NHL."

Not only is the guy stupidly unaware of how much some of the wealthier Russian teams could afford to pay a single player like Kovalchuk, I guess he also doesn't know that Russian salaries are basically tax-free.

9/17/05, 3:52 PM


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