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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tretiak's Compromise

I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Four Tretiak photos in two weeks-- what other blog has that?

On Friday, the recently-elected President of the Russian Hockey Federation, Vadislav Tretiak, announced that he had reached an agreement in principle among the teams of the Russian Super League, for Russia to sign-on to the player transfer agreement between the IIHF and the NHL. Up until now, Russia has abstained from signing the agreement, maintaining that it didn't provide enough compensation for their players who leave for the NHL.

As part of his plan to strengthen the Russian National hockey program, Tretiak is also moving forward with new regulations designed to further limit the number of roster spots given to foreign-born players by the Russian Super League teams, in order to allow more of Russia's young players a chance to develop within the League. Tretiak also wants to expand the eligibility of non-Russian Soviet-born players, those who were born within the Soviet Union during its existance prior to 1991 yet outside of the country of Russia itself, to play for the Russian National Team.

Tretiak's proposals must be ratified by the Russian Hockey Federation council, which is meeting on June 16th, before becoming official.

Said Tretiak:

"We have no disagreement between the teams. From now on, all teams and the Russian Hockey Federation will be united as a family, with the primary goal of returning the Russian National Team to superiority at the 2007 World Championships in Moscow, as well as the prominent tournaments that follow, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"Perhaps the most important result of today's session was persuading all of the clubs to agree that it is necessary for us to sign an agreement with the NHL. By not signing the agreement, we risk not having our NHL players on the National Team at the 2007 World Championships, in Moscow.

"We simply cannot continue to lose players and not receive any money for them. The current transfer agreement with the NHL expires this year. Right now, a hockey player, even while still under contract with a Russian team, can leave for America to the NHL completely free of charge. But if we enter into the agreement with the NHL, which could happen as soon as June 17th, then for any players we would receive $200,000. The fee for a player of the level of Evgeni Malkin would be arranged seperately, where it's likely that we could receive even more. If we sign a new agreement, then it's probable that we will receive an additional $3 milliion to go towards the development of youth hockey. Europe as a whole will receive $12 million. This money will be distributed based on the quality of hockey players who leave from one country or another to go play in the NHL.

"I can also say that the 'foreign player tax' will be lowered. However, this tax is needed to improve the level of National Hockey, in order to train more Russian goaltenders and players."


(Originally, there was to be a tax to the Russian teams, starting in '06-'07, on foreign players in the Russian Super League of 9 million rubles-- about $330,000 US-- per goalie, and 1.5 million rubles-- about $55,000 US-- per skater. These proposed amounts will now be reduced to about half, and the tax on goalies who already are under contract will be reduced to 1.5 million rubles. There is also the suggestion of allowing a 4th foreign player, above the current limit of three, depending upon whether or not the player has played 200 games in the NHL.)

"A hockey player who has a Russian passport, but has already played for the National Team of another country, will be eligible after two years to play for the Russian National Team once he forgoes his 'hockey citizenship' to the other country in writing."

(The current regulation, put in place by the IIHF in 2003, stating that if a hockey player wanted to switch national teams, he would have to submit leaving his former team in writing, then wait 4 years after obtaining a passport in the new country. Supposedly, there was a case similar to this involving Mikhail Nemirovsky a couple of years ago.)

All of the information above was compiled from stories that appeared in gazeta.ru, Sport Express, and the RIA