Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Russian arbiter rules against Malkin

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (Reuters photo)

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Evgeni Malkin can play only for the Russian team he abandoned last month, an arbitration committee of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation ruled today.

A New York-based lawyer for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Malkin’s former team, said the committee issued a one-page decision today in Moscow.

“My understanding is, the prohibition bans Malkin from playing for any other hockey clubs other than Metallurg Magnitogorsk for the 2006-2007 season,” said Alexander Berkovich, who has represented other Russian teams and players in similar cases.

Malkin, 20, has a week to ask for the ruling to be reconsidered by Russia’s Arbitration Court for Sports, a Moscow-based tribunal independent of the hockey federation.

Berkovich said he would send a letter today to the NHL and the Penguins asking them to honor the arbitration award and cancel Malkin’s contract.

From Reuters:

A tribunal ruled that the 20-year-old, who had signed a new one-year contract with his Russian club just days before fleeing to the United States, cannot play anywhere except in Magnitogorsk.

Metallurg have said they will seek compensation of at least $2 million for Malkin from Pittsburgh.

"Metallurg has several options," American lawyer Alexander Berkovich, representing Magnitogorsk, told Reuters by telephone from New York.

"The first option is to seek enforcement of the Russian arbitration award in a U.S. court. This is pursuant to the (1958) treaty for the enforcement of tribunal awards to which both the U.S. and Russia are signatories.

"Other options for Magnitogorsk include filing a law suit against the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a U.S. court."

From the RIA (Russian News and Information Agency):

The resolution, in its final form, containing the reasoning of the arbitration committee, will be published within 10 days. After that, Malkin will be able to appeal the decision to a higher sports arbitration authority.

According to the head of the RHF arbitration committee, Natalie Ovchinnikov, "The decision was made based on the current legislation (rules) of the Russian Federation, local reports, and statements within the contract of the player, Malkin."

No representatives from Malkin's side were at the arbitration proceedings.