Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Europe, NHL ratify new transfer agreement without Russia

From the Associated Press this morning (via San Jose Mercury News):

ZURICH, Switzerland—The Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, and Switzerland ratified a four-year transfer agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation member associations and the NHL on Thursday.

As with the last four-year agreement, Russia refused to sign.

Highlights of the new agreement include:

—The deadline for signing players under contract is June 15.

—The NHL pays $200,000 per player, along with a basic development fee of $9 million.

—Players selected in the NHL draft can be signed until July 15, or until Aug. 15 in the year they are drafted. The NHL pays an additional fee of $100,000 for signing players in the later window between July 16 and Aug. 15.

By refusing to sign, the Russian federation risks losing its players for nothing.

NHL clubs are forbidden from acquiring players already under contract in Russia, but can take free agents without paying compensation.

Current labor laws in Russia allow players such as Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin to give their club little notice before terminating a contract, freeing them to sign with an NHL team. But a new amendment to the law is expected to be implemented soon, preventing players from escaping so quickly.*

*See: Russia Closes Two-Week Loophole, July 11