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NHL Lockout Sends Players to Russia's KHL

17. September 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the lockout yesterday, several players didn't waste any time taking their talents overseas. Some are simply returning to their homelands, such as Philadelphia Flyer's Ruslan Fedotenko who was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. He signed a temporary, 1-year contract with HC Donbass in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.


Donbass is embarking on an inaugural campaign as the league's only Ukraine-based team.


Other NHL stars heading to the KHL are Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sergei Gonchar of the Ottawa Senators. They signed with Mettalurg, based in the Russian industrial city of Magnitogorsk. Also, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, Edmonton's Nail Yakupov, Winnipeg's Alexei Ponikarovsky and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk are all headed for the KHL as well.


"Several of my locked-out NHL clients signed contracts in Europe and many more will be signing in the near term," agent Allan Walsh said. "The players want to play, they don't want to be locked out. While the NHL continues with its nonsense, the players have the option to sit at home or to play hockey in Europe. Many will choose to go play."


The European hockey clubs have to comply with KHL regulations on signing NHL players during the lockout. Under these rules, KHL teams can sign a maximum of three NHL players above their limit of 25. The KHL also sets the ceiling for the salaries of NHL players at a maximum of 65 percent of what they earn under their NHL deals.


Source: ESPN