Alex Ovechkin and copious triforces. (Photo credit: Sport-Express)
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has reportedly agreed to a contract with his hometown team, Dynamo Moscow. According to Sport-Express’ Yuri Golyshak, the Caps’ star winger will sign the deal and an official announcement will be made “in the near future.” The contract will give Ovechkin the flexibility to leave if the NHL lockout ends.
Around 1 am Moscow time, Alex Ovechkintweeted out a photo of his birthday cake (lit apparently using the same technology used to launch SPUTNIK). If you’re one of those exasperated persons worried about Ovi’s figure, rest easy: it’s a spongecake with blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, and dates (I think?) scattered on top of it. Looks tasty and nutritional!
We asked you, deranged and lovely readers of RMNB, to congratulate our hero Alex Ovechkin on his 27th year of life. You had to make a birthday card. The only rule was that you had to use a cheap graphic editor to make it.
After midnight came and went, hockey’s biggest league is now out of order and NHL stars are free to sign contracts withh Russia’s KHL. Free from their contractual obligations as of now, players can sign with teams overseas (though some leagues, such as Swedish Elitserien (SEL), don’t allow temporary contracts).
Earlier, the KHL announced requirements for players signing temp deals. A single team can sign no more than three players and only one of them can be non-Russian (though teams are not obligated to dress more than five foreigners to games). They don’t count against the salary cap, but they can’t be signed to contracts worth more than the 65% of their NHL deals’ annual value.
Foreign KHL players must meet one of the following criteria:
Play in more than 150 NHL games in the previous three seasons;
Have KHL experience;
Be a Stanley Cup winner or finalist;
Be a winner of one of the NHL’s annual awards;
Play for their national teams on the 2010 Olympics, one of the last two World Champs or one of the last two World Junior Champs.
These rules don’t apply to the KHL teams representing countries outside Russia.
Below the jump, we give you the blow-by-blow of the KHL’s version of a free-agent frenzy.
There’s going to be a lot of shortsighted posts from angry bloggers over the next few weeks about how greedy NHL players and owners are. How this lockout is going to forever hurt the game. How fans will never come back like they used to.
As much as I want to be able to write that post, I can’t. It might take some time, but the game will come back stronger than ever and the fans will come back too.
I love this sport with all my heart, but my life will go on without hockey. Yours should too.
Ticking off the last item on his summer to-do list, George McPhee has signed defenseman John Carlson to a six-year contract on Friday. Carlson will earn about four million dollars a year over a pretty long term. He will be the second highest paid D-man on the team next season (behind Mike Green).
Leonsis and Bettman attend a screening of ‘Nanking’ back in 2007. (Photo credit: Brad Barket)
On Wednesday, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehrexchanged new proposals to once again try and avoid a lockout. The NHL sweetened its offer to players, proposing a new six-year deal that would initially give the NHLPA 49% of all hockey revenue (down from 57%) and not force a rollback of salaries. The NHLPA countered with a deal that would start them off at 54.3%, and which over time would drop their slice of the pie to 52.7%. Bettman is also threatening to take the NHL’s current proposal completely off the table if it’s not signed by Saturday.
There have been no new developments since then, however, and the actual signing of a new CBA before midnight on Saturday still seems unlikely. So in that vein, Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis sent out an email to the Caps season ticket holder base early Thursday evening explaining protocol on what would happen if there is a work stoppage and declaring “that the NHL’s priority is to reach an agreement with the players.”