This just in: Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has been released from his KHL contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk. This is another hurdle cleared on his path to Washington.
The Caps have a policy of not discussing players currently under contract to other teams. That no longer applies here. What happens next will be interesting.
The news comes directly from the KHL’s Facebook page.
The contract of forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and Traktor has been terminated. The termination was caused by the player. The agreement with the player was supposed to expire on April 30th, 2014. Kuznetsov has played his whole professional career for hometown Traktor, playing in 251 KHL games, in which he scored 157 points (78 goals, 89 assists).
The release came less than an hour before the KHL’s deadline for a player-initiated contract termination.
The player-initiated termination implies payment of the compensation to the club — 2/3 of the remainder of the contract. However, KHL legal regulations include a clause that allows club not to exercise their right for compensation.
In that case, the main benefit the club gets from a player terminating his contract (instead of doing it by mutual agreement) is the ability to retain the rights for the player in the future. Even if a club doesn’t think a player will return to Russia, it could be a valuable trade chip: Metallurg Novokuznetsk dealt the rights to Dmitry Orlov, Ivan Telegin, and Sergei Bobrovsky; Sibir Novosibirsk traded away, but later acquired back rights for Vladimir Tarasenko.
Additional reporting by Igor Kleyner and Fedor Fedin.