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:
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.
What started with an apology from Caps PR Mogul Nate Ewell ended with information that sent the Twittersphere into a tizzy: The Washington Capitals have signed forward Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract. The pact is reported to be for $2.6 million and avoids a potentially messy arbitration hearing that was set to be heard Wednesday.
The important thing to remember here is that the Capitals were going to sign Fleischmann to a one-year deal regardless. You simply do not let a developed asset like a 20-goal scorer walk away for nothing, and avoiding arbitration helps preserve goodwill on both sides. The only important detail was: for how much?
And that seems to be the rub for most: $2.6 million is too much. But is it?
Who needs ESPN? The signing of right wing Eric Fehr to a two-year contract, reported to be worth $2.2 million per year, was brought to us the old-fashioned way: via Twitter, from Uno Seis himself while he summers at his cabin in Winkler, Manitoba. Take that Greenwich!
We know what you’re thinking: Do a joint “Two More Years” celebratory party at Front Page on July 31st! We would, but sadly Fehr intends to spend the rest of the summer in Manitoba before returning to D.C.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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