Imagine if Ilya Kovalchuk had left for the KHL, but could come back at any moment were an NHL club to pay a transfer fee. That’s exactly what could happen if hockey’s two biggest professional leagues can come to terms on a transfer agreement.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL and KHL appear to be close to making such an agreement a reality. The agreement, reportedly one that would span four years, would allow for players to move between the NHL and KHL were teams to pay transfer fees. There is no report on whether those fees would be negotiated or a set figure. Read more
In the past week, there have been more than a few rumors of potential returns to the NHL. The list of players who could make comebacks is quite interesting, too, including veterans hoping for one last shot, like Alex Kovalev, who said he hopes he gets one last chance.
During an interview with Le Journal De Montreal Thursday, Kovalev said that he has been staying in shape, training three times a week and getting out weekly to play. When asked whether or not he could be in the league still, Kovalev added that maybe this could be the year he makes his return.
“That’s why I keep myself in shape,” he said. “Perhaps I will receive (a tryout) next season.”
While Kovalev’s chances seem slim – he’s been out of the league for two years and last played in the Swiss ‘B’ league – there’s always the chance that someone will take a shot on the 42-year-old who, when things were going well, was one of the most skilled puck handlers and goal-scorers of his generation.
There are some players who do stand a shot at getting back into the league, and these are the five we hope to see back in the league soon: Read more
Sorry if you got your hopes up about the return of Vladimir Sobotka, St. Louis Blues fans, because it appears the 27-year-old pivot is going to be sticking around in the KHL.
The official website of the KHL’s Avangard Omsk, hawk.ru, has reported that Sobotka will be returning to the club next season. Following the 2013-14 season, Sobotka inked a three-year deal with Avangard, but rumors had been circling that he was considering a return to the NHL next season.
“Yesterday we had a conversation with Vladimir Sobotka, and we agreed that he is a player of our club for another season,” Vladimir Shalaev, Avangard’s president told the site. Read more
Alexander Radulov, the former Nashville Predator and current captain of the KHL’s CSKA Moscow, could be on his way back to the NHL in time for the 2016-17 season.
According to a report from Russian website Champion.at, Radulov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, said that not only would Radulov be eligible to return to the NHL in 2016-17 but that he has already been contacted by Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy regarding the possibility of coming back to North America.
“Who was his coach (in the QMJHL?)” Nikolaev told Champion.at. “Patrick Roy, who now coaches Colorado. So, Roy phoned (Radulov) and says that he is waiting for the next season. Yes, (Radulov) can leave after next season.” Read more
The Edmonton Oilers are going to have at least one first-overall selection in their lineup next season in Connor McDavid, but they could have another, as 2011 KHL first-overall pick Anton Slepyshev has told Salavat Yuleav Ufa GM’s Leonid Vaisfeld he wishes to play in North America next season.
According to Igor Eronko of Sports.ru, Slepyshev informed Vaisfeld of his interest in playing for the Oilers in 2015-16. Vaisfeld said Salavat Yulaev, who lost in the first round of the KHL post-season, would like to keep Slepyshev for at least one more season and that the club has made him a contract offer. Read more
The Detroit Red Wings drafted netminder Petr Mrazek in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2010 draft. Less than five years later and Mrazek’s draft stock has risen significantly – at least in the KHL.
In Sunday’s first round of the 2015 KHL draft, Mrazek, who met the criteria for the draft by virtue of being under the age of 24 and not having his rights owned by any club in the league, was selected seventh overall by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, after a season in which he may have possibly pushed fellow goaltender Jimmy Howard out of the Detroit net for the number one job, it’s probably safe to put his chances of heading to Russia next season at about zero percent. Read more
St. Louis Blues fans who were hoping to see Vladimir Sobotka back in the NHL next season might be disappointed by the latest news.
According to a report from Fedor Fedin, Avangard Omsk president Vladimir Shalaev said the 27-year-old center “should” be staying in the KHL next season with his club. Last season with Omsk, Sobotka scored 10 goals and 38 points in 53 games, all the while playing top-line minutes. Read more
Relations between Russia and North America are a little frosty right now. Discipline is expected from the IIHF after the Russians took off during the Canadian national anthem at the World Championship, while the newest issue of Harper’s magazine reveals that 81 percent of Russians today have a negative view of the United States, compared with just 25 percent in 2013.
And now a hockey legend has waded into the fray.