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07-23-2005, 12:22 PM
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New IIHF Agreement

Now that the new collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by owners and players, TSN has learned the NHL has new a Player Transfer Agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Sources tell TSN that the tenative IIHF agreement includes provisions for the orderly and prescribed transfer of all European players, including Russians, an issue which many thought would have scuttled any chance of getting a new deal with the IIHF.The Russians had been insisting they negotiate their own separate agreement with the NHL, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and IIHF president Rene Fasel, sources say, concluded the tentative agreement that includes the
Russians during the course of the 310-day NHL lockout.

Now, sources say there's a one-time provision in the new agreement that effectively makes this open season on any NHL prospects in Europe, even if they are under contract to European clubs. NHL teams apparently have a deadline of Aug. 15 to sign any of their European prospects, even if they're under contract.

The only additional provision to that is if they fail to keep the player on the roster for at least 30 games this season, there are some financial penalties to be paid.

This new agreement, with the open window on all European prospects until Aug. 15, would, for example, allow a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins to sign No. 2 overall pick (2004) Evgeni Malkin even though Malkin is under
contract to a Russian club team for this season.

After Aug. 15, though, the window apparently closes and only those players whose contracts with European teams have expired would be permitted to sign in the NHL.

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