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10-07-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack de la Hoya View Post
That's the consensus, and it's probably true.

Devil's advocate: if the new CBA contains a mandatory salary rollback, and Ovechkin and co. resign from the NHLPA before deal is ratified, is it possible (though not probable) that the IIHF would find room to allow the players out of their existing contracts, for the purposes of international eligibility.

I have no idea whether that position has any basis in law--actually, I suspect it doesnt--but it is possible that that series of events would be enough to allow the IIHF to bow to what would be absurd pressure from Russian hockey.
You're right- there's no telling which way it would go over the long term; Ovechkin and Malkin say screw you and remain playing in the KHL (I don't think the KHL honors NHL contracts and vice versa). Russia threatens to pull its team out of the Olympics (likely not since the next games are in Sochi) unless their players can play and the IIHF is liable to do all sorts of things. And it may only take a couple of European players to start the ball rolling and you'll end up with an all North America NHL.

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