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12-12-2012, 09:15 PM
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My take on all this is that if Russia wants to keep their own players, they should then look at the NPB-MLB agreement in baseball. Japanese players have to decide whether they want to enter the NPB draft or go to the US (there may be the first to opt to go to the US this year). If they stay in Japan, NPB players cannot become free agents until around 30. Essentially, the Japanese team sells the rights of negotiation to the highest bidding MLB (posting fee is what they call it). At this point, the player's MLB rights belong to the team who won the right of negotiation. I don't remember any player being posted and not signing in MLB. A few times their rights had to be traded from the winning team to another team. (I want to say Hideki Irabu was "won" by San Diego and then had to be traded to the Yankees as he refused to be a Padre.)

So essentially, what Russia needs to do is make the KHL draft all-inclusive. Meaning the "academies" that are currently run disappear at MHL age (or perhaps at 17 years old). All players are then put into a Russia-wide draft. If a player wants to go to the NHL, he would not enter the KHL draft. However, he would be locked out of the MHL too. Thus, he needs to go to the CHL and enter their Import Draft. If he decides to stay in the KHL, that is fine, but he is locked into a contract until he is 30 (or the KHL team offers him up for a posting fee or decides to release him).

I doubt the KHL would get the kind of money the NPB gets from MLB teams. Yu Darvish's posting fee saw his Japanese club receive in upwards of $51,000,000 from the Texas Rangers. But it would be a system that would appease the Russians. The only small drawback would be that the players who go to the CHL would now be free. I believe the CHL teams do pay their European clubs some money to bring them over. Once they are in the CHL, no fees are paid if they are traded etc.

The only drawback to the system is that the NHL is unlikely to stop drafting Russians. Thus, the KHL teams would only have one team to negotiate a posting fee with (as I'd assume KHL players' rights would be retained until 30 by NHL clubs). The flipside of this could see it backfire on the KHL. The NHL may decide to stop drafting Russians and thus no fees would be paid to the KHL. It would lead to teams being stuck with players until they are 30.

What I disagree with is any sort of fees paid to a club once the player is in the NHL. Once a player is in the NHL he is a NHL player period. If he plays a 1,000 games or 1 game is inconsequential because he is now a NHLer. He is no longer a member of Dynamo Moscow, much like a CHL grad is no longer a member of the Saskatoon Blades.

However, if the KHL wants to consider itself the alternative to the NHL, they have to realize this remunerations are a two-way street. Any CHL/NCAA grads (regardless of national origin) who play in the KHL directly from those leagues must have fees paid by the KHL club to their amateur team. The Saskatoon Blades (and to a lesser extent the defunct Lewiston MAINEiacs) have developed Andrey Makarov. If he does not latch on with the Buffalo Sabres, the KHL team that picks him up owes Jack Brodsky and the Blades similar fees that a KHL team would expect of a NHL club. It is only fair.

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