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Keeping Players out of Canadian Junior Leagues

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03-15-2017, 11:39 PM
  #1
Pavel Buchnevich
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Keeping Players out of Canadian Junior Leagues

I think its very important for Russian Hockey to find ways to keep these kids from going to the Canadian junior leagues. It doesn't really end up benefiting anyone, besides maybe the results of some CHL teams, for these kids to leave for North America at such a young age. The NHL teams draft players who don't develop as well, the KHL is ridded of a lot of young talent, and these kids can't be blamed for trying to be drafted higher, but most of the time they become worse hockey players than if they had stayed in Russia until they were ready for the NHL.

There is so much talk about players that are ruined by going to the CHL, and a lot of the points made are good points, its hard to argue with facts that a lot of these players don't develop well in the CHL, but what are some practical solutions that could be put in place to stop them from leaving until they are ready to join the NHL?

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03-16-2017, 12:24 AM
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Ahah take a peak at the thread below this one, the great debate about the U20 NT in the VHL is a no brainer if you ask me or Yakushev72. Reinstate the U18 in the MHL and maybe take it one step further and add an U17 in the MNHL. US does this, Belarus started it too, will be curious to see the results of the Belarus team. Since both U18 and U20 are in the top divisions this year we will get a good measuring stick.

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03-16-2017, 03:41 AM
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Russia has been preparing major reform of children’s and youth hockey. One of goals is to keep the prospects at home. Russia wont ban the movement, but a prospect willing to go abroad will have to pay a development fee to his native Russian club.

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03-16-2017, 04:08 AM
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While talking about Canadian junior leagues, it is also important to keep an eye on USHL/NAHL leagues, as they have added Svechnikov, Zhukov and Berdin last summer and it's hard to tell if this situation will progress further or not.

I have written some thoughts back in September, I think they might be still more or less relevant on the subject, so I'll copy those here:

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My thoughts are pretty simple: we should work. Young players would be less likely to move to NA if they are confident that there will be enough opportunities to earn money with playing hockey at home for MHL and MHL-B/NMHL alumnis. Therefore a lot of work and money should be invested into VHL/VHL-B, so there would be more teams there and those would be financially stable (and could carry the load of a affiliated junior team). Preferrably in the long term perspective those teams should be more spread among the regions.

For top prospects it is more simple though: we should provide them development opportunities that CHL leagues aren't able to provide. By that I mean the U18 NT programm and an opportunity to develop while playing against men in KHL/VHL (unfortunately teams are a bit slow to use VHL opportunities, but recent VHL changes should help to progress at that part).

Also agents should be better controlled: there are too much talks about the under the table money agents are getting from NA junior teams for recruitment, some talks might be true there.

By the way, does anyone know if there has been any proper analysis in Russian sports medias on the "Why they so often don't succeed in the CHL?" topic? Just asking because medias have also their influence on young players.
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We have to remember that players belong to their KHL teams and they might prefer that U19 players would contribute in their systems; pretty sure that for the same reason U20 would be completely out of the question, as even players themselves would prefer trying to make KHL teams at that point. Also for U19 it becomes complicated as this kind of NT doesn't exist at all, which means it should be created from scratch: coaches and other personnel should be hired, facilities should be found and maintained etc.

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03-16-2017, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caser View Post
While talking about Canadian junior leagues, it is also important to keep an eye on USHL/NAHL leagues, as they have added Svechnikov, Zhukov and Berdin last summer and it's hard to tell if this situation will progress further or not.

I have written some thoughts back in September, I think they might be still more or less relevant on the subject, so I'll copy those here:
I can't imagine what made great prospects like those guys (especially Svechnikov, who could be the best Russian prospect in a long, long time) to migrate to these American junior leagues that fall far below Canadian junior leagues. Kids play up or down to their competitors, and these Russian kids would play against far better competition in the MHL or VHL than against American opposition. By all accounts, the best American amateur leagues are the college and university leagues (NCAA). Seems like a bad move to me!

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03-16-2017, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by malkinfan View Post
Ahah take a peak at the thread below this one, the great debate about the U20 NT in the VHL is a no brainer if you ask me or Yakushev72. Reinstate the U18 in the MHL and maybe take it one step further and add an U17 in the MNHL. US does this, Belarus started it too, will be curious to see the results of the Belarus team. Since both U18 and U20 are in the top divisions this year we will get a good measuring stick.
I absolutely agree. As in the USA, whose national team concepts were built along the Soviet model, the best talent plays together for an entire season, thereby combining the best talent with the best teamwork. It would definitely increase the likelihood of Gold Medals at various age levels, in my opinion.

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03-16-2017, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I can't imagine what made great prospects like those guys (especially Svechnikov, who could be the best Russian prospect in a long, long time) to migrate to these American junior leagues that fall far below Canadian junior leagues. Kids play up or down to their competitors, and these Russian kids would play against far better competition in the MHL or VHL than against American opposition. By all accounts, the best American amateur leagues are the college and university leagues (NCAA). Seems like a bad move to me!
You underate the USHL it is not far from the QMJHL and many top teams there would do well in the CHL. You also cannot say that the MHL is far better competition with such certainty. Instead of commenting on league quality you can say style of MHL is best suited for Russian player development but this is all you can say.

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03-16-2017, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I can't imagine what made great prospects like those guys (especially Svechnikov, who could be the best Russian prospect in a long, long time) to migrate to these American junior leagues that fall far below Canadian junior leagues. Kids play up or down to their competitors, and these Russian kids would play against far better competition in the MHL or VHL than against American opposition. By all accounts, the best American amateur leagues are the college and university leagues (NCAA). Seems like a bad move to me!
With Svechnikov it is pretty simple - he is too young for CHL this season, but is eligible for USHL.

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03-16-2017, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I can't imagine what made great prospects like those guys (especially Svechnikov, who could be the best Russian prospect in a long, long time) to migrate to these American junior leagues that fall far below Canadian junior leagues. Kids play up or down to their competitors, and these Russian kids would play against far better competition in the MHL or VHL than against American opposition. By all accounts, the best American amateur leagues are the college and university leagues (NCAA). Seems like a bad move to me!
Svechnikov moved to the USHL because he couldn't play in the CHL this season. He was setting up his move to the CHL, so whether or not he spent one year in the USHL, he was eventually CHL bound.

Edit: Caser beat me to the punch explaining that.

The USHL is not really a problem, besides goalies as theirs a CHL ban on European goalies. Some Russian goalies might occasionally join the USHL, but I don't think its that big of a problem. At first, I was going to title the thread North American junior leagues, but I thought that wouldn't be representing the actual problem. One or two players might occasionally go to the USHL, but its not a big problem like with the CHL where many of the best young Russian players go to the CHL every year.

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03-16-2017, 08:43 PM
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I think a big problem that needs to be addressed is the lack of visibility to NHL teams. I don't think players go to the CHL or USHL because they want to challenge themselves in a different league, I think they do it to get drafted in the NHL. That is their eventual goal, to go to the NHL. Its easy for fans to say just play well in the KHL, and you'll get an NHL contract, but I think most players want to be NHL property upfront.

A U18 program definitely needs to be created once again, maybe in the VHL instead of MHL, but I would think the best way to get these kids visibility is like a Canada/Russia series that you see with the U20 program against the WHL, CHL and QMJHL, but instead with U18 players. They could even do one with the USHL. They could maybe spread it throughout the year, so more kids would get a chance. Visibility is what these kids need. If they know they'll be visible to NHL scouts, I think they'll stay in Russia until they are NHL ready.

Not everyone will stay, you can't make sure every player stays, but I think it won't really be a problem where like a third of the promising players for any given draft go to North America, and most of them don't have success.

The one other thing that I think would help players stay from going to North America too early is if a transfer agreement was established for players who are ready to join the NHL. I don't think players want to be caught in a situation where they are ready for the NHL, and their KHL club won't let them go without them buying out their contract, which very few players financially will do. Imagine there being no transfer agreement between a player who played football in the Spanish Second Division, and he had become really good with Barcelona and Real Madrid wanting to buy him, and instead he has to wait an additional two or three years. I think players guard against this situation. If they are ready for the NHL after one season like Sergachyov probably will be and Provorov was, they want to be allowed to play in the NHL, not wait until a contract that was signed when they weren't close to NHL ready is up.


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03-17-2017, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pavel Buchnevich View Post
I think a big problem that needs to be addressed is the lack of visibility to NHL teams. I don't think players go to the CHL or USHL because they want to challenge themselves in a different league, I think they do it to get drafted in the NHL. That is their eventual goal, to go to the NHL. Its easy for fans to say just play well in the KHL, and you'll get an NHL contract, but I think most players want to be NHL property upfront.

A U18 program definitely needs to be created once again, maybe in the VHL instead of MHL, but I would think the best way to get these kids visibility is like a Canada/Russia series that you see with the U20 program against the WHL, CHL and QMJHL, but instead with U18 players. They could even do one with the USHL. They could maybe spread it throughout the year, so more kids would get a chance. Visibility is what these kids need. If they know they'll be visible to NHL scouts, I think they'll stay in Russia until they are NHL ready.

Not everyone will stay, you can't make sure every player stays, but I think it won't really be a problem where like a third of the promising players for any given draft go to North America, and most of them don't have success.

The one other thing that I think would help players stay from going to North America too early is if a transfer agreement was established for players who are ready to join the NHL. I don't think players want to be caught in a situation where they are ready for the NHL, and their KHL club won't let them go without them buying out their contract, which very few players financially will do. Imagine there being no transfer agreement between a player who played football in the Spanish Second Division, and he had become really good with Barcelona and Real Madrid wanting to buy him, and instead he has to wait an additional two or three years. I think players guard against this situation. If they are ready for the NHL after one season like Sergachyov probably will be and Provorov was, they want to be allowed to play in the NHL, not wait until a contract that was signed when they weren't close to NHL ready is up.
There is no SPECIAL transfer agreement between (lower) leagues and top leagues in soccer. There are only ONE transfer rules of FIFA which are respected by all clubs in the planet, including Barca or poorest club from Slovakia as example. If Barca wants a prospect from other club (even lower division club) & he is under contract, Barca can buy out his contract, so make a deal with the other club about transfer fee. We have the same rules in hockey. The problem is that we have SPECIAL agreement with NHL, which claims that NHL clubs dont respect player´s contracts with European clubs. NHL clubs can not negotiate with European club about transfer fee like in soccer.

To reply your bold question. If NHL club pay to KHL club a transfer fee for KHLer under contract, then this KHLer can sign in NHL next day. As I said, the problem is that NHL CBA does not allow NHL clubs to negotiate with European club about tranfer fee.

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03-17-2017, 09:06 AM
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There is no SPECIAL transfer agreement between (lower) leagues and top leagues in soccer. There are only ONE transfer rules of FIFA which are respected by all clubs in the planet, including Barca or poorest club from Slovakia as example. If Barca wants a prospect from other club (even lower division club) & he is under contract, Barca can buy out his contract, so make a deal with the other club about transfer fee. We have the same rules in hockey. The problem is that we have SPECIAL agreement with NHL, which claims that NHL clubs dont respect player´s contracts with European clubs. NHL clubs can not negotiate with European club about transfer fee like in soccer.

To reply your bold question. If NHL club pay to KHL club a transfer fee for KHLer under contract, then this KHLer can sign in NHL next day. As I said, the problem is that NHL CBA does not allow NHL clubs to negotiate with European club about tranfer fee.
You are right, there is no special agreement, but those clubs do usually end up selling their players. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the NHL negotiate with teams in SHL, Liiga, Allsvenskan, Extraliga for players? I'm all for the KHL keeping young Russian players, but at some point, if a player wants to leave, I don't think its right to keep a player from bettering their career in a higher level league. They don't do so in North American juniors, they will do so in the NHL, if they are a good player.

Also, keep in mind that most players probably don't want to be locked into long contracts without an out to a KHL club, they won't flexibility to account for changes in their scenario. I think some players go straight to North America instead of signing with KHL teams because of reasons like this.

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03-17-2017, 09:50 AM
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NHL as a league negotiated a transfer agreement with european national hockey federations. There is no negotiation between NHL club and European club if NHL club wants to sign European player. Simply, NHL club takes the player and if the player has valid contract with Euro club, this Euro contract ceased to exist per se. There was a case of Hertl a few seasons ago, he had valid contract with Czech club at the time, but wanted to sign with Sharks and he did it, but his Czech club did not agree (could not do anything because of transfer agreement with NHL).

On the other hand we have NHL-KHL Memorandum, so both leagues respect players contract each other. If KHL player is under KHL contract but wants to sign in NHL, he can a) mutually terminate the KHL contract (latest example is Rubtsov or b) buy out his KHL deal and pay a financial compensation to his KHL club. Of course, this compensation should be payed by his new NHL team, but as I said NHL clubs can not pay a tranfer fee to European clubs. If I remember Lethare bought out his Sibir´s deal. On the other hand we have Sobotka, who was not willing to pay to Avangard last summer, so stayed in the KHL.

I understand your point about players and long term deals in KHL. But look at the problem from KHL clubs perspective. Do you remember reaction of Devils fans when Kovy signed with SKA? He had to mutually terminate his NHL contract and Devils received no compensation (pick or so). This happens to European clubs all the time! Yes, they receive 200k USD from NHL, but it is not enough! KHL values his players and league more, so have not signed NHL transfer agreement.

E: Long term contracts for young KHL players wont be issue if NHL clubs pay a transfer fee for players. I am sure every KHL club would allow his player to sign in NHL if NHL club came and say: "Ok, we want your XY player, but he is under KHL contract, so we (NHL club) will pay you YX money for releasing him" That is exactly how it work in soccer.

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03-17-2017, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by vorky View Post
NHL as a league negotiated a transfer agreement with european national hockey federations. There is no negotiation between NHL club and European club if NHL club wants to sign European player. Simply, NHL club takes the player and if the player has valid contract with Euro club, this Euro contract ceased to exist per se. There was a case of Hertl a few seasons ago, he had valid contract with Czech club at the time, but wanted to sign with Sharks and he did it, but his Czech club did not agree (could not do anything because of transfer agreement with NHL).

On the other hand we have NHL-KHL Memorandum, so both leagues respect players contract each other. If KHL player is under KHL contract but wants to sign in NHL, he can a) mutually terminate the KHL contract (latest example is Rubtsov or b) buy out his KHL deal and pay a financial compensation to his KHL club. Of course, this compensation should be payed by his new NHL team, but as I said NHL clubs can not pay a tranfer fee to European clubs. If I remember Lethare bought out his Sibir´s deal. On the other hand we have Sobotka, who was not willing to pay to Avangard last summer, so stayed in the KHL.

I understand your point about players and long term deals in KHL. But look at the problem from KHL clubs perspective. Do you remember reaction of Devils fans when Kovy signed with SKA? He had to mutually terminate his NHL contract and Devils received no compensation (pick or so). This happens to European clubs all the time! Yes, they receive 200k USD from NHL, but it is not enough! KHL values his players and league more, so have not signed NHL transfer agreement.

E: Long term contracts for young KHL players wont be issue if NHL clubs pay a transfer fee for players. I am sure every KHL club would allow his player to sign in NHL if NHL club came and say: "Ok, we want your XY player, but he is under KHL contract, so we (NHL club) will pay you YX money for releasing him" That is exactly how it work in soccer.
Good post, I agree. There should be something worked out that is fair for both leagues, and the players. All NHL teams can pay a fee for a player.

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03-22-2017, 06:55 PM
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not this again....nothing can be done, until life is comparable on both sides of the pond.

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03-23-2017, 09:33 AM
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not this again....nothing can be done, until life is comparable on both sides of the pond.
Its a circular argument that just keeps repeating itself. If a kid has real talent and the chance to be a good hockey player, how quickly can he get the hell out of Russia and get to North America. And at the same time, the MHL sucks because anyone with any talent at all is gone to NA by age 16 if they will have him. With only second-rate players to offer to any possible spectators, the MHL generates no interest among hockey lovers and fails to feed any decent players to the VHL, much less the KHL. And it just repeats itself over and over, with measurable improvement forestalled until some time in the distant future. The exceptions like Kaprizov just don't spend any time in the MHL.

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03-23-2017, 03:14 PM
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not this again....nothing can be done, until life is comparable on both sides of the pond.
You are right. Life is not comparabe. I can't imagine why I would choose to live in NA.

The problem is perception by uneducated people not the true situation.

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03-23-2017, 03:44 PM
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not this again....nothing can be done, until life is comparable on both sides of the pond.
Well, on one side of the pond the player's family has to shoulder all the expenses of playing hockey. And that's not Russia.

I think the solution to this crisis is simple, too simple for Russian capitalists to implement. Treat your workers well, compensate them and listen to their needs - and they will stay. The Russian capitalists keep blabbing about building rinks, but don't want to discuss labor.

Playing in the CHL is not sweet. In fact it sucks. But players will keep going there if they deem those conditions to be better than their life of playing in the MHL and the VHL.

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03-23-2017, 03:50 PM
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Russia has been preparing major reform of children’s and youth hockey. One of goals is to keep the prospects at home. Russia wont ban the movement, but a prospect willing to go abroad will have to pay a development fee to his native Russian club.
Great plan! Blackmail.

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03-23-2017, 03:52 PM
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My thoughts are pretty simple: we should work. Young players would be less likely to move to NA if they are confident that there will be enough opportunities to earn money with playing hockey at home for MHL and MHL-B/NMHL alumnis. Therefore a lot of work and money should be invested into VHL/VHL-B, so there would be more teams there and those would be financially stable (and could carry the load of a affiliated junior team). Preferrably in the long term perspective those teams should be more spread among the regions.

For top prospects it is more simple though: we should provide them development opportunities that CHL leagues aren't able to provide. By that I mean the U18 NT programm and an opportunity to develop while playing against men in KHL/VHL (unfortunately teams are a bit slow to use VHL opportunities, but recent VHL changes should help to progress at that part).
This is correct. And I agree that particular attention should be paid to the development opportunities of special prospects.


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03-23-2017, 04:35 PM
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I am of the same opinion that Russian players should stay until they are truly ready.

With being said, it is possible that the new generation of players are more prepared for the culture shock and language barriers. Also NA hockey has been influenced by European style to the point where there isn't as big of learning gap anymore.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I do expect to see more success stories out of CHL ranks.

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03-24-2017, 02:23 PM
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This is correct. And I agree that particular attention should be paid to the development opportunities of special prospects.
Is it established that teams don't try to develop their best prospects? It is hard to blame investors for holding back on development funds if their prospects are only available until the time when they get a ticket out. If all of the Svechnikov's leave as soon as possible, where is the incentive to invest in a fortune to be reaped by an overseas owner? I don't know the answer, but I sure as hell know the problem.

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03-27-2017, 06:36 AM
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While of course there is the problem of the agents and the "american dream" that can work only for uneducated people as someone else said, my opinion is also that young players don't have enough chances in many cases.
The KHL should give the teams a much harder limit on number of (full-time) roster players (I think that at this point CSKA and SKA have 100 players in roster combined) so to achieve two things: 1) players will be more spread with the different clubs and 2) young players will have more space.
If you let young players play, they'll stay. Of course, not them all, but a good percentage.
And teams should have more long-term goals. There's no need for a team like severstal to change coach three times a year, signing veteran players and trashing money on expensive foreign players. Have for 3 years a young team, rebuild, they showed they can produce good players (buchnevich, shipachyov, ketov, kiselevich, chudinov) and then we'll see.

Look at what Bardin told me last week: http://thehockeywriters.com/behind-t...ikhail-berdin/

THW: After the season with Team Russia U18 you moved overseas. How did it all happen?

MB: I started the season with Severstal, but I wasn’t given a chance to play in the KHL, therefore I decided to continue my career in North America.

and

THW: Playing in the USHL you probably don’t have many chances to be noticed by national team scouts. You weren’t called by Valeri Bragin to the Canada-Russia series.

MB: Well, what kind of chances would I have got if I spent the whole season in the KHL without getting any ice time?

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03-27-2017, 11:35 AM
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NHL fans use to claim "earn your (NHL) spot", "show in CHL/AHL you are good enough for NHL". So they recommend the players, especially Russian one, to play lower NA leagues forever to "earn their NHL roster spot". Russians are leaving Russian hockey system as soon as possible, they leave when 1st chance appears, instead of proving their quality in Russia. Earn you are good enough and you will be in KHL.

Of course there are problems, even Arkady Rotenberg and Chernyshenko have admitted it, but if you are talented, you will get a chance in the KHL.


Last edited by vorky: 03-27-2017 at 11:42 AM.
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03-27-2017, 11:52 AM
  #25
vorky
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I have no problem if average & under average Russian prospects moving to NA to try their luck. I have problem with elite Russian prospects doing this - they would get their KHL chance, 100%. Talking "I would sit on bench in KHL" is weak excuse.

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