I don't see any North American stars moving over there, so no.
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent. If we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death, our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” - Stanley Kubrick
As a fan i was pissed again after the last lock out and i dont make a penny from the nhl, can you imagine players having to drag through lock outs, why wouldent players want to leave, wouldent it be in certain players interest to go make the same amount or more money, but be sure they can play
When you're a young North American player you dream of winning the Stanley Cup, not making the maximum money in a foreign country, away from your family, playing with a team that if you're lucky might have a few people that can hold a cohesive conversation with you in English.
KHL will never threaten the NHL for that fact alone, no matter how many Russians move out.
I doubt it. What it could do, however, is make NHL GMs think twice about drafting players from the KHL. Bryan Murray has not drafted a Russian player when his own people make the call since 2000. One has to wonder if George McPhee will ever draft a Russian ever again as well (give that Kuznetsov may never come over) unless that player is a generational talent like Ovechkin.
I can understand why Russians want to go home to play for the big bucks, but I can't see it ever taking the NA guys. THe KHL will legitimately compete with the NHL for Russians only.
Russians only? No. Europeans only is more likely, I don't think we'll see North American star players signing with KHL teams in the near future, but I do believe players from various European countries will happen.
I think it's a fair comparison. The talent drain is becoming real, but much like the WHA it's chipping away mainly at fringe players. Also like the WHA, it will occasionally shock everyone by landing a major name.
There's another point of comparison but I won't go there.
As I've said in other threads over the past 24 hours, IMO it is inevitable that a star Canadian player will jump ship to the KHL. The further west that league pushes - Milan is already on the table - the easier it is for that to happen.
Moscow is grey and bleak in December, a depressing stretch of year when it’s middle-of-the-night dark until at least 10:30 a.m.
Well, considering at points during the 90's the league's point tables were often a majority European, I would say the talent drain already is significantly greater. Bobby Hull was just one man.
Gordie Howe? Mark Howe? Mark Messier? Marc Tardif? J.C. Tremblay? Gerry Cheevers? Anders Hedberg? Dave Keon? Kent Nilsson? WAYNE GRETZKY?
Had the WHA been able to stay afloat financially (perhaps through expansion to markets that had no NHL team at the time such as San Jose/SF Bay area, Ottawa, Seattle, and Hamilton) it would have been considerable competition going forward because it had just acquired the best player in the world.
What happens if, instead of teams folding and then merging into the NHL in the late 70s, the WHA expands into those markets? Mark Howe would never have been the star Flyers defenseman of the 80s; he'd have been too busy as the face of the New England Whalers. Gretzky dominates the WHA instead of the NHL. Does Lemieux go to the NHL, or the WHA? Maybe we see him play for the Nordiques instead of the Penguins.
One point that largely goes unnoticed in NA it seems is that there are and likely will be more and more players who choose not to cross the pond despite being offered contracts that would've been unheard of being offered to Europeans with no NHL experience 5-10 years ago. Jori Lehterä, a Finn who probably didn't speak a word of Russian when he signed there the first time was offered a one way 7 figure deal by the Blues recently which he refused and rather signed an extension in the KHL (for more money, yes): http://www.truehockey.com/articles/L...y-Signs-Goalie.
These things only get noticed by the fanbase of the team who was after the player. Of course fans around the world will never watch an NHL game and think "damn I wish Jori Lehterä was here" but that's the point. Things like this are ignored in NA but in the long run these will add to each other and create a significant loss for the NHL. Ignorance is bliss but that doesn't change the fact that the KHL is getting stronger partly at the expense of the NHL whether or not you notice it.
If NHL teams are now more and more likely to avoid drafting Russians because of the risk involved, that too on the league level benefits the KHL. Teams won't be as eager to bring them over, some will go undrafted and get to develop in the KHL freely and will likely be more closely tied to it by the time NHL teams would want them. Some people post a picture of the Stanley Cup and say it's the ultimate trophy everyone dreams of but that's just not true for Europeans. Some of them do but as the KHL grows stronger and stronger which is the trend here, especially Russians will see their hero like Kovalchuk lifting the Gagarin Cup and for them it'll rival the Stanley Cup.
The KHL is at the moment obviously far behind the NHL but it's catching up at a noticeable pace. It's different from the WHA since it's not competing for the same audience as of yet. It has its own audience and it has a demographic of players it will always attract. As the KHL is pushing to expand to the west, that demographic will grow as Dado mentioned above. It has a financial edge to develop the league despite obviously not being profitable. Sure it's financed by oligarchs as a hobby who won't be around forever but I'm beginning to be convinced their money will be for long enough to really rival the NHL.
To be honest I think the KHL has had a bigger impact than people realize. I get the impression that many people think you could count the players in the KHL who are capable of playing in the NHL on one hand.
A decade ago NHL players from the former Soviet Union totalled 76 (I did a quick count so forgive me if I am off by a couple) and this past season it appears the number was 34. Unless hockey is in total free fall in that part of the world there are probably at least 2 or 3 dozen players right there that may have been playing in the NHL if big money didn't start flowing into Russian hockey in recent years.
Another thing to consider is the late blooming European player. If the KHL was started a decade earlier do we ever see guys like Zidlicky, Hejda, Vishnovsky etc. in the NHL? Do these guys come to NA and risk playing in the minors for $65,000/year or do they take the high 6 figure (perhaps 7 figure) annual salary that SKA or Salavat are throwing at them? The NHL is obviously still going to get some of these players (Brunner) but you got to think the KHL is siphoning off some of these guys.
I also think some of the other European leagues are having an impact, a smaller impact than the KHL, but still an impact. If you look at the arena boom in Europe over the past decade and also look at attendance figures over that same time period many of the leagues appear to have been doing quite well. Just speculating here but 10 to 15 years ago I would think an AHL salary would be pretty competitive with many of the European leagues, especially if a player could get a handfull of games in the NHL, now I am not so sure.
With all that being said I don't think the NHL's position of the world's premier hockey league is under any type of serious threat. North America has over 50% (I think) of the world's registered hockey players and any NA who finds a way to skate a regular shift in the NHL, outside of perhaps the odd anomaly, is going to stay in the NHL. The NHL will still also remain a goal for many European players for the foreseeable
future. I also think some of the European talent the the NHL now loses out on is being offset by the US producing more talent. Countries like Switzerland and Denmark becoming viable sources for talent is also helping to offset some loses.