Well, i guess they only want Russian NHLers to play in the Olympics, bc i could see the NHL not sending any players there as a big Eff You if this really happens. I know it is with Viz for the isles, and its really annoying. The guy has 4 months left on his contract, SAC UP AND HONOR IT.
Not going to happen. Releasing players for the Olympics is in the new CBA. They're going now come hell or high water. Besides - at that point they'd send players to prove the NHL>khl.
Every player with a contract must return.
However I think many positive experiences in the KHL (especially for Russian guys) might make it harder for NHL teams to sign them when their contracts are up.
Yes, I doubt he would have ever left in the first place.
Malkin has always spoken highly of Pittsburgh if I have understood correctly. He couls be suspended if he doesn't, I think. So that's why all Russian National team players will be back so they can play in Sochi.
If KHL SEL and SM-Liiga merged it could come close to rivaling the NHL. It would do a lot to develop European talent that's for sure. Hopefully in "non-traditional hockey markets" if they placed franchises there and developed a system of parity (HUGE if since those goes against the European sports model).
Malkin has always spoken highly of Pittsburgh if I have understood correctly.
Obviously he will return, but last year in an interview in a Russian sports paper he said he sometimes pines for home. It wasn't that he really complained, he just missed Russia and being surrounded by the language.