Saturday, August 13, 2005

OLN, IIHF and Alexander Frolov

ESPN is seriously considering matching Comcast's offer for the NHL. It's not so much that ESPN wants hockey back as they want to keep a potential competitor from getting off the ground. The figure was supposed to be $100 million over two years, but the Buffalo News is reporting it has been raised to $135 million. This is the only place I've seen this figure so take it with a grain of salt.

NHL players will be at the Turin games this year, even if the NHL-IIHF transfer agreement falls through. Russian and Czech clubs have by early Monday morning on the east coast (10AM GMT) to agree to the deal, or the NHL has open season on their players.

Novosti (a Russian site, but in English) has a good article up with details the American media would never pick up on.

However, senior Russian hockey officials themselves admit that contradictions in Russian domestic legislation allow the North Americans simply to ignore this demand. The Russian Labor Code, for example, grants any person the right to give up one's job within two weeks, and this alone, should the agreement be not signed, will give a trump card to NHL clubs in securing Russian club players for free.

I think this deal will get done. These European teams have too much to lose by standing their ground. Even if the NHL has to throw a little bit more money their way, the two sides should come to an agreement.

The Kings have re-signed gifted young Russian forward Alexander Frolov. He will be paid $14.5 million over five years. This is a deal more about potential than anything else. He is a good player and those 48 points last year were nice, but the Kings are locking him up for so long because he just turned 23. Here is the player page for Frolov.

This was originally a longer post but Blogger ate the first version of it. Oh well.