Monday, June 19, 2006

Russia ratifies NHL agreement

From the news-you-may-have-missed department: The Russian Hockey Federation, which had been holding out for the better part of a year on a new player transfer agreement with the IIHF and NHL, ratified a new deal over the weekend.

What that means, in layman's terms, is that talented Russian youngsters like Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin and Washington Capitals weirdo/holdout Alexander Semin can — and almost definitely will — play in North America for the 2006-07 season.

No small part of the announcement was due to the recent appointment of Hall of Famer Vladislav Tretiak as head of the RHF, something that should signal a return to prominence of one of hockey's great superpowers. Russia is currently ranked in 6th on the IIHF's world rankings, a position due at least in part to the fractious relationship the RHF has had with many of its players over the years. Expect Tretiak to fix that.


At 5:40 p.m., June 19, 2006, Anonymous Maltsev said...

Who cares about the IIHF rankings?

At 5:43 p.m., June 19, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Unlike FIFA's world rankings, it's a ranking based purely on Olympic and World Championship finishes. A 6th place position in a sport where there are only seven decent teams should be unacceptable for Russia.

At 10:25 p.m., June 19, 2006, Blogger Brushback said...

"News you may have missed"? Cripes, James-- I reported this two days ago!!

Just kidding. Check your in-box, by the way.


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