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Jame Pollock Quits Bears

Hershey Bears defenseman Jame Pollock has left the team and signed with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Super League.

The Bears/Capitals immediately suspended him without pay, but that's probably all the organization will be able to do because Russia isn't covered by the IIHF's transfer agreement.

Pollock's motivation for leaving mid-season was probably money. One of the last players cut from the Capitals in training camp, he would have made $600,000 in Washington. But he was likely earning less than $100,000 in the AHL. I'm guessing he'll get two or three times that (and perhaps more) in the RSL.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2007; 5:27 PM ET
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Next: Caps Recall Motzko


I am watching the world volleyball tournament on HDNET and, surprise!, Russians now have the top two volleyball league in the world. It used to be Italy. The announcers also said that a lot of volleyball players around the world a flocking to Russia now, breaking their contracts just like Pollock did.
What's next? You know the answer.

Who to blame?
If each of us will start riding a bike instead of SUV, the price of crude oil might go down along with Russian volleyball and hockey leaques. :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

anyone know how pollock had been doing in hershey?

Posted by: is it friday yet? | December 6, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Just sign Ovechkin now before Moscow Dynamo will give him $15 mil no tax offer (

BTW, if you haven't heard yet, Ovechkin's home town Moscow has more billionaires thatn any other city in the world (it used to be New York)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I know Pollock from the DEL. His girlfriend works in Germany and there was a little chance that Pollock comes back to Germany. Now he signed with ZSKA Moscow, in the RSL he earns something around $450.000. I've heard that life in Russia isn't so easy. A player told me that he left his flat only if he had practice or a game.
Russian teams can buy every player in Europe out of his contract and they do it.

Posted by: GermanCapitalsFan | December 6, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Pavel Lysenkov,

Imagine that Gazprom or another company will sponsor Moscow Dynamo to offer, say, 15 million a year for their alumnus Alexander Ovechkin [a.k.a. to give him an offer he can't refuse -- my comment]. Right now he is at crossroads, he has problems signing a new contract with Washington. ORHL needs a franchise player for its startup league, just like Crosby is needed for the NHL. What can you say about Ovechkin returning to Russia? Is it a dream or a real possibility in the near future?

Larionov: This is an interesting option. I'd be happy to express my opinion about this possibility and others. But before that I must get fully involved into the works of ORHL proposal and only after that I could make some loud statements about things of this nature. So if you don't mind let's continue this conversation after the New Year's Eve.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, good for him. Each and every one of us would probably do the same thing in his situation.

Posted by: Jonny | December 6, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

>But he was likely earning less than $100,000 in the AHL.

After tax it's 50K. In the Red Army it is 450K no tax. It means he can play 9 years for Hersey Bears or 1 year for Red Army and then take 8 years break doing whatever he wants.

...hmmm... 9 years or 1 year? Tough choice.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

lame...what a quitter

Posted by: wanggo | December 6, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Burke said: "We've been looking for pictures of Teemu on milk cartons. I haven't had any contact with him at all. His focus is on his family, which is what it should be. They had a baby girl yesterday. I think hockey's been the last thing on his mind at this point. From our perspective, the only thing I can add is,

I hope this baby cries a lot."

Posted by: lol | December 6, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

2 quitters in 1 week for the bears! first klepis and now pollouk! poor woodsy cant catch a break, plus add the caps injuries, and now both teams are screwed!

Posted by: matt | December 6, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm just curious, does anybody knows how is the RSL compared to the NHL? I would think that the hockey level/skill/intensity of the NHL is higher, but I'm not sure.

450K compared to 50K is a no brainer, I agree. But, since I come from there, I know Europe quite a bit and I would NOT go back to russia if they offered 15M or even 20M instead of 10M here.

Posted by: mauree | December 6, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@ lol

lol that's funny

Posted by: mauree | December 6, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse


You need to get your facts straight before you comment. Klepis didn't quit on the Bears, he was under a PTO, and did not have an NHL contract by Dec 1, so he is unable to play in the NHL at all this season. Since his PTO was almost up, the Caps don't want him, he's receiving offers to play in Europe and compete in the World Cup, which he couldn't do from here, he elected to return to Europe. On top of all that he's been here for months without his wife, whom he only married this summer. I can't say I blame the guy at all.

Posted by: westmorland | December 6, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

too bad i was interested to see him play. but with our over crowded blue line i can't blame him for moving on.

Posted by: DC FURY | December 6, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with you on most ends, I'm not sure what your argument is. It may be different if I was in his position, but I'd be satisfied making my salary playing professional hockey for the next 9 years. Of course, i'm sure he can spend a year or so there and then come back here and make 50k playing hockey. He might even improve over there...

Posted by: Scott | December 6, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course, you have to live in Russia, which despite being a lovely place with great people, is fast turning into an odd cross between an iron-fisted dictatorship and mafia run anarchy.

And, not that it matters to a guy from Canada, but I spent a February in St. Petersburg 20 years ago. I think I'm still cold from that experience.

Posted by: old time hockey | December 6, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

easy decision. ted would do the same thing. bb jumped from the bears to a better opportunity. they should welcome him back if he comes back and can make a contribution. no reason for hard feelings on this one.

Posted by: jim* | December 6, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse


What I am saying its the same as if he could've gone to a North Pole to work on a weather station for one year.

Personally I wouldn't go to Russia, but if someone would offer me 9 years salary?

Would you go?

I was just trying to follow his logic.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

That Pollock goes is not really a concern. He didn't really cut it here, so he was stuck in AHL. He remains under contract with the Caps, so we still own him if he comes back next year - which he probably will.

AO wouldn't make the jump to Russia from the NHL even though there's a disparity in pay. This is the NHL, and it's a more competitive league than the Russian league is. AO is a competitor and tries to do better than his best every time he's on the ice.

For proof, look at the last shots of AO laying on the ice in Hanlon's last game. As p!$$ poor as the Caps were, he was still killing himself trying to get the win. He lives on the challenge.

Having said that, he also wants to win, so the Caps had better get it in gear and start negotiating, otherwise, he'll start looking at offer sheets from other NHL teams.


I hear you about St. Pete's winters. While I've never been to St. Pete, there was a delegation from there in Calgary a few years ago. They flew in on the same plane as I did. It was -35 outside, and -55 with the windchill. They felt right at home. The car heater was working overtime trying to keep the car warm. The front half of me was ok, but the back of my head and neck were freezing!

Posted by: Greg S. | December 6, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

> RSL compared to the NHL

RSL is considered 2nd to NHL in the world, and the level is maybe a bit higher compared to AHL. The best players are in NHL and it is still the best league, otherwise Ovechkin and Malkin wouldn't be playing here. Both Ovechkin and Malkin have lost several million for their choice to play in NHL.

But money can change this comparison quickly. The price for crude oil will only go up...

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 6, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

2 Bears quitting in 1 week! More injuries...Things are starting to look a little scary!

Posted by: BearsWoooo | December 6, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Do you Caps folks know that Pollock had an argument and scuffle, in practice, with your favorite call-up....Joe Motzko!! Maybe Pollock couldn't stand playing with Motzko anymore than we like watching him!!!

Posted by: DRD | December 6, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Motzko must be tough!!!
Scared Pollock outta the country!


Posted by: pmoravek | December 6, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Pollock was not impressive with the Bears. He took a ton of penalties and never shot the puck. No loss. He did quit though. Klepis I understand, not this clown.

Caps fans, your not gonna miss anything with him being gone.

Posted by: PA Bear | December 6, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

And amusingly, a quote from Burke from a CBS Sportsline article on Niedermeyer coming back: "We're not in a bind at all. I'd say of the 29 teams, we don't talk to Edmonton, so of the 28 other teams, there's plenty of interest in making this predicament go away. I could hang up the phone and solve this."

Posted by: tallbear | December 7, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

@ Mauree & alexovechkin

I'd say the difference is pretty big. They got money, yes, but few to spend them on. Few players wants to play in Russia. RSL is probably the third best league in the world after NHL and the Swedish SEL.

Posted by: Hank | December 7, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

what's this nylander mystery injury? he practices wednesday and jokes after practice, and now he's out? Is there a trade in the works? Maybe he's headed to Edmonton after all ?

Posted by: deano | December 7, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

the rsl teams have money!! most of these teams are sponsored by billion dollar companies ready to spend to build teams not stingy team owners looking only for profit. the last thing u want to do is to get into a bidding war with the rsl cus nhl cannot win.rsl teams don't wait for city to build arenas for them, they build their own. and good one too . ak bars(a rsl team) is soo rich they were able to get kovalchuk,heatly,nylander,lecavalier,brad richards,kovalev,kozlov(thrashers) among others to play for them with monstrous contracts (no tax) and no nhl can even afford to dream about a team.
talent wise nhl is by far the best in the world but money and spending wise don't mess with the rsl and be rest assured most of the players are in it for the money

Posted by: muff | December 7, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Woah woah woah!

Nylander trade? I just don't see it happening. We're currently an injury ridden team that just fired our coach. Nylander is on a downswing in his career and with a new coach and everyone injured, we still don't know what we need.

What would we trade Nylander for? What impact would that have on Ovechkin?

It's more likely that either:
a) Nyles strained something in practice or was so sore on Thursday that he doesn't feel he'd be ready on Friday.
b) BB is sitting him because he's made a bunch of mistakes in the past few games.

I personally am all for sitting down our stars who aren't putting in the effort required to push us back into the mix. I question whether there's any better way to get the message through to someone aging like Nyles.

But now's not the time, since we're out Gordon and Clark, so my guess is that he's hurt. I'd quickly jump on the fire GMGM bandwagon if he dealt Nyles at this point in the season. Let the team gel under the new coach!

Posted by: Raber | December 7, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

what would u pick $100000-tax or $450000-no tax.
hmm tough choice!!!

Posted by: muff | December 7, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Pollock is no big loss. Hopefull that will free up some more ice time for guys like Pokulok, McNeil and Lepisto who might actually have a chance to make the Caps someday.

Plus next year we have Alzner, who might make the jump directly to Washington. There's also Finley, Josh Godfrey and others who are likely destined for Hershey in '08. So clearing out the Jame Pollocks of the world is not necessarily a bad thing.


Posted by: Oneal | December 7, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

And after that post I wandered into the "wishful thinking" mode..

Maybe they're clearing out space in Hershey to send down a defenseman, Schultz for example, because they're going to make a trade for Beauchemin.

The Ducks are over the cap because of Niedermeyer (sp?) and that would be a very beneficial deal for us.

But again.. it's probably just wishful thinking...


Posted by: Oneal | December 7, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

this just in from Motzko recalled to just keeps getting worse for the Caps. Why not call up someone worth a darn, like jay beagle, or jason morgan, motzko is starting to score but he sucked during his last recall.

Posted by: matt | December 7, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Motzko is recalled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Posted by: Finn | December 7, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Russian players bolt their russian teams all the time for the U.S. in search of opportunity. Turn around is fair play i say.

Posted by: chris | December 7, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The return of Mighty Motzko. Hanlon's not in charge anymore - something tells me we won't see him on the PP. Though with Nylander out...

Every time Joe takes a shift we take a shot - anyone with me?

Any offers of "I will eat my hat" on a Joe Motzko goal?

In all seriousness, I don't think the guy is that bad. Hanlon put him into a high pressure role where he had no business playing (PP point) - assuming BB doesn't do the same we should be fine.

Posted by: Raber | December 7, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Sovsport published a lot of articles about the new league that will be established next year. People like Bowman and Larionov are helping the Russians build the league. The approximate buget is about $100 million. They have a lot of money to spend with Gazprom heading the way. It is just a question of time before Ovechkin, Malkin and others will leave. Especially if Ted lowballs Ovechkin.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that I have a feeling that Motzko will play on the first line???

Posted by: Finn | December 7, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse


Why do we care about Jame Pollock?

Posted by: dave | December 7, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

pollock wanted to give the NHL one last shot. He had offers from other teams over the summer and felt that the Caps would give him the best chance. It didn't work out mostly because Greener had a great camp and Schultz was already guaranteed a spot. Hope he does well in Russia.

Posted by: tommygun | December 7, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Motzko just looked lost last time he was here. Maybe he'll be more comfortable this time with BB here instead of Hanlon. We can hope.

Posted by: Steve R | December 7, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Motzko is just not good enough for the NHL. He couldn't crack it on the worst team in the NHL! I am starting questioning the Caps' will to win!

Posted by: Finn | December 7, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

This week I feel foolishly optimistic. Remember how bad Brashear was playing before BB? I am hoping that Motzko will find his rule in BB scheme tonight and play better, as Brash did.

Posted by: mauree | December 7, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the Klepis summary - you beat me to it. Nice to have a reasonable, knowledgable poster. The bashing by the uninformed gets old.

Posted by: Zaichik | December 7, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

> to make a trade for Beauchemin

That's a pipe dream. Beauchemin is going nowhere, he is the the foundation for the Ducks for years to come.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

To all you loosers talking crap about all these PROFFESSIONAL Players... Who do you think you are, a bunch of armchair athletes? That's right... These guy's make a living doing something you only dream about and you have nothing better to do than sit on your couch and criticize these great athletes. It doesn't matter if they are playing in the NHL, AHL, Europe or the ECHL. By playing in in any league esspecially the minors goes to show you these players have the passion to continue to play even though there is no glory. Get your heads on straight and appreciate the fact that these guy's give us something to watch instead of listening to our wives and girlfriends. As for Jame Pollock, he is a great player that has had some bad luck in his career when it comes to the Show. You can't say that a guy that has been called up by Team Canada half a dozen times isn't a good player. You don't just get called up to play for a powerhouse like Canada. The NHL isn't all it's cracked up to be. Who wouldn't want to play anywhere across the world and travel while making good money playing a game you love. Food for thought boy's and girls... lay off these guy's. I can garantee that they are much harder mentally, emotionally and physically on themselves than you can ever be towards them...

Posted by: Hockey Fan | December 18, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

who cares about jame pollock? yeah he was an OK player who left, so good luck to him. but, he is replaceable.
hope he has a good life wherever he ends up, real hockey fans would be supportive of him wherever he decides to play.

Posted by: Loves Hockey | December 27, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posting by Hockey Fan, most of you idiots are just as blind as the organization running the Washington Capitals! Lets be honest here, your team has sucked year after year after year. At what point will you "the fans" and your organization wake up?! Ovechkin is gone at years end regardless if Mr. Leonisis handed him the keys to the arena! If George McPhee had half a brain he would trade him now and get all and more than he can get to help your organization, But like the stupid acquisitions, trades, and free agent signings that continue to plague your hockey team nothing will get done and one of the top 5 MVP players in the NHL will be wearing a new sweater in no time! As per Jame Pollock his situation was simple: The organization makes promises, talks up the new season and where they are headed. Then they go and sign morons like.....

Posted by: Caps are Screwed | December 29, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Tom Poti who is useless! And they also kept calling up Motzko who quite frankly blows! All the while they carry 8 defenseman so they never have to call up from the farm. You cant tell me that a Spengler Cup MVP, DEL (German Elite League)All Star who broke single season records for Goals(23) and Points by a defenseman as well as led the entire league in playoff points whilst playing 2 less games doesn't have a place on the Washington (We can't score unless Ovechkin does)Capitals!!! Give me a break! Let me finish by saying one last thing. Professional Hockey no matter where its played is a business and thats how Jame Pollock was treating it, as a business. No one can tell me they wouldn't leave their job to go to another where you were to be payed 3 times as much and be treated with a lot more respect. Hmmm no brainer! Plus Russian Women Vs Women in Hershey Lets be Honest!! Good Luck Jame Pollock and good for you for sticking up for yourself!

Posted by: TrueHockeyFan | December 29, 2007 3:20 AM | Report abuse

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