Video: Bettman on KHL relations
If the NHL and Kontinental Hockey League are going to work together in the future, it won't be before reaching "common ground on some fundamental issues," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last night following a meeting with KHL President Alex Medvedev.
Bettman named the lack of a transfer agreement as the primary source of tension between the leagues.
"I think it starts with the player contract issues," Bettman said in a press conference. "I think if we're going to move forward and look for ways to cooperate, the KHL and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, from our standpoint, are going to need to respect our valid contracts, and that's something that, to date, hasn't happened, starting back with Radulov."
In the summer before the 2008-09 season, Alexander Radulov left the NHL to sign with the KHL's Salavat Yulaev Ufa despite having a year left on his contract with the Nashville Predators.
"The fact is, we do respect contracts and have consistently," Bettman said, "and the KHL has not."
This all, of course, comes as rumors swirl about center Michael Nylander's departure for the KHL's Dynamo Minsk. (Nothing new to report on that front, but Tarik's on it.)
Bettman spoke briefly again from Caps Owner Ted Leonsis's box, calling the meeting "cordial and constructive." Here's a quick video from an awkward angle with a ton of background noise. (Apologies; we're newspaper people first. Plus, there was a hockey game on.)
Practice updates to come soon.
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