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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.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 12, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
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PRECIOUS!!!!! GD, he looks like that thing on Lord of the Rings.

Posted by: Chad8 | November 12, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I was wandering through stats just to assauge my "home" attitude. I certainly don't watch every NHL game - I catch all the Caps games and three or four others a week - but I'm guilty of yelling about penalties, up-and-down goaltending, Mike Green's lazy passes, etc. Why? Because I watch every game. Maybe some very basic numbers bring everything back:

The Caps are seventh-best in (fewest) penalty minutes per game. The lack of fighting this year means that for actual minor penalites taken we fall right in the middle of the pack. Some of them couldn't come at worse times but I think every team has that issue.

The NHL doesn't track save % by team and I'm too lazy to do the math myself. But, the Caps lead the league in scoring and are 3rd (behind SJS and PHI) in average goal diff per game (+.72). Soft goals come and go, the defense can be spotty, but the end result is pretty dang good. We could want a 1.5 GAA number and 5.0 GF number but that is unrealistic. If our team save % is near .900 and the GAA is around 3.0 this team is fine.

That was a blast last night. And, most importantly, I sat up in 413, staring at the clock at the 6-minute mark of the 1st, and thought "this is the chance for this team to un*&(k itself and show that it can come back from two goals down and some bad play." They did.

If that doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

Well done, guys.

Posted by: saintex | November 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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