Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Not So Saintly NHL

OK could someone please pass us that memo that we must have missed that the good guys are the ones running the NHL? That the evil bad guys are automatically the Russians via the KHL.

For those of us who grew up during the days of the Cold War can recall the propaganda that came out from both sides. The US called the Soviets as the evil empire while the Soviets portrayed the US as warmongers.

Nice to see that the new version of the cold war has brought back some old habits as the NHL and the North American media paint the NHL as the "victims". The Russians and their friends in the media call what is going on as fairness given how for years the NHL stole the best in Russian players and did not pay for them.

As hockey's version of the cold war starts to heat up there are some questions that really need to be asked about why are so many in North America are thinking that the Russians who are the only ones who are not honoring contracts (or in one case drug testing).

It seems that the only thing that the North American media is focusing upon is the signing of Nashville Predator Alexander Radulov by the KHL team Salavat Yulaev Ufa and the current investigation of that signing by the IIHF.

The media is supposed to be fair and balanced but it sure looks like that is not what we are seeing from the hockey media in this situation. Instead what we are seeing is the all to easy "the KHL are playing dirty" or "the IIHF is toothless"

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is acting that there is no need for the IIHF to rule here as the decision to be made is very clear. As reported by John Glennon at the Tennessean.com, Daly was quoted as saying:

"We continue to expect the KHL and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation to take a position and refuse to aid and abet a blatant breach of contract which, through their inaction to date, they have now become party to''

So there is a question to ask the Deputy Commissioner which is what about those other 5 contracts that the IIHF is investigating? Ah see that is the problem that we are seeing which is while so many are so quick to focus upon the Radulov signing that nobody is asking about those other 5 contracts.

Does anyone even know who the other 5 players that the IIHF is investigating the status of their contracts? Glad you asked as here are their names and ask do you believe that the NHL will honor the IIHF ruling if it goes against them?

Start with Columbus Bluejacket first round pick Nikita Filatov who's former team CSKA Moscow is claiming is due compensation to allow him to leave. Should the IIHF rule that is in fact and the Bluejackets do need to pay compenstaion then if we understand the current CBA then Filatov can not sign with the Bluejackets.

Since there is not player transfer agreement then individual NHL teams are not supposed to pay anything in compensation for the rights to a player. Guess that would mean that Filatov could not sign a contract but how come nobody is asking that question?

Why is nobody asking that question? The same can be said about the Coyote draft pick Viktor Tikhonov as his status is also under review as well. Will the NHL abide by the same rulings that they are demanding of the KHL?

The belief here is that the NHL is pulling the good old "do as we say not as we do" here as they are complaining about the KHL signing of Radulov but are saying that New Jersey did nothing wrong when they signed former Ranger Fedor Fedorov.

That the Wild did nothing wrong when they signed Thomas Mojzis from the KHL team Sibir Novosibirsk. So will the NHL tell the Wild to send Mojzis back if the IIHF rules in the favor of the KHL?

No instead we are seeing the North American media attacking the IIHF calling everything from "toothless" to "inept puppets"

And now there is another question that needs to be asked: If someone in North American broke the rules involving drug testing then would it be right to expect all leagues to respect any and all suspensions?

Here is what happened, the German Hockey League has suspended 3 members of their national team for failing to abide to their anti-doping codes. The suspensions were not for using drugs but rather for repeatedly failing to provide whereabout information for out of competition testing.

So under those circumstances, how come the Nashville Predators can send one of those suspended Robert Dietrich to their AHL farm team and allow Dietrich to play? If someone does not respect the rules involving drug testing in their native country then what kind of message is being sent by both the NHL and AHL by not respecting those rules.

Sorry but if the NHL wants the rest of the world to respect their rules then would it not be right if the NHL respects the rulings from the leagues of the rest of the world?

SC Bern News

The team that is scheduled to face the Rangers on September 30th in Switzerland, SC Bern got some bad news this past Friday. Their head coach former NHL player John Van Boxmeer suffered a heart attack just 2 days after returning to Switzerland.

While Van Boxmeer is expected to make a full recovery, he will be out of action for a month. The news comes just a week before SC Bern is going to report for training camp and 6 weeks before SC Bern attempts to qualify for Europe's Champions Hockey League.

We are sure Ranger fans will join us in hoping for a speedy recovery for Van Boxmeer.

(IIHF.com provided the information for this report)


Anonymous said...

Jess, nice piece on the hypocracy of the powers that be in the NHL. Refreshing to see balanced reportage.

On another topic, any chance of anyone televising any of the games (or at least high lights) of Traverse City?

Jess Rubenstein said...


I do not think any televises the TC camp and if anyone did offer anything, I would guess it would be one of the Detroit channels.

I would check out the Red Wing web site and see what info they have. Give the cost of travel to there I have to pass on this event but am going to budget for it next year.

This year the goal is to cover the WJ which is a super spendy trip