According to a report from Russian news agency RIA Novosti, former Detroit Red Wings great and Hockey Hall of Famer Slava Fetisov says Alex Radulov shouldn’t be judged for his decision to leave the KHL for the NHL.
“Radulov can decide for himself what to do,” said Fetisov, currently a member of Russia’s Federal Assembly and chairman of the KHL’s Board of Directors.”He was the first to have left there for here, he helped the KHL’s image. We don’t need to discuss who’s right and who’s wrong.
“And we shouldn’t condemn Radulov.”
In the same report, RIA claims that Radulov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, “is known to be negotiating” his client’s departure from Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the team Radulov led to the Gagarin Cup championship in 2010-11.
Radulov’s contract with Salavat is set to expire on Apr. 30, though reports suggest the team is exploring options to keep him in Russia. Here’s what Nikolaev told Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov (courtesy Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy):
“We are talking with Salavat’s management. No one is delaying this matter. But what can you do if the contract runs through April 30? I am pleading to somehow resolve this problem. But I cannot find arguments yet.” Nikolaev told Lysenkov.
It is clear that Radulov wants to leave and the club is indeed willing to let him go. So, what is the hold-up?
“If you think it’s that easy, then open the KHL Regulations. After the start of the playoffs a club cannot unilaterally ‘fire’ a player. Even with a compensation (to the player),” Nikolaev explained.
“A hockey player can unilaterally terminate his contract, but then he will be subject to sanctions that mean a big sum of money.”
[A player can terminate his contract in the KHL by paying 2/3 of the contract value.]
“But the most reasonable option is for the club and the player to terminate their contract by mutual consent. There are a lot of examples of that happening,” Nikolaev continued.
But the problem is, according to Nikolaev, that “Salavat Yulaev will lose rights to Radulov [if they agree to terminate the contract]. And it’s not something Ufa wants to do. Alexander can leave for Nashville next season and Salavat will retain his rights. But I haven’t found a mechanism yet to allow Radulov to leave for the NHL right now.”
Nikolaev also stated Radulov won’t consider simply “bolting” Russia, insisting the matter must be resolved in a legally sound way.