You may recall Alex Ovechkin talking big about possibly staying in the KHL after the lockout if the owners roll back the players’ salaries. His former Capitals teammate, Alexander Semin, is now making a similar threat.
Semin tells R-sport.ru out of Russia he would consider staying in the KHL if things don’t break right when a new CBA is signed.
“I’ll look at what contract they actually sign. I like it here overall,” he said.
Semin’s thoughts are similar to that of not only Ovechkin but Ilya Kovalchuk as well, who intimated he would stay in Russia if the next CBA doesn’t come out working well for the NHLPA. Sergei Gonchar also said many Russians might not return as well.
The KHL and NHL have an understanding that they’re not to sign players away from each other’s leagues who are currently under a contract. In Ovechkin and Kovalchuk’s cases, those are long-term deals worth over $100 million each. For Semin, if he wanted to go back to Russia he would have to burn off his one-year deal with Carolina before returning to his home country.
If these players are serious about their threats, they should have good lawyers on retainer to help them escape.