NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal

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From Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:

Players under contract to KHL teams will be unable to make the jump to the NHL for at least another year.

The leagues recently held discussions about expanding their transfer agreement to look more like those the NHL has with other European federations, but couldn’t reach a new deal. Instead, they’ve extended their pre-existing memorandum of understanding through June 2016.

Essentially, the NHL and KHL are vowing to continue respecting each others’ contracts.

It was reported earlier in the month that a transfer agreement was close. As we explained in the post:

The difference is that a transfer agreement would create a system where there could be fees per player that switches leagues. Right now the memorandum of understanding only states that the two leagues have to respect each others contracts. So, for example, Ilya Kovalchuk had to get his NHL contract voided before he could go to the KHL.

As you may have heard, the KHL is in a tough spot these days. For any free agent considering signing over there, stories about players not getting paid have to give them pause.

Moreover, the KHL has to be worried about the NHL potentially raiding its talent — something that would be easier with a transfer agreement in place.

“Ultimately, the KHL wasn’t interested in a player transfer agreement,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Day told Sportsnet.