Kovalchuk, Datsyuk top list of KHL base salaries

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We may not have Cap Geek any longer, but money-minded NHL fans are well-served by sites like General Fanager and Cap Friendly. What about the KHL’s big dollar guys, though?

Well, that information is a little harder to find/sometimes shrouded in mystery, so it’s fun whenever we get a peek behind that curtain.

Russian site Sportfakt.ru published a list of the top 30 base salaries in that league something that reporter Aivis Kalniņš also shared (while wondering if this will prompt the KHL to be more open about sharing salary information).

It’s no surprise that Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk rank highly even without bonuses being taken into account:

1. Ilya Kovalchuk SKA 5 500 000 dollars / 330 million. Rubles

2. Pavel Datsyuk SKA 4 500 000 dollars / 270 million. Rubles

3. Vyacheslav Voinov SKA 4 500 000 dollars / 270 million. Rubles

4. Vladimir Sobotka Vanguard 3 000 000 dollars / 180 million. Rubles

5. Vasily Koshechkin Metallurg Mg 2.419 million dollars / 145 million. Rubles

6. Sergey Mozyakin Metallurg Mg 2.177 million dollars / 130 million. Rubles

7. Vadim Shipachev SKA 2000 0000 dollars / 120 million. Rubles

8. Mikhail Varnakov Ak Bars 1 700 000 dollars / 102 million. Rubles

9. Anton Belov SKA 1 500 000 dollars / 90 million. Rubles

10. Danis Zaripov Metallurg Mg 1 500 000 dollars / 90 million. Rubles

11. Andrei Zubarev SKA 1 500 000/90 mln. Rubles

12. Alexander Salak Siberia 1.5 million dollars / 90 million. Rubles

13. Alexander Svitov Ak Bars 1 500 000 dollars / 90 million. Rubles

14. Maxim Chudinov SKA 1 500 000 dollars / 90 million. Rubles

15. Egor Yakovlev SKA 1 500 000 dollars / 90 million. Rubles

16. Evgeny Dadonov SKA 1 400 000 dollars / 84 million. Rubles

17. Alexander Perezhogin Vanguard 1 400 000 dollars / 84 million. Rubles

18. Mikko Koskinen SKA 1 300 000 dollars / 78 million. Rubles

19. Stéphane Da Costa CSKA 1 300 000 dollars / 78 million. Rubles

20. Niklas Svedberg Salavat Yulaev 1 300 000 dollars / 78 million. Rubles

21. Ivan Telegin CSKA 1 300 000 dollars / 78 million. Rubles

22. Viktor Tikhonov SKA 1 300 000 dollars / 78 million. Rubles

23. Ilya Zubov Vanguard 1 250 000 dollars / 75 million. Rubles

24. Valery Nichushkin CSKA 1.21 million dollars / 73 million. Rubles

25. Torpedo Vladimir Galuzin 1 200 000 dollars / 72 million. Rubles

26. Sergey Plotnikov SKA 1 200 000 dollars / 72 million. Rubles

27. Andrei Popov Ak Bars 1 200 000 dollars / 72 million. Rubles

28. Alexander Khokhlachov SKA 1 200 000 dollars / 72mln. rubles

29. Igor Grigorenko Salavat Yulaev 1 100 000 dollars / 66mln. rubles

30. Nikolai Prokhorkin SKA 1 050 000 dollars / 63 million. Rubles

Well, that’s fun.

That same article asserts that Alex Radulov would have been the top-earner of that group if he didn’t leave for the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s wise to take this list with a grain of salt, even beyond the fact that it’s a report (thus meaning it isn’t official). Puck Daddy points out some possible snags:

There are several discrepancies between this list and some of the contract information we’ve previously had on these players. Pavel Datsyuk is listed at 270 million rubles here; it was 250 million rubles when the Free Press reported on his signing with the KHL. Kovalchuck’s salary was previously reported at $10.3 million and Mozyakin at $4.2 million; but that might have been with the bonuses included. Sobotka’s numbers also don’t sync up. But hey, it’s the KHL – solid info isn’t easy to come by.

Still, it’s interesting to consider, even as a reminder of some of the players who are now overseas.

The biggest chuckle, personally, comes from seeing the name Alexander Svitov. Remember that fellow? (Lightning fans probably do, as Tampa Bay selected him with the third pick back in 2001.)

These names also serve as a reminder regarding guys who might be back in the NHL in the future. It sounds like Valeri Nichushkin is settling in nicely, for one.

(H/T to Sportsnet.)

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.