Bettman says it's business as usual with Russian league

The Canadian Press
10/4/2010 6:10:27 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

As far as Gary Bettman is concerned, it's business as usual with the Russian-based KHL.

The NHL commissioner said Monday that no formal transfer agreement has been signed between the two leagues. That tossed cold water on reports out of Russia which suggested a formal deal had been reached.

"There's no agreement," Bettman told The Canadian Press in an interview. "(Deputy commissioner) Bill Daly confirmed in writing what our practice has been -- namely, we respect their contracts and we expect them to respect ours.

"There's no transfer agreement so we don't have the same relationship with the KHL that we have with the Swedes or the Finns or the Czechs."

The two leagues have been without a formal agreement since the KHL came into existence in 2008. The most notable case of a contract being violated came that year when Alex Radulov bolted the Nashville Predators for Ufa in Russia.

There always seems to be something lost in translation between the two leagues. On Monday night, the KHL's North American-based spokesman put out a news release about an agreement, calling it a "historic event."

It was news to Bettman.

"We don't understand what that announcement was all about," he said. "Nothing's changed."

There is evidence of some relationship between the two leagues. The Carolina Hurricanes played an exhibition game in St. Petersburg on Monday -- the first time that's happened in 20 years.

Bettman holds no animosity against his counterparts in Russia.

"If there was a war, we wouldn't have had the Hurricanes play in St. Petersburg today," he said. "It is what it is. There hasn't been a thawing (in the relationship), there hasn't been a cooling -- it's pretty much business as usual, which for the most part hasn't been much business."

The NHL commissioner believes that could change. He wouldn't rule out the possibility of the league potentially holding a regular season game on Russian soil down the road.

"There's no reason to think it couldn't happen," said Bettman.

Gary Bettman (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)


(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

2014-15 NHL Preview

From The Hockey Insider

TSN's Bob McKenzie sets up the start of training camp, going one-on-one with the GMs from all seven Canadian teams.

WATCH: Bryan Murray - Ottawa Senators

WATCH: Dave Nonis - Toronto Maple Leafs

WATCH: Kevin Cheveldayoff - Winnipeg Jets

WATCH: Marc Bergevin - Montreal Canadiens

WATCH: Brad Treliving - Calgary Flames

WATCH: Craig MacTavish - Edmonton Oilers

WATCH: Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks

TSN.ca previews what to expect out of the NHL's 30 teams as we count down to puck drop. Check daily for team previews and updates on each Canadian franchise leading up to Oct. 8.

Latest Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television