- Jaromir Jagr, formerly of the New York Rangers and prior, the Pittsburgh Penguins, signed a contract with the new Continental Hockey League in Russia (also known as RUS) in July 2008.
- Called the KHL
League offered Evgeni Malkin $12.5 million a year while he’s still under contract.
The league apparently is being propped up by Russian billionaires, led by Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev, the Russian government and the country’s hockey federation.
League has a $22.5 million salary cap, vs. $60 million cap in NHL.
The KHL tried to lure top teams from other European leagues and was unable to get even one, leaving it with a number of backwater Russian cities that have 5,000-seat rinks and charge the equivalent of about five bucks a ticket.
Players from Sweden (also known as SWE) , Mattias Weinhandl and Tony Martennson were lured to the KHL for this coming season. But the reason they were playing in Sweden in the first place is they couldn’t play in the NHL.
Russian players taken in the first round of June’s entry draft – Nikita Filatov and Viktor Tikhonov – made it clear to everyone they have no contractual obligations in Russia and are intent on playing in North America immediately, even if that means playing in the minors or junior hockey.