Russia Beats Swiss 6-3, Stay Undefeated

Andrei Markov scored a goal and added two assists to lead Russia to a 6-3 win over Switzerland on Sunday as the home team remained undefeated at the world championship.

Popularity: 9% [?]

May 8, 2007

U.S. Court Orders Russian Player Malkin to Remain in NHL

Evgeni Malkin will remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins after a U.S. federal court judge denied a claim by the rookie’s former Russian club to block him from playing in the NHL, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday.

Popularity: 5% [?]

November 16, 2006

Metallurg Magnitogorsk Sues NHL

A Russian hockey club filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday against the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins, saying rookie Evgeni Malkin shouldn’t be allowed to play in the league because he remains under contract in his native country, AP reports.

The Metallurg Magnitogorsk hockey club, which filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also demanded unspecified damages from the NHL and the Penguins over Malkin’s deal to jump teams this summer.

“We haven’t seen a copy of the complaint yet so it would be inappropriate to comment,” said NHL spokesman Frank Brown. A spokesman for the Penguins did not immediately return a telephone message for comment.

The 20-year-old Malkin left the Russian Super League team during August’s training camp in Helsinki, Finland, slipping quietly into the United States to begin his NHL career. In his debut Wednesday night, Malkin scored his team’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Malkin was under contract for another year in Russia. The NHL had previously said the league believes any player should have the right to choose where he wants to play as long as he is legally free to do so.

After Malkin left his Russian team, he cited a Russian labor law that permits an employee to leave a job by giving two weeks notice.

The lawsuit, filed after a Russian arbitration panel ruled that Malkin is still under contract to Magnitogorsk, said the signing of Malkin to an NHL contract was a “blatant and deliberate tampering and interference” with the Russian team’s existing agreement.

In the lawsuit, the team said the Penguins knew or should have known that Malkin was under contract to a Russian team when they signed him. The lawsuit said the NHL and the Penguins violated antitrust laws by conspiring in a group boycott and refusing to deal with Russian hockey clubs regarding player transfers.

Malkin and Magnitogorsk signed a one-year contract on Aug. 7, calling for Malkin to receive $3.45 million, according to the lawsuit.

It said the contract was negotiated and signed in the presence of Malkin’s Russian agent and his parents, and provided favorable terms allowing him to become a free agent a year sooner than an earlier contract.

Malkin, the No. 2 pick in the 2005 NHL draft, missed the early part of the NHL season after dislocating a shoulder in his first preseason game.

The lawsuit said the NHL and its clubs have “decided to play hardball” with Russian hockey clubs to punish them for the Russian Ice Hockey Federation’s rejection of a new general agreement governing the transfer of foreign players to the NHL.

It said the NHL told its clubs on Aug. 2 that they were free to sign NHL contracts with Russian hockey players already under contract with Russian hockey clubs if the players secured releases according to Russian labor law.

Popularity: 3% [?]

October 20, 2006

Russian Club Sues NHL in U.S. Court for Stealing Players

Russian Club Sues NHL

Russian club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against the NHL, the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers, AP reports.

The lawsuit essentially claims that Andrei Taratukhin of the Flames and Alexei Mikhnov of the Oilers are under contract with Yaroslavl for the 2006-07 season and should not be allowed to play for any other club in the world. It asked the federal court for a temporary injunction barring the two players from skating for the two NHL teams.

“Respondents should not be permitted to continue playing professional hockey in breach of their contractual obligations to KC Lokomotiv …,” Russian lawyer Alexander Berkovich writes in the lawsuit.

The NHL saw it coming.

“The Russian team has been threatening us and the clubs with litigation for some time,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press in an e-mail. “While I won’t comment specifically on the claims the Russian team has asserted, I can say that we believe they are without legal merit and intend to defend the case vigorously.”

A similar lawsuit from Metallurg Magnitogorsk will likely follow against the Pittsburgh Penguins with the Russian club also claiming it has prized rookie centre Evgeni Malkin under contract for this season.

Popularity: 3% [?]

October 18, 2006