|03-01-2005, 07:33 PM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
IIHF agreement expired/ Bad news for Caps
$2 Million Bounty
With the IIHF agreement expired, Moscow Dynamo has set their own price for the transfer of Alexander Ovechkin...
The NHL's agreement with the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) has expired, and the timing couldn't be better for Moscow Dynamo or worse for the Washington Capitals. The Russian Super League team that holds the rights to Alexander Ovechkin, the first overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, announced that a transfer fee of $2 million will be required for them to release him from his contract and allow him to join the Washington Capitals.
In the past, a standard transfer fee of $200,000 was the norm, but now teams will negotiate transfer rights on a case-by-case basis. As a result, Ovechkin could yield a spectacular return for Dynamo equivalent to ten players under the old agreement. Ovechkin has stated that he wants to play in the NHL next season - though he has one year remaining on his contract with Dynamo - and the Russian club has indicated that they will not stand in his way.
Widely considered to be the best prospect since Eric Lindros, Ovechkin is undoubtedly a very special player, and it will be very interesting to see whether the Washington Capitals and owner Ted Leonsis think he's $2 million special. If they don't, look for the Caps to investigate the possibility of trading the talented young forward to a team with the financial resources to meet Dynamo's demand.
Given that they're paying half of Jaromir Jagr's contract, it is quite possible that the Caps would deal Ovechkin to the Rangers in exchange for some fiscal forgiveness, perhaps as part of a deal that would send goaltending prospect Daniel Blackburn to Washington. While the NHL would not be thrilled to see the Rangers set a precedent by paying Dynamo $2 million for Ovechkin's rights, an argument could be made that the league would benefit greatly by having the potential superstar playing in one of its biggest markets.
Ovechkin was named to Russia's World Cup team, reminiscent of Lindros' appearance for Team Canada in the 1991 Canada Cup, and NHL GMs will get the opportunity to see first-hand how he can handle the pressure of playing in the spotlight of what should be an extremely competitive tournament. If he manages to dominate in that tournament of NHL All-Stars, look for his price to rise even higher, as both the Capitals and Dynamo seek to capitalize on this extremely valuable asset.
One thing is for certain, though. A package equivalent to what the Flyers gave up to get Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques is not in the cards. In that deal, Philadelphia gave up Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, two first-round picks (one used to select Jocelyn Thibault and the other traded twice, eventually used by the Capitals to draft Nolan Baumgartner) and $15 million.