Friday, August 18, 2006


From Russia With Love

I have a good friend from the Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (CCCP), and she has been kindly scouting out the Russian sites on any tasty news on either Mikhnov or Malkin. Here's what I've got from the Black Widow so far, in pretty much her exact words:

• On the official Metallurg hockey site, fans are obviously bitter. They are claiming Malkin is absent of morals, and disloyal to the club who made him into the player that he is. There is also discussion on whether he should be allowed to play for team Russia.

• There is no news of Mikhnov on the Yaroslavl site, so it is unlikely that there are any new developments on that front.

• Mikhnov has a brother, Andrei, who plays internationally for the Ukraine. Interestingly, Andrei remained a Ukrainian citizen, while Alexei moved early and became a Russian one. Andrei is a draft pick of the Blues.

• As far as Malkin goes, there is a little interview with GM Metallurg Velichkin from a day or so ago, where he says that Malkin phoned home, and was repeatedly saying "I'm alright, I'm alright" and not much else, while his Mom begged him not to make any rash decisions and to think again about what he had done. Something to the effect of "went for a little ride and now it's time to come home". Velichkin also disputed a couple rumours in the Russian press - 1) that he had Malkin's passport on him due to fear of Malkin fleeing. He says that Malkin's passport was with his former agent, Sergei Isakov, and 2) that the club was threatening to take away Malkin's parents' apartment that was given to them by the club. Apparently they live in a 2-storey house that was purchased with Malkin's earnings from last year. He is not impressed with the Russian media and says that they need to stick together, as Russia's "prestige" is on the line.

Also, Velichkin reported to the press that the resignation that was faxed from Malkin is a giant fake, because a) it looks like someone else's handwriting (almost a woman's), b) some of the sentence structure used is ancient (old Slavic), so looks like it was written by an emigrant, and c) according to the club's attorney, the signature does not match the one Malkin gave on Aug 7 (new contract with Metallurg). So apparently they threw it out.

• In a new story, they mention Taratuhin(Taratukhin) and Mikhnov and state that they will file a lawsuit if there is a contract between any of these players and the respective NHL clubs that want them. I'm going to get a better update on this one later.

There you go. I hope some of this is new news., and of interest to people. I will provide further information as the Black Widow reports in.


aww jeez, i was really hoping they could slip mihknov in under the radar while everyone was in an uproir about Malkin.

Just wonderng... Are these contracts written on the back of a cereal box or something?

Maybe I'm having a fit because this is getting so damn hard

Throwing out the fax does not matter I am sure that there are two signed originals, and one is being couriered to the team now. The fax really is just a courtesy, but it starts the two week clock.

The other two teams are going to let the Penguins take the point on this one as they have the largest interest in resolution. Yarolsavl is probably doing the same with Malkin's team. Its possible that Malkin's team will wait for the beginning of the regular season to file an injunction so they can be the most disruptive unless they really think that they have a case in which case, they will file immediately after Malkin signs in two weeks so that they can get him back ASAP. I expect that the other two players' contracts will be all done except for the teams signature (so that the NHL teams have not actually done anything that they could be sued for). If the courts decide against the Russians, the Oilers and Flames will sign and get on with it. If the courts side with the Russians, the three players all go home and lie in it for a year.

Malkin claims the team had control of his passport. Magnitgorsk claims that Malkin's agent was holding it. Okay, both of these are true and Malkin's agent is really working against his client - not necessarily working for the team either, just himself. His commissions disappear when Malkin comes over here.

"Better for me if I hold onto this."

I really wonder why his parents are trying to get him to reconsider.

Must be lonely when everyone around you has an agenda including your parents.

Come on! No more updates? Everyone is on and on about Malkin this, Malkin that, even that interview that he gave which was a joke and didn't really answer anything. You know what? I couldn't care less!

I want to know about one thing...MIKHNOV! What about Traktor Boy! Why isn't anyone telling me what 's happening with him!

The last I heard from the Black Widow is that Mikhnov is in Kiev, training with Sokol, and that Lokomotiv is apparently going to file a suit within the next day or so to keep Mikhnov in Russia. That is all I know.

Thank you for the information.

Man this is one of those times when I feel bad for the Oilers for not having Mikhnov, Mikhnov for not being able to easily do what he wants, and Locomotiv cause they essential gave this kid a shot and trained him up and now could lose him for nothing or peanuts (and 200K for your top player is peanuts).

In Mikhnov's case, that's not exactly true. He Junior for Torpedo, then Dynamo in Moscow until he was 20, then 2 1/2 years in Novosibirsk, then a seaason and a half in Yaroslavl.

So he's not exactly being stolen away from the team who nurtured him. There's still the issue of the contract, but it doesn't seem as significant as the development expenses borne by Metallurg

How can they "keep Mikhnov in Russia" if he is already in Kiev?

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