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Gretzky Expects Another NHL Franchise In Ontario, Not Winnipeg
Published September 15, 2008
|Gretzky Expects Southern
Ontario To Land NHL Team
RUSSIAN REALITY: NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly indicated that Predators RW Alexander Radulov, who in July signed with Russia's Continental Hockey League (KHL) club Salavat Yulaev Ufa, is "having second thoughts about his move." In Edmonton, Jim Matheson cited a source as saying that Radulov "will stay one season in Ufa, then return" to the NHL. Radulov will owe the Predators a "year at his current salary for bolting but will likely get a rich new extension in Nashville" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/14). Meanwhile, in Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont reported Flames LW Marcus Nilson reportedly is "attempting to hook on with" the KHL. Nilson's agent J.P. Barry said the Flames "are being good about this." Dupont: "The NHL is arguing that Radulov has a binding deal to play with the Predators and believes the KHL must honor the player's commitment to Nashville. Well, Nilson has a binding deal to play with Calgary, but it's OK for him to go the route that the league wants to deny Radulov? Hello to the goose and the gander. ... Even if the Flames are OK with his 'defection,' it appears Nilson running off to [KHL club CSKA Moscow] would only introduce a troubling shade of gray to the process" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/14).
MAKING HIS MARK: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts writes the pension court battle between the NHL and the NHLPA will be a "watershed moment" for Kelly. It is not important that Kelly "wins the fight, only that he is willing to wage it," as by doing so, he "should satisfy a small but influential group of his members who remain suspicious of anything that smacks of a cozy relationship with the NHL." Union sources have indicated that the players are "keeping a close eye on Kelly," as they "do not want to see any sign of overt chumminess with management." However, the pension dispute "could satisfy the hardliners that Kelly is his own man, ready to go to war for the players, but at the same time not provoke a major war that might derail the gravy train for the moderates" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/15).