With another NHL lockout looming within the next week, a lot of players have been preparing for life without the league for 2012-13. For many of them that includes finding another place to play. Atop that list for many is the KHL, which has become the NHL's biggest competition.
The league is open to having some NHLers come play, but only if they meet some certain requirements. From Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport:
- 150 games in the NHL for the last 3 seasons -The experience of playing in the KHL...— Pavel Lysenkov (@plysenkov) September 11, 2012
- The experience of the national team at the last two Worlds, Junior Worlds, Olympics; - To have the Stanley Cup trophy, or personal trophy— Pavel Lysenkov (@plysenkov) September 11, 2012
In other words, the KHL's message can be summed up by a TLC song: No Scrubs.
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It makes sense for the KHL. If it's going to allow NHL players in the league, it wants to reap some benefits from its participation. And that would be the exposure. It also would allow for some propaganda for the KHL to be able to point to star players who chose to play in its league.
It also would seem to remove an avenue for the players who probably need it most. While guys like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest will entertain the idea of playing overseas, they aren't the guys who need to. They make enough money that they should be more than able to sit out part or all of a season without it having much impact on their regular lives. But the borderline players who are young and not making as much money are the ones who might need to play the most. These KHL rules could lock them out from two leagues.
Granted, with the different avenues that players can fit under these guidelines, it probably doesn't cross off too many players. But some are wiped out and can forget about going to the KHL if they were even considering it.
Surely there will be opportunities in other leagues for players who want to earn a paycheck.
But the KHL only will be taking the cream of the crop. But it can get only 65 percent of their NHL contract values, too. Hey, it beats a whole lotta nothing that players will be get from their NHL teams during the lockout.