The KHL Financial Crisis

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits - Rounds 2-7

Could Vladislav Kamenev be destined for Nashville/Milwaukee in the not so distant future? (Source: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Earlier today, Admirals Roundtable Editor-in-Cheif Daniel Lavender, offered some terrific reporting on former/future Admirals during his where are they now update.

To expand on Lavender’s post, I thought I would bring up a little situation that is brewing half a world away in the Kontinental Hockey League, which might (also might not) have a huge impact on the future of the NHL/AHL.

The mainly Russian-based KHL is suffering quite a bit right now with the collapse of the ruble, combined with Russia’s economic santions resulting from the Ukraine crisis, all tied into that country’s oil-dominated economy. Many players that went to Russia over the past few years looking for big pay days in the “K” and low taxs are feeling the heat right now as their contracts are now worth about half of what they were this past summer.

Some teams are being rumored to fold up shop during the season (even in the good times very few KHL teams are actually profitable, a situation that never made much sense to me in the first place).

What does this all mean? Well some NHL prospects currently playing Russia, might be on their way over to North America sooner than later. A couple of notables with ties to the Admirals/Predators playing in the KHL right now are defenseman Joonas Järvinen and prospect Vladislav Kamenev, Nashville’s second pick (42nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

From my knowledge Kamenev’s team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, is one of the league’s more stable franchises (they are also the defending KHL Champions, coached by “iron” Mike Keenan), but this situation is certainly something worth keeping abreast of. Usually, Milwaukee or other AHL teams rarely are development ground for Russian players with interest in playing in the NHL. Same goes for a lot of Finns, Swedes and so on, with the obvious exception being Milwaukee.

However, if the financial benefits to playing in the KHL continue to go south, expect a lot of international players to start looking for other playing options.

Here are a few more tweets in regards to the ongoing Russian financial/KHL crisis:

So Roundtable . . . Any thoughts on the crisis in the KHL? Are there any players currently overseas that you would like to see back in North America?

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3 Responses to The KHL Financial Crisis

  1. Jim Zeirke says:

    Well, given that the OKC Barons are folding up the tent at the end of this season, there might be a glut of players available in the AHL. That could drive the price of players a little screwy.

  2. Fan in the Falls says:

    It will definitely be interesting to see what happens with the KHL and the players over the next year. If the league does contract, which at this point almost seems like a sure thing, where will the players go? Will they go to other European leagues? Try to get into the NHL? It could cause quite a bit of shuffling depending on how bad it gets.

  3. C-J Carlson says:

    Aside from possibly seeing more Russian in (or back in) the AHL and NHL next season, other national leagues may well benefit from the addition of former KHL players, especially those not considered as strong as the top leagues in Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. I can see the German and Swiss leagues benefitting the most from this. Consequently, this would likely lead to more players from those leagues ending up over here as well, which could do a lot to strengthen the ECHL; especially after taking the risk of absorbing the Central League. Anyhoo…

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