Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KHL to make structural changes

Structural changes in Russia's KHL may have an impact on the organization's ability to hire players from overseas.

One of the major changes being debated in Moscow is a new rule defining who is actually a foreign player and who is not, the Edmonton Journal reports.

There is a limit on the number of foreign players allowed on a team's roster and the new rule would create a condition that anyone who has not played or dressed for Team Russia at any level would be considered foreign.

If the rule were to revert to the original regulation, players from former Soviet republics and other countries who hold a Russia passport would be considered domestic talent. This would allow clubs to hire players from anywhere, including other countries and overseas.

The organization will maintain a rule that says that any club can only sign one foreign goaltender. Most clubs, though, disagree with the rule that Russian goalies must be in nets for at least 35 percent of games played.

The rule of limiting clubs to having five foreign players, though teams outside of Russia, including Lev Praha and Slovan Bratislava, would be exempt, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The KHL is also discussing the idea of dropping its draft and withdrawing the obligation to play a minimum of players under 20 years of age every game.

Currently, clubs have to dress two players under 20 each game, though most teams have found ways of getting around the rule.

Team management has also asked that the draft be dropped altogether. They say that teams are avoiding the benefits of the draft by teaming with hockey schools and investing money in educating young talent, which they end up losing in the draft.

"In the NHL, it's the parents and sponsors who pay to develop players," Golubev said, the Edmonton Journal reports. "In Russia, we're paying to maintain the hockey schools, but can't keep all of the best junior-age players."