Sports Outside the Beltway

NHL opposes Detroit Red Wing Jiri Hudler’s KHL deal

The Czech born hockey player decided he preferred to play hockey in Russia after he filed for salary arbitration with the NHL. From AP-

The Detroit Red Wings may not be done with Jiri Hudler after all.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail Saturday that the league has opposed the forward’s signing with Dynamo Moscow, officially communicating its concerns to the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Continental Hockey League.

The NHL believes Hudler should remain property of the Red Wings because he filed for NHL salary arbitration July 5 — before signing with the Russian club this past week.

Once a player has filed for salary arbitration in the NHL, he is awarded either a one-year or two-year contract. So the league believes the moment Hudler filed for arbitration, he obligated himself contractually to the NHL for next season.

The KHL and NHL have for the most part tried to respect players who are contractually obligated to their respective leagues and not poach them away.

However, winger Alexander Radulov was still under contract with the Nashville Predators last summer when he fled to Russia.

Hudler and the NHL will most likely end up in court or mediation. Does the NHL player’s agreement say a player who files for arbitration is automatically tendered a contract? If it isn’t spelled out, the NHL may have a difficult time forcing Hudler to remain in the NHL. I understand why the league will want to fight ‘jumpers’. If a stand isn’t taken, there will be more Jiri Hudlers and Alexander Radulovs leaving the NHL for $$$ greener pastures.

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