Malkin back to Magnitogorsk?

A Russian court ruled that Evgeni Malkin cannot play for the Penguins this season. See link to the story inside.

33 Responses to Malkin back to Magnitogorsk?

  1. pensfan29 says:

    personally i believe he will be able to play just like how Ovechkin could after he was getting sued by his russian club. He already has sent in an appeal.

    Just when I thought the saga was over…… it’s only starting it looks like.

  2. The-President says:


    Pens are a joke.

  3. DEViLs4liFE says:

    damnnit and i already got a Malkin Jersey personalized

  4. ThomasHawks says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha U an Idiot

  5. ThomasHawks says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha Ur an Idiot

  6. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    I believe it is actually a Russian committee that ruled it… and the court has to now decided. The penguins do not have to listen to this committee but will have to go to court if a Russian court decides to rule in magnitogorsk’s favor. Then after that the US courts can decided whether they want to enforce the Russian Courts ruling… its very complicated but does not mean malkin cant play or has to go back to Magnitogorsk.

  7. sketchy says:

    After reading the article and the a decision from 1998 referencing the 1958 treaty for the enforcement of tribunal awards, I can only conclude that Magnitogorsk is pretty much up the creek without a kayak.

    They will sue for the US$2,000,000 which they asked for, but from here on in it is all legal wrangling.

    I think that this could mean a return to the old days of junior players ‘missing their flights’ and promptly being granted asylum to work in North America and oh, by the way, we already have a signed contract for him, or that wasn’t OUR white van speeding away from the airport with a 27 year old undrafted Russian superstar in the back.

  8. BeeHive says:

    Anyone who retypes a post to correct “U” to “Ur” is the idiot.

  9. OldGoalie says:

    From my 20 minutes of actual research, I think you’re being too kind to Magnitogorsk.

    In 1997, CSKA sued Arena Associates for interference with an existing contract over Sergei Samsonov. A federal court in New York actually did hold that it had jurisdiction to hear the case, but they also said that where the law of the state that is being enforced by the court would void the contract, the Russian team loses. Here, we have a 20 year old kid who appears to have been coered into signing a contract at 3 a.m., and his parents claiming that they may have to move from Magnitogorsk because of safety concerns. Duress is a classic means of voiding a contract, and from this it sounds like there’s a legitimate argument that Malkin’s “contract” with Magnitogorsk doesn’t really exist at all.

    Second…the court also held that even if the contract cannot be voided, the Russian team still loses if it cannot prove the elements to interference with a contract. In NY, those are (1) existence of a valid contract, (2) defendant’s knowledge of the contract, (3) defendant’s intentional inducement of a breach of that contract, and (4) actual damages. Magnitogorsk might have serious problems proving a valid contract, but they also would face a (steep) uphill climb in attempting to prove an intentional inducement to breach Malkin’s contract on the part of the NHL or Pens…and God help them trying to prove what their actual damages from this are.

    In PA, the elements of interference with a contract are very similar…and again I think Magnitogorsk very probably loses.

    Now…the treaty dealing with the international enforcement of arbitration awards. First and foremost, a U.S. court will not enforce an arbitration ruling if the player did not agree to binding arbitration in his contract. This is the Ovechkin situation…because A.O. didn’t agree to binding arbitration in advance, the D.C. District Court wouldn’t even consider what the Russian ruling said. If Malkin’s contract doesn’t have an arbitration clause built in, Magnitogorsk loses.

    Finally, as I understand the treaty at issue, a U.S. court could only enforce a ruling from a Russian arbitration board or court to the extent that it had jurisdiction. Now…a Russian court or board could almost certainly issue a ruling that says “Malkin cannot play for any other team in Russia while under contract to Magnitogorsk.” But can they issue a ruling that says “Malkin cannot play hockey for any other team anywhere in the world while under contract with Magnitogorsk…”? That in essence is claiming that the Russian court has jurisdiction over every league and team on the planet. Now, I’m certainly no expert in international law, but that seems like overreaching to me…

    In short, I’ll worry about a court ruling if a federal court in the U.S. says that Malkin cannot play for the Pens this season. Not before.

  10. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    So? Those Ruskies can ***** emselves, their pointless rulings mean nothing here.

  11. BruMagnus says:

    Malkin will play in Pittsburgh.

  12. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    actually they do. Malkin is a Russian citisen, and if he violates russian law the canadian and american government have to return him to his own country. If I were Russian I’d be pissed about the situation too.

  13. kamullia says:

    Nice summary.

    On the point of the player agreeing to binding arbitration in the contract, that does not necessarily have to be the case. I do not know how things work in Russia as far as their system, but in the NHL the players do not agree to binding arbitration in the contracts per se, for what I understand. The way that they indirectly agree is that the arbitration process is spelled out in the CBA and the NHL and the NHLPA agree to the CBA by their legal representatives signing the do*****ent. And since all the players who play in the NHL must be NHLPA player/members, that is how the NHL players and owners end up agreeing to binding arbitration here. It is possible that perhaps in Russia have something similar, and then Malkin would be bound by the decision, even if not spelled out on his contract (but I doubt it, otherwise Ovechkin would have had the same issue).

    One more thing that people should keep in mind, and that all these articles in the press have so far misled on readers is that we are talking about independent arbitration from a Russian board and not a court ruling, even though that for some obscure reason they are saying the board issued a court order, which is impossible. In fact, this is also part of the reason that in the case of Ovechkin the court said that it had no jurisdiction. If the matter was a decision from an actual Russian court of law, the situation changes drastically. This would be analogous to my neighbors getting together and being paid by the NHL to look at the case and their judgment is that Malkin must play with one hand tied behind his back for the entire season. The Russian Tribunal’s judgment will have as much legal standing in the US as the group of neighbors would, because they will be considered a party with no legal ties to Malkin.

    The morons at ESPN keep botching NHL stories, and here is another example where someone screwed up. ESPN even titled their story “Russian court bans Malkin from playing in NHL”, even though in the very first line they call it properly an arbitration tribunal (which is not a court of law). Tribunals can give binding judgments, but as you pointed out, only if all parties legally agree to it, and they are certainly never called rulings.

    Regardless, this case will just be made up of several legal movements attempting to stop Malkin from playing, which will be counteracted by other movements to let him keep on playing, and in the end the result will be that Magnitogorsk will have lost a player, gotten no compensation for him, and on top of that wasted a lot of money paying a law firm who will inevitably lose the case. In the end, they will never admit to it, but privately they will say that they were better of signing the transfer agreement, which by the way has to be re-negotiated or renewed because it expires at the end of the season.

  14. B514 says:

    Even if this goes to an American court, if they can prove that Malkin signed the one year contract with Magnitogorsk under duress, that could void the contract.

  15. kamullia says:

    Malkin did not violate Russian law. There are some intricacies here, but here are some points:

    The decision from Russia was made by an Arbitration Tribunal, which is an independent private group who is paid and make a decision on a dispute. All parties must agree for this to happen lawfully. Arbitration Tribunals issue judgments, not rulings. Rulings are issued by Courts of Law. Arbitration Tribunals judgments can be binding as a contract, if the parties have agreed to abide by the judgment in advance. There is question as to whether Malkin has anywhere ever agreed to in writing (i.e. his Russian contract) to abide by an Arbitration Tribunal’s judgment. If Malkin did not agree to in writing to abide by such arbitration, it might as well be the same as a judgment from the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo passing a judgment that I must pay to cut all my neighbors’ grass, because once it got to a US court they would say, “Gee that’s nice, but he did not agree to do what your Order decides and legally he does not have to, so sorry you will have to find other funds for the grass cutters. What do we say we all go home now? Okay bye, nice to meet you. Have a safe trip.“

  16. kamullia says:

    Amen, and you can be sure that will be brought up by Malkin’s lawyers immediately to the US judge as soon as they get a chance.

  17. OldGoalie says:

    Speaking of expiration dates…one of the things that I found to be just horrifying about the DiPietro signing and that nobody really seemed to talk about much (although I have to confess I didn’t read all the posts by any means) is that 15 years goes past the end o the current CBA, doesn’t it? I don’t remember off the top of my head exactly how long this inarnation runs, but I have a distant memory of reading that it is significantly less than a decade and a half.

    That of course matters if (1) there’s another work stoppage, revenues fall the following season, and the cap goes down accordingly (assuming a similar-ish cap system is still in place), (2) whatever cap exists is just outright set lower, (3) a player’s hit against the cap is calculated differently next time around, etc., etc.

    I mean…everyone is acting like the current cap system is basically what it’s going to be forever, and that the actual cap number will probably go up at least a little every year. I don’t necessarily think that’s a rock-solid assumption, if only because this is the NHL’s first attempt, and I would not be shocked if there are some growing pains and/or tweaks to the system next time a CBA is negotiated. Signing a player to a contract that spans that next renewal of the cap system could turn out to be fairly dangerous…

  18. kamullia says:

    I agree the cap will fluctuate, but it all depends on how the league markets itself. Frankly I would be in the least bit surprised if after this year the limits get reduced. Many times the first year everyone is excited and then the enthusiasm trails off. And frankly I was not too excited with the coverage of OLN (Versus now), and NBC. OLN did get better as the season progressed, but they really need to implement some of those camera innovations they announced early last year, and then abandoned. It certainly would be great to have a “sky cam” that moves with the skaters and gives the feel of hovering above the ice.

    CBA : In theory this CBA could be open-ended. Officially its term is from Sep 16, 2004 to Sep 15, 2011, but it automatically renews unless one of the parties gives timely written notice. There are also specific clause options that state that the NHLPA can terminate the CBA early in Sep 2009, and also can extend to Sep 2012.

    Russian tribunal : I found it funny that the Russian Arbitration Tribunal has a timeline of 10 days to publish their full decision, but Malkin only has 7 days to appeal the decision. What is he supposed to base his appeal on if the court delivers the decision on or after the 7th day, or even the 6th day at that, especially when Malkin was not even represented at the hearings?!

    Notes from day 1 of Camp : All of Pivko, Welch, Letang, and Fleury had not such a good first day of Camp for what I have read. Letang particularly apparently was extremely nervous, considering the types of mistakes he made. Still quite early though, but this is a short camp and players better step it up quickly. All of the above are intriguing for one reason or another. The top two lines thus far have been made up of Ekman-Crosby-Armstrong and Malone-Malkin-Recchi. Malkin specifically keeps being impressive (I am sure everyone has heard by now about the “Lemieux style” goal). Ekman and Crosby look quite comfortable together, they had plenty of chances and created situations and penalties (5 altogether), they just did not burry the puck. The absolute surprises on the first day were Thibault (11/11 saves and 4/4 on the penalty shots) and Malone (who’s gotten faster). Fleury went 8/9 (beaten by a slap shot from the goal-scoring phenomenon of Andre Roy) and 2/5 on penalty shots (one a roof job from Malkin).

  19. PensinWpg says:

    Malkin could not be extradited to Russia unless he was charged with breaking Russian criminal law then he would be returned to Russia to face due process. At most he broke a contract which falls, at most, under contract law or labour law, nowhere near criminal law. Anyone knows thats.

  20. PensinWpg says:

    You make a valid case for yourself as well.

  21. OldGoalie says:

    I would not anticipate that the appeal filing deadline will become important.

    This is because, from what I’ve read (which admitttedly isn’t exactly exhaustive in its detail), if you appeal the tribunal’s ruling, you go to something that more closely resembles a “real” court. In Malkin’s case, you would of course expect to get basically the same decision on appeal, so all you really would accomplish (if you’re Malkin) by appealing is getting a ruling that probably would have more weight.

    Assuming the description of the process that I have is more or less accurate, I absolutely would not appeal so that Magnitogorsk will have to rely on only an arbitration decision in a U.S. federal district court. This becomes even more of an advisable strategy if there’s no agreement in place between them and Malkin for binding arbitration, but I would go this route either way.

    From the total lack o an appearance by Malkin’s representatives at the arbitration hearing, I would guess that this is their strategy as well. Indeed…their absence may have been calculated to make the arbitration board enter what amounts to a default judgment, which of course limits the arguments that are in front of the tribunal. This might be advisable, though…if your plan is to let the case get to a U.S. court (which it would have to for Malkin to lose it), then argue that (1) his Russian contract is unenforceable due to duress, (2) there was no advance agreement to accept arbitration, and (3) in any event, there was an oral agreement to allow Malkin to escape this year, (or whatever your planned arguments acutally are), force the Russians to argue all of that without having had the benefit of hearing everything you have to say in what amounts to a practice session with the arbitration tribunal.

    Now…from the Pens’ perspective and the NHL’s, there’s virtually nothing to worry about as near as I can tell. The Samsonov case basically screws Magnitogorsk’s quest for mega-compensation from either, because even if the contract is enforceable, there are serious problems with proving that the league or team acted intentionally to impair the Russian contract or what the actual damages might be. This case is almost certainly why you heard statements from the Pens and league along the lines of “we don’t know where he is, we haven’t heard from him, and we’ll only talk to him if he voids hs Russian conract first” back when the cloak and dagger stuff started…all of that bolsters a contention that nobody here exercised any influence over the kid to bail.

    Magnitogorsk appears to already know that they aren’t going to have Malkin in their lineup this year…it looks like this is all about $$ for them now. The result that you end up with here may very well end up being the Russians realize that they probably won’t get any compensation from a U.S. court from the NHL or Pens, and they elect to either (a) take nothing out of principle, or (2) take what they can get and just settle with the NHL…and it would not shock me at all if that settlement was for roughly $200,000.

  22. kamullia says:

    I only mentioned the Russian judgment timing because it is certainly something to poke fun at. It is ridiculous in my view.

    I am absolutely not in the least bit worry about the Malkin situation. None. Really. My biggest worry (and it is minimal at best) is the possibility of Malkin not being able to play a few games because of a temporary restraining order from a court. But I am quite sure that all NHL, Penguins, and Malkin’s (and his agents) legal council by now have already drafted their response, and an immediate request to lift such order. If Malkin is unable to play more than 3 games, I will be surprised by Magnitorosk’s lawyers ability (or their opposition’s ineptitude).

  23. Nickc2cb says:

    You sound jealous, you jerk!

  24. Williams1505 says:

    it won’t happen….He’ll stay

  25. WE-DeusEx says:

    ur a *****3n goof. get a life bozo. look at your name? president of what? loser

  26. WE-DeusEx says:

    whats wrong with getting a malkin jersy? he’ll be playing for the pens eventually.

    thomashawks. ur a goof. you remind me of gay

  27. kamullia says:

    Actually Malkin could not be extradited, regardless. There is no extradition treaty between the U.S.A. and The Russian Federation.

  28. OldGoalie says:

    Basically, yes on all counts.

  29. jayhabsjay says:

    im sick of this bullshit about malkin i hope to god hes plays in pitts because i have him in a couple pools

  30. WE-DeusEx says:

    LOL so do i!

  31. BruMagnus says:

    where did you take him in the pool?


    I hope I don’t come off as a bigot or racist here, and if so, I apologize, but these Russian owners are egotistical, greedy bastards who refuse to let their shars shine. Remember last year when they tried to keep Ovechin away from Washington? God this pisses me off.

    JUST LET ‘EM PLAY DAMMIT! These are top prospects who DESERVE to play in the NHL you’re trying to keep away from us here!

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