Some Clarification on Malkin and the Penguins

Here are some de facto clarifying notes about Pittsburgh and Malkin. In fact, most apply to all NHL teams, so this should be helpful regardless of which NHL team you follow. I thought this was long overdue since I keep reading misinterpretations of the situation by many on their posts. And althought I am sure these notes will not rid the site of erroneous comments about the situation, I wanted to help people who are interested in reading it, what is really going on instead of getting bad information from the uninformed. So here are some true factual points as things stand under the current CBA and player transfer agreement:

  • Malkin’s transfer from Magnitogorsk to Pittsburgh will cost $0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. – All transfers from any league to the NHL, cost absolutely nothing to the NHL team. All 30 teams contribute to an NHL central fund used for the transfer of players as per agreement with IIHL countries (except for Russia at present). The NHL (or all 30 teams, whichever way you want to look at it) pays for these transfer fees. So in a way, the Penguins paid/will pay the Malkin transfer fee, when they put in their required part every year to be alloted into this fund. But the fact is they don’t actually pay for the transfer of the player, the NHL does. I am not versed on what these amounts are, but my understanding is that the amount is the same for all 30 NHL teams. Regardless, the Penguins will not have to come up with an extra amount on their budget just to pay off Magnitogorsk to get Malkin. Their regular alloted yearly budget already takes care of this.
  • The transfer costs for ANY player (regardless of draft position) under the present transfer agreement is $200,000. – It doesn’t matter if the player is 1st overall, or last overall, the fee is the same. The General Director for Magnitogorsk is apparently oblivious to this, because during an interview in Russia, he said he refuses to accept the Penguins’s transfer fee of $900,000. For one the Pens won’t even be involved in the actual transfer, and for two the fee is $700,000 less than he thinks. I think he will be mad when he finds out.
  • Due to the lack of an agreement for transfer of players with Russian clubs, signing deadlines for drafted players in Russian clubs are presently indefinite. – NHL clubs keep the rights to these players indefinitely until further notice. This means that the Penguins rights to Malkin, for now, will not expire. This already happened with another player for the Penguins. Pittsburgh’s rights to Sergei Anshakov (who they got in a trade with the Kings) were to have expired by now, but since the deadline has been removed, the Pens kept the rights to Anshakov without signing him. This also means that whether for next season, or even in two years when Malkin’s Russian contract expires, the Penguins will be able to sign Malkin to an entry-level contract which will not be far removed from Crosby’s $850,000 playing contract being that the current CBA put a cap on rookie salaries.
  • Malkin wants to play for the Penguins next year and things are looking up in that regard. – Unlike for this season (he wanted to stay in Magnitogorsk), Malkin has stated more than once that he wants to play next season in the NHL for Pittsburgh. His contract with Magnitogorsk ties him up for another two years (unless the Russian clubs and the NHL and IIHL can agree to a transfer agreement). But the signs are better that the Russians will agree to a transfer agreement for next season now that they have a new president (Hall-of-famer Vladislav Tretiak)of the russian hockey federation who is NHL friendly. And also because legal research interpretation of Russia’s labor law has turned up that unlike in North America, in Russia hockey players are not legally bound to their clubs, so under this interpretation Malkin could just tend a letter of resignation to his club, and head anywhere he wishes, which puts more pressure on the clubs and Magnitogorsk to agree to sign a transfer agreement.
  • Lastly, I did not research the actual material myself. Like most of us, I simply read the articles from the people who did the actual reasearch (like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The information comes from several sources and articles, but were all reaserched by investigative reporters who took the time to clear these issues up with the NHL, the Penguins, player agents and the like, and all these points have yet to be refuted by any of the above. All of the information I supply above came from established professional and respectable news agencies (i.e. no fly by night “news” websites, fan sites, or BBs used).

    I hope this helps clearing up some of the misconceptions. Feel free to post, but if you expect a response please be patient it might take me a bit to get back here and respond.