Monday morning, R-Sport’s Semen Galkevich had a report on Evgeny Kuznetsov and the KHL from across the ocean.
According to Galkevich, SKA Saint Petersburg is purchasing Kuznetsov’s rights from his hometown KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, for approximately $3 million. That move is reportedly happening “within a few weeks.”
SKA St. Petersburg and Traktor Chelyabinsk will have a deal to exchange the KHL rights for Evgeny Kuznetsov for 150 M rubles (~$3M) according to a source familiar with the situation.
“SKA is interested in returning Kuznetsov to Russia in order to allow his participation in the Olympics, therefore the club has agreed with Traktor to this exchange of rights for the player. It is expected the deal will be announced officially within a few weeks”, said the source to R-Sport.
In a tweet, Galkevich published even more.
Говорят, что СКА предлагает Кузнецову контракт на 3 года, по 6 миллионов долларов за сезон. И все равно ведь не поедет
— Семён Галькевич (@galkevich32) June 19, 2017
“They are saying SKA offered Kuznetsov three-year, six million dollar a year deal,” Galkevich writes. “[Kuznetsov] is not going to go anyways.”
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First, Russian reports are notoriously unreliable. Second, while R-Sport is one of the more respected journalism agencies in the country, Galkevich’s entire story is based off information from an unnamed source. The KHL, SKA, Traktor, or Kuznetsov have not reacted or officially confirmed anything.
Galkevich’s reporting of the contract offer Kuznetsov received was not included in his official story, indicating perhaps that Galkevich does not feel strongly enough about the accuracy of that information to put it in writing.
In the KHL, Kuznetsov is essentially the equivalent of a restricted free agent and Traktor is currently his rights holder, though there are differences in how players of that nature can be treated. If Kuznetsov was offered a contract by another team, as Galkevich indicates, that likely happened in May when there appears to be a narrow window when all teams can negotiate with players of these sort. This is per the KHL Legal Regulations.
A player who had received proper qualifying offer gains status “Restricted Free Agent” on May 1 and may accept a contract offer from another KHL, VHL, or MHL team.
New deals with a different team must be signed by May 31. If Kuznetsov rejected the original contract offer and SKA wants to continue negotiating during the summer, they would have to acquire his rights through a trade.
Galkevich ends his tweet with a personal opinion. He does not think Kuznetsov’s coming home to Russia. That appears accurate.
During the offseason, Kuznetsov has called the KHL a second option and only if he’s not “wanted” in the NHL. Kuznetsov said these words in an impromptu press conference after arriving in Germany for the 2017 World Championship.
Speaking of contract, are you only considering NHL, or is there any possibility, even half a percent, especially considering the Olympics…
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “Well, [smiling] if it turns out I am not wanted there, I’ll have to return.”
Kuznetsov also spoke about returning to Capitals media during Breakdown Day.
“My role on the team, I like this team and I feel comfortable and I feel like we not done something yet, so we have to be stronger, for sure,” Kuznetsov said. “I think we’re in the right way. We draft the guys and I like the hockey and I always look at the young players and I like the way they play. I think we’re in the right position for sure. I think we will be stronger next year for sure.”
Translations and additional reporting by Igor Kleyner. Chris Gordon also contributed reporting.
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