The KHL Is a Bush League, Potential Kabanov Suspension

Moneypuck -Contributor IAugust 25, 2009

Seriously? Freaking seriously?

The KHL is apparently considering suspending Russian forward Kirill Kabanov, who most likely is going in the top three in the 2010 draft and is the No. 1 pick on my board at the moment. Their reasoning for this is, according to the KHL president (roughly translated by Google) is because of Kirill wanting to defect... shocker:

"We have no such rules," said Medvedev. "We are not insurmountable barriers to play hockey in the NHL or any other league, but it must be certain conditions are satisfied in our case—the payment of compensation."

Because in the KHL, your rights at binded to a club until the age of 28, if you wish to leave the team, you have to pay a transfer fee that is negotiable with the club. Funny enough, the rule only came into effect this year.

Kabanov's party is demanding a contract that allows him to leave, most likely next year after hes drafted but it could be this year too as he was drafted by the QMJHL Moncton Wildcats, although I'm sure he prefers to play at home. The KHL is threatening to suspend him for the year.

I understand the KHL's reasoning—they want this clause to prevent their players from defecting. However, in my opinion, this is counteractive. If you put these restrictions on, it will just alienate people from playing there because they will feel entrapped, and it's  a rather bush league.

The KHL needs to accept it will never be as big as the NHL, and accept its role as the second best professional league and just another feeder or unofficial minor league (that steals its players) for the NHL.

You can't force people to play in your league, especially when there're many ways to get around these things.

The KHL has to accept it can't keep their stars, they will only get the lower end of the stick in terms of talent, be it guys who aren't good enough, too old or if they really overpay, in which case to do the latter they better start improving their business model.