KHL president hints Russian players could leave NHL next year: report

Does Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin dream of playing back home in Russia for the KHL? (Al...

Does Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin dream of playing back home in Russia for the KHL? (Al Charest/QMI Agency/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:34 PM ET

Is next season the last for NHL stars like Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins playmaker Evgeny Malkin?

While attending a charity game in Chekhov, Russia, hosted by former NHL player Ilya Kovalchuk over the weekend, Kontinental Hockey League president Alexander Medvedev was asked about the possibility of Russian players leaving North America and returning home to play in the country's domestic league.

"Are you talking about (Ovechkin and Malkin) returning to the KHL? Next season there may be pleasant surprises. Let's wait," Medvedev told Russia's Sport-Express, according to a translation by Igor Kleyner for Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks.

The NHL and KHL currently are bound by a Memorandum of Understanding that enforces both leagues to honour player contracts, but the agreement expires on June 30, 2015 following a one-year-extension signed last month.

"It is not a secret that the signing of first such agreement in 2011 was not easy," Medvedev told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS on Aug. 7. "Annual prolongations of the memorandum were not smooth as well. I am not going to name the reasons behind as the most important thing is that the agreement was signed and in line with all rights and obligations, which KHL and NHL previously exercised."

The NHL currently has a Player Transfer Agreement in place with hockey federations in Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Germany.


Videos

Photos