Mikhnov in lawsuit

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

The Oilers knew it might be coming.

They prepared for it.

Yesterday Russian hockey club Yaroslavl Lokomotiv filed a civil lawsuit in a New York court against the Oilers, Calgary Flames and the NHL over the signing of Alexei Mikhnov and Andrei Taratukhin.

Mikhnov, 24, has yet to play a regular-season game for the Oilers, while Taratukhin is playing with the Flames AHL affiliate in Omaha.

"We're aware they filed a lawsuit through media reports and communications with the NHL," said Oilers assistant GM Scott Howson. "And because the subject is going to be a matter that is going before the courts, it's not appropriate to comment any further."

Mikhnov, the Oilers first pick in the 2000 draft, arrived here in Edmonton in September and is looking for an apartment in the city.

Last season Mikhnov had 14 goals and eight assists in 40 games with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, adding four goals and two assists in seven games for Russia at the world championships this spring.

He's been a healthy scratch for the first six games of the season.

Mikhnov still had a year left on his contract with Yaroslavl, but used a loophole in the Russian labour laws to get out of it.

It is expected Metallurg Magnitogorsk will pursue similar action against the Pittsburgh Penguins for Evgeny Malkin.


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