With the NHL hurtling toward a lockout, one expects the KHL to begin a shopping spree on star players who might hop over to Russia during the work stoppage. Players like Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, in theory.
On Saturday, Dynamo Moscow general manager Andrey Safronov was quoted by RIA Novosti as coveting Ovechkin, indicating the team would speak to him if there's a lockout about joining the reigning Gagarin Cup Champions.
Ah, but on Sunday, team president Arkady Rotenberg told R-Sport that he's not all that open to Ovechkin joining the team — although he left the door open.
"I'm actually against it. And I don't see any prestige in it," Rotenberg said.
"I think that Ovechkin isn't necessary."
Rotenberg, a billionaire businessman with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, hinted that he could be persuaded to bring in Ovechkin by Safronov and coach Oleg Znarok. "I don't know. If they persuade me strongly," he said.
Safronov lamented the fact that Dynamo had already reached its five-player limit for "foreign" player (i.e. from other Leagues). But KHL president Alexander Medvedev has hinted that his League will enact "measures" if and when the NHL lockout begins.
Via SovSport, Medvedev anticipates stars like Ovechkin, Ilya Bryzgalov and Evgeni Makin will come to the League until the NHL labor situation is resolved as "it will raise interest in hockey in Russia."
Metallurg Magnitogorsk holds the rights to Malkin should he head to the KHL. Nail Yakupov has been chatted up as KHL bound by his agent.
Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings told R-Sport that he will make a decision on his lockout plans next month, having played with Dynamo in 2004-05.