The KHL has announced the official change to its Regulations concerning signing players with NHL contracts for the duration of the lockout in the NHL.
The document will become effective on the day the NHL announces the lockout, and will be in force until the NHL officially announces the end of the lockout. The change to the Regulations is designed to cover players who have NHL contracts, excluding those who have two-way NHL contracts and are assigned to the minor league by their NHL clubs for the duration of the lockout.
KHL's Hockey Operations Vice President Vladimir Shalaev said the following about the change:
"Our clubs are getting an opportunity to enter into contracts and to put on their rosters no more than three NHL players, and these players can be included above the established limit of 25 players. Of the three NHL players signed to a contract by Russian KHL clubs, there may be only one [foreign born] player. And it cannot be just any foreign born player, but one who meets one of the special criteria that was set in place to ensure only top level players come to the KHL."
The new regulations are, shall we say, quite specific.
The special criteria applying to foreign born players are that such players. Keep in mind the players must meet any one of the criteria. Not all of them:
- Must have played no less than 150 games in the NHL in the last three seasons;
- Must have had experience playing in the KHL;
- Must be a member of the national team of his country at one of the last two IIHF World Championships, World Junior Championships or the Olympic games;
- Must be a winner or the finalist of the Stanley Cup or the winner of one of the individual prizes awarded by the National Hockey League at the end of the season.
KHL clubs based outside of Russia may have more than one "foreign born player" among the three NHL players. This means that the aforementioned criteria does not apply no KHL clubs based outside of Russia, and teams like Slovakian Slovan can go after their country's NHL players like Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara.
The Russian KHL clubs currently have a five "foreign player" per team limit, including one such goaltender. With the new rule, they can add another such player without a problem, but will still have an opportunity to only dress five foreign born players for any given game.
Furthermore, as we reported earlier, the salaries paid for the lockout-only rentals, will not be counted towards the KHL salary cap.
However, the salary paid to NHL players may not be higher than 65 percent of the salary in his NHL contract for this season.
Shalaev also clarified:
"Contracts our teams enter into with NHL players must be enforceable until April 30 of next year, to the end of the 2012-2013 season. However, every contract must have a clause allowing unilateral termination at the end of the NHL lockout. Of course, no compensation is to be paid for such termination."
In other words: All contracts signed must have April 30 as their expiration date, i.e. KHL standard player contract. The only thing that is not "standard" in those contracts, is that they will be unilaterally terminated (KHL didn't clarify by who, but I guess by KHL clubs themselves) when the lockout is officially over.
In addition, KHL clubs will be able to trade their NHL lockout players in accordance with the current rules of the League.
KHL clubs will also have a discretion to purchase insurance for their NHL players in addition to the coverage — medical, life etc — already mandated by the KHL Regulations.