Your opinion on Ilya Bryzgalov's trustworthiness may vary. The goaltender, known more for his quotes about the universe than his goaltending abilities, mentioned in an article on TSN.ca that he believes certain Russian players will remain in the KHL when the NHL returns from a lockout.
Does he have a solid argument or are these quotes ones we should roll our eyes at?
It's important to note that Bryzgalov isn't the first to discuss Russian players staying in the KHL after the lockout is over. Alex Ovechkin mentioned something similar, stating he might entertain the notion of staying if the situation called for it and that several of his fellow Russian players might join him.
Bryzgalov's statements make a lot of sense.
In the TSN.ca article he states:
I think some of the players may not return to the NHL because you have everything here and major companies are going to pay the top players here big money. And, especially for Russians players who can play at home in front of their own fans and families and [earn] even bigger money than they have in the National Hockey League.
That might be the most coherent, logical thought we've ever heard out of Bryzgalov.
The idea of Russian players staying in the KHL isn't as far-fetched as you might think. The prestige and allure of the NHL has diminished significantly as the league enjoys its second lockout in nine seasons. Meanwhile, the KHL has built a competitive league that holds the ability to hand out massive contracts to its big stars while they skate on familiar ice.
However, while Bryzgalov's comments make a lot of sense, it's doubtful it will apply to a large segment or even a significant segment of Russian players. Brygzalov notes that there isn't enough money in the KHL to handsomely reward all of the Russian players that might elect to stay in the KHL but there is enough to persuade a few major stars - Ovechkin for example - to rethink their future.
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This russian clown sold his Phoenix team out during his two years of playoff hockey in the desert, and it would be best if he stayed in russia and played for his beloved fans and when the russian mob money runs out in a year or two which is financing the KHL then he can get a coaching job in siberia......thanks Bryz for nothing from the fans in the desert,,,,,,,,you did us a great favor by bailing.
I hope they're not bluffing. Just stay there. Stop the the threats and step up to the plate. Stay in your wonderful country. We don;t really care. IS the KHL.
I expect that we could see a handful do this, for exactly the reasons mentioned. However, I doubt that this would be an en masse kind of movement, unless things regarding the CBA change pretty drastically. This can also be tied in with a discussion of the KHL's economics, if one were so inclined, or the economics of the team owners. Much like the NHL and its owners, I question the ability of the KHL owners at large to keep handing out the contracts that would be luring these star players into staying. Plus, there is the fact of life of air travel in that league - now that Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is reconstituted and playing in the league again, it's a consistent reminder that perhaps playing in the KHL is not quite so safe, and what good are untold millions if you're not alive to spend them?
@miendiem I still think ego plays a role in all of this too for the big stars. Some of the smaller Russian star in the NHL could benefit quite a bit from a role in the KHL. However, a guy like Ovechkin still has the nagging ego that reminds him that he has never hoisted a Cup. That same ego reminds him that the Crosby comparisons will always exist if he departs. I think he stays in the NHL simply for the fact he wants to prove everyone wrong. Hard to imagine Ovechkin just turning his back on all of that. Easy to imagine for other Russians that have little, if anything, to prove.