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Jagr goes to Russia

Friday, July 4, 2008

TSN.ca is reporting that Jaromir Jagr has signed a 2-year contract with Omsk of the new Continental League.

This move could be the first crack in the dam.  The NHL features the world’s best hockey players competing for the Stanley Cup.  But now the Continental League has a genuine, grade A talent who has chosen Russia over the NHL. 

Remember that Jagr is not a Russian; he’s Czech.  Both the Continental League and the NHL are foreign organizations for him.  This is a world-class player who chose Europe for money, and his actions may pave the way for younger talent to do the same.

Just think of the current NHLers who hail from central Europe and Russia: Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Hossa, Demitra, Gaborik, Nabokov, Datsyuk.  And those are only the all-star elite.  What happens with young guns like Semin or prospects like Filatov?

Gary Bettman often harps on the high level of competition the NHL puts on ice each season.  It will be interesting to see how the NHL copes with this new competition in the hockey business.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. flyersfan44 permalink
    Monday, July 7, 2008 12:44 pm

    I’m not overly worried about other top-flight NHLers leaving for Russia or other countries in Europe. Jagr wanted a longer deal than any NHL team was willing to offer a 36 year-old player for the money he would command. The Russian team came up with probably more money than he could have made here and the length of contract Jagr wanted. For younger, top-level players, the NHL is where it’s at, both in terms of money, exposure, and prestige.

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