Rumors are circulating that Ilya Kovalchuk has signed with a Russian team, which follows on the heals of Detroit losing one of their top young players Pavel Datsyuk , also to a Russian team. So, as you can see not all players are finding the lure of the NHL irresistible. Mostly because of the new CBA and resulting salary cap close to 100 players or top prospects have decided to forgo the NHL and stay in Europe for the big bucks. Germany and Russia are where most of these players will be playing this year.
Last season's NHL lockout drove many players overseas, and not all are coming back.Is a new labor war on the horizon with competing leagues able to trump limited NHL $$$ with the unlimited $$$ of free spending Russian billionaires? I think this is a trend we could very well see continue as NHL salary cap limitations make playing in Europe very attractive especially for the Euro-players.
..."You're seeing it more and more with the Russian players," Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "There are a handful of teams that will pay huge amounts of dollars to get top players."