Saturday, 16 August 2008

Use Your Head

I have been focused on the Olympics as of late, mostly because there's no hockey in the summer and because it's the biggest sporting event this year. Of course, there are lots of hockey stories that I could be reporting on, but I like watching the field hockey teams battle one another on the pitch. It's a fairly exciting game, and one that should garner more attention. But today's entry is one of those hockey stories that is just too juicy to pass up. And when one comes across a story like this, there needs to be a discussion started.

I received an email from the upstart Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) over in Russia. They decided to send out a press release. Somehow, I've found myself on their mail list as a member of the press or something. Anyway, I was sort of blown away by the wording of the press release that was sent. Here is the entire release in its entirety:

"The Continental Hockey League (KHL) has decided to unilaterally extend the moratorium on inviting players from the clubs of the National Hockey League (NHL), which was introduced on July 15, 2008, which does not affect free agents who do not have contracts.

"'We will adhere to the moratorium until the first manifestation of disrespect to the hockey contracts of our league and the contract rights of its clubs,' said Alexander Medvedev, the league's president."

Now, I'm no military strategist. I have zero training when it comes to diplomatic relations. But why is the KHL posturing against the NHL?

Essentially, what the press release says is: "We agree to play by the rules until one of you guys screws us over."

How is that the makings of a civil and friendly agreement between the two leagues? The KHL has tossed a grenade across the ocean at the NHL, basically stating that they expect one of the NHL teams to try to tamper with players under contract in the KHL. Do they really want to compete against the NHL? Should they not be working with the NHL to strengthen this relationship between the two leagues?

This, to me, is one of the dumbest things that the KHL has done thus far in their short history. The NHL owners agreed not to rob teams of their talent from Russia, and the KHL agreed not to rob NHL teams of prospects. That's a good starting block to which everyone has agreed, and to which everyone has adhered. Why toss this elephant into the room with the accusation?

Sometimes, people need to start using their heads. And I'm referring directly to Alexander Medvedev and the owners of teams in the KHL. If you point fingers, check how many are pointing back at you.

As a side note, apparently the field hockey article from Friday didn't post properly, so I've reposted it. It appears to be there now, so please read through it to see how the countries are faring against one another.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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