NHL, NHLPA, IIHF meet in hopes of drafting new player transfer agreement with Europe

The IIHF, NHL and the NHLPA held a meeting in Berne, Switzerland on Tuesday in an attempt to establish co-operation regarding a mutual respect of contracts and a new player transfer agreement.

During the meeting, the IIHF announced the legal findings of the investigation regarding Alexander Radulov. A group of international lawyers hired by the IIHF concluded that Radulov was under a binding and valid contract with the Nashville Predators at the time when he signed a contract with Salavat Yulayev, Ufa of the Kontinental League.

The IIHF does not support breach of valid and binding agreements. However, the current IIHF statutes and bylaws – as well as the absence of an agreement regarding respect of valid contracts between the IIHF and NHL – does not give the IIHF legal base to sanction the player.

The parties agreed in principle to work towards drafting an agreement that would be consistent with the previous understanding of mutual respect of contracts. The objective is to have the IIHF, the NHL and all relevant European associations and leagues, including the KHL, signing the agreement that would regulate terms of mutual respect of contracts.

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The intent is that the NHL and NHLPA will be entering the agreement with the IIHF, and consequently the IIHF will work separately to secure agreements with its member associations and leagues.

The parties also agreed to work towards a new PTA between the NHL and the top European associations and leagues. The ambition is to have an agreement in place by early spring 2009.

According to the IIHF, a future PTA would most likely not include the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia or the KHL.

The IIHF was represented at the meeting by president René Fasel, the NHL by deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and the NHLPA by executive director Paul Kelly.