ZURICH, Switzerland - The dispute between the NHL and a newly formed Russian hockey league over forward Alexander Radulov appears headed for court.
The Continental Hockey League (KHL) withdrew its appeal on five other player transfers at a meeting between the International Ice Hockey Federation and nine member countries held on Saturday, but couldn't resolve the Radulov case, the IIHF announced in a release.
The NHL and KHL will now go to court or arbitration to decide who owns his rights.
Radulov had one year remaining on his contract with the Nashville Predators when he signed a deal with Ufa.
He believes the deal with the Russian team is valid because it was signed before the NHL and KHL agreed to honour each other's contracts.
The Predators suspended the 22-year-old indefinitely without pay on Tuesday, but didn't rule out that he would return to the team in the future.
"At some point, we hope Alex will have a desire to return to the NHL and compete in the best league in the world," Predators GM David Poile said in a release. "We will re-visit his status at that time."
The KHL withdrew its appeal on five players who were signed away from the KHL by NHL clubs, including Columbus Blue Jackets winger Nikita Filatov, Minnesota Wild defenceman Tomas Mojzis, Vancouver Canucks centre Jason Krog, New Jersey Devils centre Fedor Fedorov and Phoenix Coyotes centre Viktor Tikhonov.
The KHL did contest the transfers of three other players: Los Angeles Kings prospects Andrei Loktionov and Vyacheslav Voinov, and Columbus prospect Andrei Mayorov.
To avoid future problems, the European IIHF member countries planned to create a standard player contract in order to strengthen the validity of contracts in IIHF-affiliated leagues.