Oct 12, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT
“I can see the level of the game, I can see the guys, the skill of the players, how they have great techniques,” Ovechkin said. “I think right now it’s – with the NHL not working – the KHL is the best league.”
The numbers back up Ovechkin’s claims, at least from a quantity standpoint.
The KHL employs 27 percent of jettisoned NHL players, according to The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle.
According to Mirtle’s report, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden are the closest competitors behind Russia’s KHL while Poland and Slovakia bring up the rear.
As the Ovechkins of the world get in game shape, Mirtle points out that most North American-born players are mostly staying put.
Of the 133, I count 32 Canadians and 11 Americans, which means they make up about one-third of the total. That makes a lot of sense, as it’s far more comfortable for European players to simply remain in their hometowns where many spent the off-season, but it could put the North Americans who make up 75 per cent of the NHL at a disadvantage once the season finally begins.
We’ll see if these movements make any impact in a shortened season – if there is one, of course.
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- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 17
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 43
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
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- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (43)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)