The Max Line

By Max Dostoevsky

Salary Cap is the hot topic at the upcoming PHL’s summit

PHL (Professional Hockey League) that runs RSL and High League
tournaments will held its next meeting on Nov.21. Among discussed topics –
imposition of Salary Cap in the Superleague, restriction for the number of
players per franchise and illumination of players movement on loan basis.

Salary cap will be especially welcomed. These days any player that had a
decent season may count on getting generous pay raise by signing with a
wealthy club (Ak Bars Kazan, Avangard Omsk and Severstal Cherepovets have
been accused more than often giving away overwhelming money to average
players). PHL’s proposed resolution indicates players wouldn’t be able to
get more than 10% of raise per contract. That should help less fortunate
franchises to be more competitive, as they’ll be able to re-sign some of
their top players come summer time. New resolution, if accepted, may also
encourage players to extend the duration of their contracts, while nowadays
deals that go beyond than one season for players elder than 22 are a rarity.

Restriction for players per franchise should prevent talented kids like
Artyom Kryukov, Alex Suglobov, Ivan Nepryaev and many others from polishing
stalls in the press box. It seems like the proposition itself was designed
especially for Lokomotiv. Yaroslavl has so much depth and talent in their
system that a few weeks ago Lokomotiv-2 coaching stuff opted not to dress
demoted for
conditioning spell Kryukov, Suglobov and Nepryaev motivating their decision
by following statement: “We have younger kids that need ice-time, those
three have proven themselves long ago.”

Just to think that teams like Molot, SKA, Spartak or Sibir could have
used those kids on second or third units’ roles. Meantime under current
rules Loko’s unwilling to either loan (even to a High league club!) or deal
players in question.

As far as the third controversial proposition – it shall illuminate
exaggerated roster shake-ups done by many clubs during trading periods.
The worst side of player loans – a few teams over the season change two
thirds of its initial roster and aftermath loose more than half of acquired
assets during the summer, as loaned contributors get recalled by their
rights owning teams. To back up past statement I propose to compare line-ups
of RSL outsiders before and after November’s transfer deadline. For
instance, Moscow
Spartak already released seven of its players, while Saint-Petersburg added
nine to its roster… And to think that there’s two more trading deadlines
before season’s end …


NABOKOV’S STORY

Once upon a time Dmitry Nabokov displayed flashes of brilliance in
Chicago and Long Island. But between those rather rare flashes he was
outrageously trashed by local media for being (more than often, mind you)
uncommitted, indifferent and moody on as well as off the ice. In his
three-year NHL stint former line-mate of Alexei Morozov was spending a lot
of time in Indianapolis and Lowell, also known as CHI and NYI’s farm teams.

Where’s is multitalented Dmitry these days? Whhhhhuddddda ya know!

Nabokov’s on spell in Novokuznetsk’s farm team Metallurg-2.

Not many RSL coaches will dare to demote their leading scorer to third
division farm club. But Metallurg’s Nikolai Soloviev claims he had no
choice.

“He got all those points (4g, 9a, 13 pts in 17 gp) without giving much
effort which underlines his immense potential,” – says Soloviev.

“But we need him to serve as example to our youngsters, to be committed
night in, night out. However Dmitry’s dedication level and work habits are
unacceptable, if he doesn’t change his attitude we’ll have to part ways.”

Lately Sibir’s head coach Vladimir Golubovich expressed interest in
acquiring enigmatic giant. Guess he’s the next to be deceived by former
first-rounder.


DOUBLE RESIGNATION

November’s break was marked by season’s second coaching change. Moscow
Spartak’s head coach Fedor Kanareikin resigned, so did club’s president and
GM Boris Mayorov. Kanareikin’s assistant Sergei Shepelev will serve as the
new head coach. While Vyacheslav Starshinov has been appointed team’s
president/GM.

Meantime Moscow club continues to dump players. Defenders Alexander
Zhurik, Artyom Mariams and forward Alexander Trofimov (acquired from Kazan
in September, as a change for Sergei Zinoviev) were released yesterday.


EEEEEEEEE-MAIL

Jim Roberts: What do you think of these two St. Louis Blues prospects:
Alexei Shkotov and Andrei Troschinsky and how are they doing this year?

MAX: Shkotov, despite being unproductive, is getting chances one after
other. In a few games he dressed this season he had third/fourth line roles
and even saw some PP time. He had several good scoring chances down the road
but was unable to register any points. Shkotov is skilled and intriguing
prospect with untapped potential, however he may take a while to develop.
Troschinsky got traded to Moscow Spartak. It didn’t work out for him in
Magnitogorsk. He was out of shape early in the season and simply couldn’t
compete for a roster spot. Lanky forward isn’t a great skater and has been
noticed for his decision making shortcomings.

Questions and comments are welcomed at the_line@russianhockeyinsider.com