A meeting took place in Moscow on July 17 between the leadership of the Kontinental Hockey League and the owners of the League’s clubs. Among the topics under discussion were developments in the League’s regulations, preparations for the 2012/2013 season, and also some nuances in interpretations of various rules of the game.
KHL Hockey Operations Vice-President Vladimir Shalaev informed the assembled club bosses of some recent amendments made to the regulations which come into force next season. The most significant of these concern preseason training camps and changes to the status of foreign players. The latter applies to players who are not eligible for the Russian national team, excluding those with existing contracts signed in season 2011-12 or earlier, and also those who at the moment of application had spent at least two seasons in the championship without foreign player status.
The participants of the meeting were informed of the new limit imposed on foreign goaltenders’ playing time during the forthcoming regular season. This limit is to be 2/3 of the maximum playing time for the regular season, i.e. 2,427 minutes.
The first team roster of any KHL club from outside Russia must contain no fewer than five players currently eligible to play for the country in which the club is based.
Vladimir Shalaev also updated the club owners on a number of other matters, including submitting team sheets, transactions involving players with limited free agent status, future KHL junior drafts and of the work of the KHL commission set up to resolve contractual disputes.
The club bosses were also given clarification regarding the setting of salary caps. In the Kontinental Hockey League next season the ceilings for wages will be 250m rubles and 1,1bn rubles. However, the club does have the right to appeal to the KHL to waive the salary cap for one player – a player eligible for the Russian national team, who has signed a contract with a KHL club after finishing a contract with a club in the NHL, or whose contract with an NHL club has been legally annulled.
Vice-President Shalaev also informed the meeting that the League would be monitoring the observation of the rules regarding salary caps and would introduce sanctions in the event of any violations.
The owner of Barys informed his fellow club bosses that the Astana club has canceled its threatened legal action over a decision by the KHL Disciplinary Committee, which ordered Barys to pay compensation to former head coach Andrei Khomutov for prematurely ending his contract. A potential conflict between the club and the League has therefore been averted.
KHL Refereeing Department Director Alexander Polyakov presented proposals for changes to the way certain rules are interpreted, in particular those concerning abuse of officials and unsporting behavior from players, and also several instances of goals awarded and disallowed after the puck has entered the net via skates, legs, knees and other parts of the body.
It was left to Vladimir Shalaev to wrap up the meeting by announcing that all the clubs in the League, with the sole exception of Metallurg Novokuznetsk, has so far successfully followed all the procedures for the coming championship. The KHL leadership expressed serious concerns about Metallurg’s tardiness in paying the salaries of its players, coaches and staff, and the absence of the obligatory financial guarantees for the 2012-13 season. At this moment, the participation of the errant Novokuznetsk club in the forthcoming Kontinental Hockey League Championship is still in doubt.