Gagarin Cup holder Dynamo Moscow and runner-up Avangard Omsk both added to their rosters this week, with Kirill Knyazev (pictured) joining the Blue-and-Whites and Andrei Taratukhin heading to Siberia - while Russian president Vladimir Putin weighed into the debate about player salaries.
Putin voiced his concern over the transfer of Alexander Radulov from Salavat Yulaev to CSKA, complaining that the reported 300 million ruble (US$9.25 million) a year salary was “insane” and risked distorting the entire market, RIA Novosti reported.
Speaking at a meeting with the leader of North Ossetia, Taimuraz Mamsurov, the president warned against excessive transfer fees and lavish salaries for players - taking aim at the Rosneft officials who he had earlier asked to revive the flagging CSKA brand.
“I personally asked Rosneft to take responsibility for CSKA’s hockey team and they zealously started to restore the team,” Putin said. “But they are paying salaries that not even the NHL can afford to pay - it’s distorting the entire market. CSKA’s spending is crazy, it’s wrong. There should be some general rules.”
Nobody from CSKA was available to comment on Putin’s remarks at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, back on the rosters, Dynamo added Knyazev, a right-sided forward, to its ranks. Knyazev is a familiar face for Moscow hockey fans after several seasons at Spartak, and returns to the capital after a short stint in Tatarstan - first at Ak Bars Kazan, then Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
Taratukhin, meanwhile, has spent the past four seasons with Salavat Yulaev, and played in the Ufa club’s title-winning side of 2010-11. But the 29-year-old forward found his opportunities limited last season, making just 15 appearances in the entire campaign and encouraging him to move on to join newly-appointed coach Petri Matikainen in Omsk.
Four Canadians have also come into the league: Lev Prague signed goaltender Drew Macintyre from Buffalo Sabres, where he spent most of last season playing AHL hockey. Defenseman Mark Flood is on his way from Winnipeg to Yaroslavl to play for Lokomotiv.
The other two have gone to the Dinamos of Riga and Minsk. In Latvia, forward Jamie Johnson has arrived from AHL outfit Grand Rapids, while in Belarus young goaltender Cory Murphy has made the switch from Swiss side Zurich.