Translation of a Russian-language interview with Viktor Kozlov
Q: Viktor Kozlov signed in Russia earlier this week. There is also talk in Russia that Avangard Omsk is trying to get Michael Nylander over to the KHL. This brings the following question: in the absence of the transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russians, how can a player, like Nylander, with an NHL contract go and play it Russia?
KELLY: Technically, he can't. Unless the Capitals take certain steps to end his contract by buying him out or something like that. And this is one of the issues we have had with the KHL. We should be respecting each other's contracts. The NHL shouldn't be signing any players under contract in Russia, and vice versa, they shouldn't be signing guys who have NHL obligations. We will watch that very carefully, but they should not permit players, who have contractual obligations elsewhere, to sign.
Q: Even if the Capitals, for example, don't mind him signing in the KHL?
KELLY: Again, if it gets cleared by the club and the league approves then it is a different story. I am not aware that that's happened with respect to Michael Nylander.
A week and change ago, we mentioned a rumor that KHL team Avangard Omsk was interested in acquiring Michael Nylander. Now it seems that there may actually be something to the rumblings.
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Innumerable thanks to Gavlegirl for stalking, err, tracking down Nicklas Backstrom for an interview earlier this month in his hometown of Gavle, translating and transcribing the chat, and sending...