Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brash and the KHL

Just read this from Slava Malamud and the WaPo.

It sounds like Donald Brashear is a little upset about possible changes in the NHL's fighting policy. That article was written well before this week's GM meeting in Naples, Fla., but some of Brash's fears are coming true, such as further restrictions on fights and greater enforcement of the instigator penalty.

The article is a great read, but this part really sticks out...

"As a matter of fact, currently there are serious talks in the KHL with regard fighting too. Except the Russians are going in the opposite direction: they want to lessen the penalties and make fighting more prevalent. Currently in the KHL, as in the rest of Europe, both fighters receive an automatic game misconduct. Which doesn't stop the likes of Simon from practicing their trade from time to time. A proposal is out there right now to make fighting punishable with a ten-minute misconduct instead. Which, of course, will still keep it a riskier business than in the NHL. However, there are some things that can make Russia a better option for Brashear, Georges Laraque and other members of the NHL's endangered species...

...there are teams in Russia willing to pay top dollar to North American enforcers, especially if they can also play some hockey. Which Brash still can, by the way. Consider also that in Russia they will actually be able to keep most of that top dollar for themselves, thanks to the 13% flat tax, and that they will have to work much less for it, thanks to the shorter season. And somewhere like Chekhov someone like Brashear can actually be a demi-god to the locals and enjoy front-page exposure in the national press."

So would you, if you were Donald Brashear, take a contract in the KHL where you would enjoy a larger, tax-free contract and lesser regulation of fights over an NHL contract where your job is seemingly being "outsourced."

Or do you stay in the North America and weather the storm?

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