First, read the article. Second, finish reading this blog entry. Go on... I'll wait.
Done? Good. Now think about this stuff with me - and post your comments!
Metallurg made a promise to Malkin last year that if he played one more season, they would not oppose his entry to the NHL this year. Malkin was dismayed that they broke their word on that.
Why did Malkin fire Newport Sports as his representation, especially after Newport (and Don Meehan) filed his initial two week notice with Metallurg?
- Well, it turns out that we can really answer two questions with this answer (the other question being, how did Metallurg get Malkin's passport?). After Newport filed the paperwork to tender his two week notice, Malkin learned that a Russian Newport agent had handed his passport over to Metallurg General Director Gennady Velichkin. Malkin asked for it back, but Velichkin refused to hand it over. It's not explicitly stated, but Malkin fired Newport after that and went back to Barry and Brisson.
- Just after re-hiring Barr and Brisson, Malkin and his parents were "invited" (quotes are directly from the article) to a 9:00 pm meeting with Metallurg, where Victor Rashnikov (Team President) and Gennady Velichkin were present, among others. They talked for a few hours, with the Malkins (all three of them) stating they weren't going to sign another contract. Rashnikov thanked everyone for coming, and left. As the Malkins were leaving, Velichkin and another team official suggested they follow the Malkins home to continue their "negotiations" (again, quotations directly from the article). This continued until 2:30 am at the Malkins' house, with Evgeni eventually caving in and signing.
The most interesting thing about the article to me? If he hadn't signed that one year deal and accompanied the team to Finland, he may not have been able to get his passport back. Without that, he would have no contract and no way to leave the country. This wound up being the fastest way to get him to the US. We should be thanking Mr. Velichkin, in a way.
Malkin will remain in LA until his two weeks are up (August 28th). I'm sure we'll see lots of attempted legal fireworks between now and then from the Russians.
So, what do you think? What questions might you have that are unanswered?