The Max Line

Salary Cap is the hot topic at the upcoming PHL's summit
Wednesday, November 6

   PHL (Professional Hockey League) that runs RSL and High League tournaments will held its next meeting on Nov.21. Among discussed topics - imposition of Salary Cap in the Superleague, restriction for the number of players per franchise and illumination of players movement on loan basis.
   Salary cap will be especially welcomed. These days any player that had a decent season may count on getting generous pay raise by signing with a wealthy club (Ak Bars Kazan, Avangard Omsk and Severstal Cherepovets have been accused more than often giving away overwhelming money to average players). PHL's proposed resolution indicates players wouldn't be able to get more than 10% of raise per contract. That should help less fortunate franchises to be more competitive, as they'll be able to re-sign some of their top players come summer time. New resolution, if accepted, may also encourage players to extend the duration of their contracts, while nowadays deals that go beyond than one season for players elder than 22 are a rarity.

   Restriction for players per franchise should prevent talented kids like Artyom Kryukov, Alex Suglobov, Ivan Nepryaev and many others from polishing stalls in the press box. It seems like the proposition itself was designed especially for Lokomotiv. Yaroslavl has so much depth and talent in their system that a few weeks ago Lokomotiv-2 coaching stuff opted not to dress demoted for conditioning spell Kryukov, Suglobov and Nepryaev motivating their decision by following statement: "We have younger kids that need ice-time, those three have proven themselves long ago."
   Just to think that teams like Molot, SKA, Spartak or Sibir could have used those kids on second or third units' roles. Meantime under current rules Loko's unwilling to either loan (even to a High league club!) or deal players in question.

   As far as the third controversial proposition - it shall illuminate exaggerated roster shake-ups done by many clubs during trading periods.
   The worst side of player loans - a few teams over the season change two thirds of its initial roster and aftermath loose more than half of acquired assets during the summer, as loaned contributors get recalled by their rights owning teams. To back up past statement I propose to compare line-ups of RSL outsiders before and after November's transfer deadline. For instance, Moscow Spartak already released seven of its players, while Saint-Petersburg added nine to its roster... And to think that there's two more trading deadlines before season's end ...


   Once upon a time Dmitry Nabokov displayed flashes of brilliance in Chicago and Long Island. But between those rather rare flashes he was outrageously trashed by local media for being (more than often, mind you) uncommitted, indifferent and moody on as well as off the ice. In his three-year NHL stint former line-mate of Alexei Morozov was spending a lot of time in Indianapolis and Lowell, also known as CHI and NYI's farm teams.
   Where's is multitalented Dmitry these days? Whhhhhuddddda ya know! Nabokov's on spell in Novokuznetsk's farm team Metallurg-2.
   Not many RSL coaches will dare to demote their leading scorer to third division farm club. But Metallurg's Nikolai Soloviev claims he had no choice.
   "He got all those points (4g, 9a, 13 pts in 17 gp) without giving much effort which underlines his immense potential," - says Soloviev.
   "But we need him to serve as example to our youngsters, to be committed night in, night out. However Dmitry's dedication level and work habits are unacceptable, if he doesn't change his attitude we'll have to part ways."
   Lately Sibir's head coach Vladimir Golubovich expressed interest in acquiring enigmatic giant. Guess he's the next to be deceived by former first-rounder.


   November's break was marked by season's second coaching change. Moscow Spartak's head coach Fedor Kanareikin resigned, so did club's president and GM Boris Mayorov. Kanareikin's assistant Sergei Shepelev will serve as the new head coach. While Vyacheslav Starshinov has been appointed team's president/GM.
   Meantime Moscow club continues to dump players. Defenders Alexander Zhurik, Artyom Mariams and forward Alexander Trofimov (acquired from Kazan in September, as a change for Sergei Zinoviev) were released yesterday.


Jim Roberts: What do you think of these two St. Louis Blues prospects: Alexei Shkotov and Andrei Troschinsky and how are they doing this year?

MAX: Shkotov, despite being unproductive, is getting chances one after other. In a few games he dressed this season he had third/fourth line roles and even saw some PP time. He had several good scoring chances down the road but was unable to register any points. Shkotov is skilled and intriguing prospect with untapped potential, however he may take a while to develop.
 Troschinsky got traded to Moscow Spartak. It didn't work out for him in Magnitogorsk. He was out of shape early in the season and simply couldn't compete for a roster spot. Lanky forward isn't a great skater and has been noticed for his decision making shortcomings.

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-- Max Dostoevsky