The two biggest hockey leagues in the world – the NHL and the KHL – have reached an agreement to stop poaching each other's players.
It is hoped the deal will lead to better relations between the two in the future.
The so-called "player-movement pact" calls on both leagues to respect the contracts signed by each other and comes after a series of bitter disputes over transfers in the past.
The biggest of these was Evgeny Malkin's switch from Metallurg Magnitogorsk to Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006, despite him having signed a new one-year contract with the Russian club.
And then, in 2008, Alexander Radulov's move from the Nashville Predators to Salavat Yulaev followed, although he still had one year left on his contract in the NHL.
KHL President Alexander Medvedev said he hopes the new agreement will reflect positively on the broader development of the sport.
“The memorandum we’ve signed is an important step in relations between the KHL and NHL. It will work for a year and at the expiration of the contract we will be able to assess its effectiveness. I believe that the agreement on the status of hockey players we’ve reached will allow the two leagues to exist in a single legal field in the future and have a positive impact on the development of hockey in the world,” he said.
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