Imagine that Gazprom or another company will sponsor Moscow Dynamo to offer, say, 15 million a year for their alumnus Alexander Ovechkin [a.k.a. to give him an offer he can't refuse -- my comment]. Right now he is at crossroads, he has problems signing a new contract with Washington. ORHL needs a franchise player for its startup league, just like Crosby is needed for the NHL. What can you say about Ovechkin returning to Russia? Is it a dream or a real possibility in the near future?Larionov: This is an interesting option. I'd be happy to express my opinion about this possibility and others. But before that I must get fully involved into the works of ORHL proposal and only after that I could make some loud statements about things of this nature. So if you don't mind let's continue this conversation after the New Year's Eve.
- Among the people getting involved into development of this proposal are Bob Goodenow and Scotty Bowman.
- Wikipedia: "As measured by its market capitalization as of June 2007 (US$300 billion), Gazprom is the world's third largest corporation following this measure. Gazprom chairman Dmitry Medvedev says the company's market capitalization should quadruple to reach one trillion dollars by 2017, which would make it the world's biggest corporation."
Another part of the interview that I found interesting (or what a smart guy Igor Larionov truly is):
Q.: Do you think it is possible to persuade Gary Bettman to sign a new transfer agreement on our terms? Meaning that NHL would pay several million dollars of compensation when drafting (players like) Ovechkin?
A.: I think it's wrong if the compensation paid for Ovechkin or Malkin would be that huge. There's a lot of talent coming from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland and Slovakia to NHL nowadays. All European countries who signed the agreement must be treated the same. Why are we better than those Swedes? They won the Olympics last year and the World Championship. And we can't win anything at the international level for almost 15 years.
Or look at the recent series between Canadian and Russian juniors. It was horrible! How can we demand such astronomical amount of money from NHL after this defeat?
Q.: So you think we should sign a contract on Bettman's terms, just for the sake of it?
A.: I think Bettman understands that the hockey market is changing and the amount of compensation should be increased. But it shouldn't be astronomical, not in millions of dollars. And another reason why it is unfair is because it's not just the clubs that are paying for the development of the young players, but also the parents that are paying for it. I know it from my own experience, I spent 20 thousand dollars for my son to play hockey last year. This includes the ice rental, traveling to tournaments, the uniforms and equipment.
Last year when I was in New York I met with Gary Bettman. He said that he was ready to discuss the new transfer amount. But he doesn't know with whom he should talk. That is, Russian Hockey Federation didn't even appointed a person who would negotiate with the NHL.
Q.: Do you have in mind a time when our federation was headed by Alexander Steblin?
A.: No, it was already with Vladislav Tretiak in power.