How KHL's New Arrangement Could Affect Ivan Demidov

Ivan Demidov's arrival could be looming sooner than Habs fans realize.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Kontinental Hockey League and the Russian Hockey Federation announced a new agreement on Tuesday, which could have a major effect on the Montreal Canadiens and Ivan Demidov.

The Russian Hockey Federation will split from the Kontinental Hockey League, which makes the KHL an independent entity. The Russian Hockey Federation is the European equivalent of Hockey Canada or USA Hockey, which means it would be like these two entities owning the NHL under the old rules.

The KHL will also honor player contracts signed with foreign clubs, and release their players for IIHF events. Once the ban lifts on Russian teams competing, it allows KHL Russian players to attend all the events with their fellow NHLers.

There are some other minor changes, like a possible change to the limit on foreign players and the end times for the season. However, most of the league's basic identity will remain the same. The most prominent change could be the effect on Russian prospects for the NHL.

Russia's Ice Hockey Federation were notoriously against any of their players coming to North America to play in the NHL. The players feared the consequences of leaving and often stayed in Russia to avoid conflict.

The difference now is that NHL teams can negotiate with the respective KHL clubs to reach a deal for the players to come over. If the Canadiens wanted Demidov to play in Montreal next season, they could agree to a monetary agreement with SKA and bring him to North America sooner than expected.

The full terms of the deal haven't been released, but this is good news for the Habs if all the rumors are true. Demidov seems intrigued to join the Habs, and the Canadiens shouldn't have any issues with meeting SKA's demands.

The fans could see Demidov in North America as early as this year if he doesn't make SKA and gets relegated to the junior leagues. However, there's a good chance he plays a big role on SKA and the Canadiens let him stay home for one more season.