It’s the 7th season for the KHL and a time to test the new president of the league, Dmitry Chernyshenko.
Oh, you haven’t heard of the KHL or of Dmitry? Don’t worry, most people have not. The letters KHL stand for the ‘Kontinental Hockey League’ and their home base is in Russia. They do have the weather for it!
Right now things are not looking good for that side of the rink. The ruble is decreasing in value. In the last couple of months, the ruble has lost half its value to the Euro and the U.S. Dollar. All players are feeling it as they are watching their salaries dropping by 50%. Every player has his contract tied to the rubles and because of that, it is impossible to index salaries to any other currency.
Will this mean that Russian hockey players will come to North America to play here? Best bet, the most famous Russian players will continue to make their home in Russia like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov. I don’t know about the other players, a lot will leave Russia if they can. Who wants to play for half your salary, it is still a pay decrease no matter what.
The clubs are financed by the local budget of their area/city. Recent decreases in budgets mean no extra money for fun stuff like hockey. This is a serious threat to the future of the KHL. People are wondering how the new president of the KHL Dmitry Chernyshenko will react, since he hasn’t said too much lately.
Could this happen here? Could North American currency decrease so much that our hockey players lose half of their salaries? What would they say or do when they found out that their salaries would be cut by half? Another strike, maybe? Maybe not? There would be hell to pay, though! Our players make so much money even with half, they can still live their lives. To have your league funded by the local city and its budget is an odd way of promoting hockey. It seemed way out there when I first read about this money hockey mess. Really, I don’t think this could happen here. If it ever did then our whole economy would have fallen apart, and the game would be at the bottom of everyone’s list of important items.
As money gets tighter in governments, local cities, towns and in our own pocket books, will our entertainment decrease also or will it increase? Will we spend more to forget or less? It is happening not just in Russia but everywhere. It’s not like the olden days where dad works at a great paying job, mom stays home and kids go to school.
In all this, hockey is still on and for me, I’ll watch it till I go away!