“Ak Bars” under the roof. Kazan is already forced to get rid of hockey players.
Pavel Panyshev July 13, 2023, 15:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Problems with payment in KHL are not only for SKA.
If someone thought that the salary cap in the KHL works selectively, in relation to some specific clubs, then he was deeply mistaken. Yes, the same SKA has the opportunity to make the necessary deals with Lada or HC Sochi, which, of course, helps the army team, among other things, to clean up an overloaded payroll. But even with expensive hockey players like Gusev, Yashkin, Zhafyarov and Volkov in St. Petersburg, they are forced to say goodbye. And this list will grow.
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In a similar, but less complicated situation, was Ak Bars, behind all his high-profile signings, who were also over the salary cap. Only Yashkin and Zhafyarov will earn 80 million rubles each next season, and there are still big salaries from Radulov, Voinov, Shipachev. The bars, unlike the SKA, do not have informal farm clubs in the KHL, so they must resort to other methods to clear the roster, the main ones being trades and termination of existing agreements.
This is exactly what happened to two acquaintances and now former hockey players of the Kazan club – Vasily Tokranov and Dinar Khafizullin. Interestingly, they both played for SKA in the past.
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In early July, it emerged that Ak Bars had traded defender Vasily Tokranov to Severstal for monetary compensation. Compensation – said out loud, the amount was a symbolic 1000 rubles.
Of course, the main task of the “leopards” was not to earn money, but to get rid of Vasily’s contract. Severstal, who have plenty of space under their roof, had no problem taking over this deal and strengthening the roster. A win-win situation, as they say in these cases. Also, Kazan did not strengthen direct competitors by sending Tokranov to the Western Conference in a modest club.
Today, Ak Bars made another statement. The contract with Dinar Khafizullin was terminated by agreement of the parties. Once one of the main defenders of the Russian national team, a local graduate. The years take their toll, there are more and more injuries, less speed and the youngsters are on his heels. Having got rid of two hockey players in turn, Kazan released an amount equal to 80 million rubles (30 million Tokranov and 50 million Khafizullin), which is significant in the era of a hard salary cap.
Photo: Yuri Kuzmin, photo.khl.ru
Let’s not forget that Voronkov went to the NHL, Panyukov was traded for Avangard, and Yanchevsky was sent to the Admiral. So the management of the Tatarstan giant is working and calculating all the moves.
“Suppose a player has a contract of 50 million rubles, the team enters the ceiling of 900 million, what prevents the club from paying this player with apartments and cars above this contract? There is a regulation, it is constantly being improved. It establishes that the enrichment of relatives, children and another person is supervised. For example, sponsors have subordinate companies that allocate money, all this is monitored by the tax authorities. Maybe it used to be, but not anymore,” explained Marat Valiullin, CEO of Ak Bars, why, for example, hockey players are not paid with cars and apartments.
With the current approach to recruiting, Ak Bars will undoubtedly be the Eastern Conference favorite next season and, along with CSKA and SKA, the main contender for the Gagarin Cup. Another thing is that the monotony in the Continental League is becoming more and more annoying, and the same teams fight year after year for the main trophy. But this is a completely different topic.