Disgusting story. Knight’s management is a blow to Avangard, the KHL and the agent’s reputation.
August 6, 2023, 07:45 UTC
Due to his wife’s principles, the Canadian threw the team and lost a significant amount of money.
“In the summer, Knight experienced changes in his personal life, he got married, after which, before the start of the training camp, he notified us that he intended to terminate the contract unilaterally”, the words of the General Manager of Avangard, Anton Kuryanov, who break the hearts of Omsk fans. — We had a series of negotiations with the player and his agent. We see no reason to force anyone to play for Avangard, especially since the hockey player has repeatedly emphasized that his decision is final.
It is not entirely clear why two weeks ago, when information about Knight’s decision became known, Kuryanov denied it and, as if nothing had happened, urged the Canadian player to wait for the start of the pre-season tournament in Sochi.
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However, no words change the essence of the matter. The semifinalist of the Gagarin Cup-2023 loses the leading center forward, and this is the main thing.
Knight’s presence is an important reason for Avangard’s rise in recent years, and it is not at all a fact that without him the Siberians would have been able to reach the long-awaited Gagarin Cup. Korban’s ability to win key matchups on his own greatly expanded his team’s abilities, but the Canadian was also effective on the side, under the net, in the fight and, along with Vladimir Tkachev and Reed Boucher, created perhaps the most explosive combination in the KHL.
It so happened that the international link lasted only one year, and this is sad news not only for the Omsk club, but also for the league, which is running out of stars.
Kuryanov especially emphasized that Korban’s verdict was influenced by his wife. She strictly adheres to Christian values and works for the Canadian organization Athletes in Action, helping athletes learn about religious issues. The beliefs did not allow the girl to go to Russia at this time, and this was the decisive factor. The hockey player was also influenced by his father Jack, a former Baptist church pastor.
Korban’s refusal is the strongest blow for Avangard, which happened at the most inopportune moment. In the spring, in an attempt to fit below the modified cap bar, the Omsk residents did not renew Alex Broadhurst’s contract and, of course, would have acted differently if Knight had announced his decision sooner. In addition, the unexpected decision of the legionnaire casts a shadow over the reputation of his representative in Kakhael, Alyosha Pilko, who has repeatedly stated that his players are ready to go to the league in any socio-political situation.
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Knight, according to Kuryanov, will pay compensation under the terms of the terminated agreement. “The sports rights in the KHL at the same time remain assigned to our club. At the moment, we are completing all the procedures provided for by the Regulations”, added the general manager of Omsk.
A list of candidates to replace Knight has been drawn up, and the club is negotiating on the first day, Kuryanov admitted. But do the Siberians have any chance of finding the first center forward on the market?
The last club to close this position is Metallurg. The Urals agreed with Luke Johnson, a former hockey player from one of the AHL’s outsiders, prompting endless criticism.
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Metallurg still found a center. This is not ideal, but there is simply no other option.
There are many doubts that Avangard can agree to a contract with a hockey player of a higher level. But even assuming that the mission will be completed, the newcomer will have to fit into the system and adapt, and this task does not seem any easier.
At the same time, at a minimum, Avangard will still retain the first link. According to the “Championship”, the citizens of Omsk will almost certainly sign the contract with Vladimir Tkachev again.