The IIHF, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association met in Zurich on Thursday to discuss issues relating to player transfers and the international hockey agenda, including the Olympic Winter Games, the IIHF World Championships, the Victoria Cup and the World Cup of Hockey.
All parties involved, including the federations and leagues from Belarus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland, agreed to mutually respect the players’ contractual obligations during the current situation where the IIHF and the NHL are without a Player Transfer Agreement. Also USA Hockey took part in the meeting.
The parties are committed to respect contracts and not to sign players who are under contractual obligations.
A working joint working group was established which will have the mandate to draft a document that will specify the terms of such an agreement, including the handling of possible disagreements regarding the validity of contracts.
The joint working group is scheduled to meet in early September to see if there is any common ground for a possible new long-term Player Transfer Agreement and with an objective to establish a framework for a future international agenda for both national team competition (Olympics, World Championships and World Cup of Hockey) as well as international club competition (Victoria Cup).
The inaugural Victoria Cup will be played on October 1, 2008 in Bern, Switzerland between the New York Rangers and European club champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
The participants also discussed logistical issues pertaining to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The NHL delegation was headed by Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, while Executive Director Paul Kelly represented the NHLPA. The meeting was hosted and led by IIHF President René Fasel.