ZURICH Ė The IIHF has approved the disputed international transfer of Russian forward Roman Berdnikov, 18, from Avangard Omsk to the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.
Roman Berdnikov played already last season as a 17-year-old for Owen Sound, scoring nine goals and 15 assists in 38 games in the OHL, which is part of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
At the end of the season, Berdnikov represented Russia at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship (2+4=6 points/7 games) and later started summer training with KHL club Avangard Omsk. Berdnikov also entered a player contract with Avangard on August 10, under which he played 32 games for Avangardís junior team Omskie Yastrebi of the MHL junior league, a KHL affiliate.
Avangard Omsk motivated its refusal to sign the International Transfer Card (ITC) on the fact that the player has a valid and signed professional playerís contract with Avangard until 30 April 2012.
As the IIHF investigated the case, it became evident that Roman Berdnikov was under a valid and binding two-year contract (25 August 2009 until 1 June 2011) with Owen Sound, which meant that the player, according to IIHF regulations, did not legally enter the contract with the Russian club as it conflicted with the existing OHL Standard Player Contract. This agreement was never terminated.
Thus, the IIHF determined that the contract between Roman Berdnikov and Avangard Omsk was considered as invalid. Therefor the playerís International Transfer Application for a transfer to Owen Sound was approved.