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Elite Russian clubs want direct negotiations

Updated: March 24, 2004, 8:26 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 1 draft prospect Alexander Ovechkin might have a tough time getting from Russia to the NHL next season.

The player-transfer contract between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation expires at the end of this season. Some clubs in the Russian elite league have said they do not want to be a part of any new agreement.

Without a player-transfer agreement, it likely would take longer to get European players into NHL uniforms.

Earlier this season, ...

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