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Mark Gandler, The NHL's Drew Rosenhaus

According to Erlendsson's column for tomorrow's Tampa Tribune, Evgeny Artyukhin's handler through this mess of a situation is none other than notorious agent [url=http://www.nhlpa.com/Agents/Agent.asp?AgentId=9292]Mark Gandler.[/url] Meet the NHL's equivalent of football agent [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Rosenhaus]Drew Rosenhaus.[/url] Google Gandler's name and you'll find a festering rash of stories highlighting the kind of greedy and unprincipled behavior which turns fans off to pro sports and makes their collective skin crawl. Most notable in his career was Gandler's part in the one year holdout of former Senators center Alexei Yashin, complete with accusations of racism hurled at the Ottawa front office, and Yashin's subsequent cashing in to the tune of a 10 year multi-million dollar deal at the hands of foolish Islanders GM Mike Milbury. More recently, Gandler was involved in the messy court entanglements surrounding young Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin. Sadly, in much the same way that Rosenhaus seems to have cornered the market on talent coming into the NFL from South Florida, Gandler, a Russian expatriate now working out of New Jersey, controls a large percentage of players coming out of the former Soviet Union. Artyukhin is just one of the newest of a list of players that includes other NHLers like Yashin, Semin, Ruslan Salei and Vitaly Vishnevski of the Ducks who, you guessed it, is now demanding a trade after the Ducks apparently [url=http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/sports/pros/article_1228728.php]hurt his feelings in arbitration.[/url] Evgeny Artyukhin, do yourself a favor, seek other representation. In trying to squeeze an extra $150,000 out of the Tampa Bay Lightning Gandler has potentially burned your bridge to an organization which has bent over backwards to develop you. I know how GM Jay Feaster feels about you personally. I know the pride he feels in you when he crows about how he filed one of the first scouting reports on you from the U-18s in your draft year. When he says he feels like you and Gandler have spit in his face, don't take it lightly, he means it. And, believe this, you're too young and not nearly established enough after a 4 goal rookie season to have an agent making personal enemies on your behalf. Think about that the next time Gandler tries to whisper in your ear.

Lokomotive Signs Artyukhin

Contract posturing between Evgeny Artyukhin's camp and the Tampa Bay Lightning has taken another ugly step as Evgeny Artyukhin has signed a contract with Russian Superleague club Yaroslavl Lokomotive. [url=http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?125468]According to the Russian newspaper Sport Express[/url] Artyukhin joined Islanders prospect Sean Bergenheim and NHL veteran Eric Chouinard in inking deals with the team. The contract is likely not binding should Artyukhin reach agreement with the Lightning but does potentially strengthen the young wingers bargaining position as he attempts to get more than the two-way qualifying offer for over $600,000 he received from the Lightning. [b]Update[/b] Erik Erlendsson writes [url=http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/related/C189/]on the Tampa Tribune blog[/url] that Artyukhin won't be returning, period. My understanding though is that such deals are signed with regularity with Russian clubs as fallback positions to strengthen bargaining postures and aren't binding, so I wouldn't completely shut the door on Artyukhin returning this season. For instance, according to Russianprospects.com prospects Denis Grebeshkov (Islanders) and Pavel Vorobiev (Blackhawks) have signed similar insurance deals in the last month looking to better their lot at the negotiating table. If Artyukhin doesn't return, this gives an opportunity to both Nikita Alexeev and [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] to make this team out of camp, with an outside chance to [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url] if he shows his skating has improved over the summer.

Falcons Open On The Road

The Springfield Falcons released their [b]2006-2007 Regular Season Schedule[/b] today. The Falcons open with three games on the road starting October 7 against Hartford and October 13 and 14 against Norfolk. Springfield's home opener is October 20 vs. Manchester.

No Russian Transfer Deal

[url=http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-08-02T190030Z_01_L02867166_RTRUKOC_0_US-ICE-HOCKEY-RUSSIA.xml&archived=False]Russia refuses to sign the NHL transfer deal after all.[/url] MOSCOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Russia will not sign a transfer agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) just weeks after ratifying the deal, the country's ice hockey chief said on Wednesday. Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF), said the proposed agreement was not in the best interest of Russian clubs. "We have been in constant negotiation with the NHL, trying to reach a fair deal, but unfortunately we were unable to fully take into account the interests of Russian clubs," said Tretyak.

Let the Countdown Begin

In the excitement of the last week we neglected to point out the tiny detail of when the Traverse City tournament will take place. This year the tournament will run from September 8th to 12th. The number of teams slated to participate this year is jumping to eight with the teams split in two "conferences". The "Eastern Conference" will be comprised of the Lightning, Thrashers, Red Wings and Rangers. The "Western Conference" will be made up of the Blues, Blue Jackets, Stars and Wild. Three round robin games will be played in conference with teams advancing to play in a single placement game at the end of the tournament.
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