The relationship between Russia and North America has been strained to say the least over the course of the past fifty years. From nuclear standoff to endless political posturing, the areas that are brought together by the telescopic eyesight of Sarah Palin have rarely seen eye to eye. This is in the case in hockey as well.
The Summit Series will forever live in folklore or Canadian hockey, as the feisty team of NHL'ers defeated the great Russian bear with the help of a targeted broken ankle or two. The eventual arrival of Russians into the NHL ruffled a few feathers along the way as well, and the recent creation of the KHL has done little to ease the tensions between Moscow and Toronto. The creation of the Kontinental league was supposed to act as a serious contender to Bettman's squads, but it has caused little more than a ripple since an early wave of defectors.
Radulov, Jiri Hudler, Filatov, Jaromir Jagr, Yashin, Grebeshkov. A few of the names that made the jump from the NHL to the KHL. Those who still have the skills have made the return to the most profitable league in the world, as life on the road in the former Soviet Union is not quite as attractive as it was supposed to be. Tax-free money is nice and all, but an envelope of money every few weeks is only comforting as long as they keep showing up.