Czech hockey federartion ratifies transfer agreement

Updated: September 22, 2005, 2:05 PM ET
Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The Czech hockey federation ratified a two-year agreement Thursday on transfers between the NHL and European teams.

Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland also have agreed while Russia has refused.

The deal regulates financial compensation and a limit on the number of players that can leave Europe annually. It also imposes a transfer deadline and assures participation of NHL players at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

The agreement Thursday was approved 9-1 by the Czech federation's executive committee, said Zbynek Kusy, deputy head of the federation.

The Czechs initially balked, saying the minimum compensation the NHL pays to European federations to sign players is too low. However, their 14 top clubs reversed their decision Aug. 16. The minimum compensation for any draft pick is $200,000, Czech officials said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press