The NHL signed a "memorandum of understanding" with Russia's KHL to regulate player transitions between the two leagues.
Although there still is no formal transfer agreement, both sides are required to respect a player's contract with the other league. Both leagues also must complete a range of procedures to avoid conflicts when players move between the NHL and KHL.
The agreement, signed last week by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and KHL president Alexander Medvedev, is in effect until June 30, 2012.
"We believe that the achievement of a consensus on the status of hockey players in both leagues will reflect positively on the broader development of the sport of hockey," Medvedev said in a statement released by the NHL.
The NHL and KHL signed a similar agreement before the start of the 2010-11 season.