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Bob McKenzie
10/17/2006 2:09:47 PM

The Russians are coming, with their lawyers.

Sources tell TSN that Russian club team Yaroslavl has filed a civil lawsuit in a New York court against the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers and the NHL over the signing of Flames' prospect Andrei Taratukhin and the Oilers' Alexei Mikhnov.

Lawyers representing the Russian club are also said to be petitioning the court to uphold a Russian sport arbitration panel ruling that said the players were under contract to Yaroslavl and should not be permitted to play in the NHL.

It's difficult to know whether the Russian club is actually seeking a legal remedy to prevent the players from playing professionally in North America or whether it is mostly interested in getting a financial award in the civil suit to compensate for the loss of the players.

Either way, though, it's not likely to be the last legal salvo in the simmering feud between the NHL and the Russian clubs.

Sources say it's only a matter of time before Russian club team Metallurg Magnitogorsk, like Yaroslavl, pursues its' legal options in the U.S. on rookie sensation Evgeny Malkin. Malkin dislocated his shoulder in the pre-season, but is scheduled to make his much-anticipated NHL debut tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

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