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article imageKHL only taking 'top-level' NHL players in lockout scenario

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By James Bisson     Sep 11, 2012 in Sports
Players considering the Kontinental Hockey League as an alternative in the event of an NHL lockout may find themselves turned away at the door.
According to a report on European sports website RSport, The KHL has released a list of requirements for players who wish to join a KHL team during an NHL lockout. Each team is limited to three NHL players.
Judging by the restrictions, there are dozens of NHLers who would likely be better off looking for work elsewhere. Prospective candidates must fulfill at least one of the following requirements:
-- 150 games played over the past three seasons
-- Prior KHL experience
-- An appearance in one of the last two world championships or Olympic Games
-- A Stanley Cup winner or finalist
-- A league MVP or "similar laureate," which likely means one of the other major trophies (Art Ross, Vezina, Norris, Calder, Selke)
KHL vice-president Vladimir Shalaev said the restrictions were put in place to "allow for the arrival of only top-level players to the KHL."
Expect the competition for KHL positions to be fierce - especially considering that the Swedish Elite League has already said it would not accept NHL players on short-term contracts, and would only be willing to take them on if the entire season is cancelled. Globe and Mail hockey writer James Mirtle speculated last week that the SEL may yet change its mind, but that hasn't happened yet.
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