Vitali-Kravtsov, New York Rangers
AP Photo

There has been a lot of talk about when or if New York Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov will play. A statement by his KHL team has resolved the situation.

Frank Curto

Will he be released from his contract or not? That has been the question asked by the New York Rangers with regards to their first-round draft pick, Vitali Kravtsov.

Through a statement released by the general manager of Tractor, Yevgeny Gubarev, it was confirmed that Kravtsov will not be released early from his contract.

“According to Kravtsov, a simple situation: I acted within the framework of the KHL regulations. There is point number 8, which states that from the start of the playoffs and until April 30, the hockey player can not terminate the existing contract with the club on his own initiative.

“Tractor” for its part can not give permission to the player to leave, because in this case, we will lose the right to Kravtsov, but we do not want to. Since we cannot part with him now, he cannot yet sign an agreement in the NHL and remains in the Tractor’s location.

Next year we will make him a qualifying offer. If he wants to try himself overseas after all, then let him go, and then we’ll see. If the Rangers do not fall into the main team, he will return – such an agreement with his agent Paul Theophanos.

The nuance is that if we did not get into the playoffs and this issue was resolved before the first day of the Gagarin Cup, Kravtsov could leave.

There are certain laws in the KHL that we cannot violate, so today Vitaly remains in Russia, ”said Gubarev.

The main reason that Kravtsov is not headed to North America now in simple terms is due to KHL regulations. From the start of the playoffs, which Tractor made this season, until April 30, a KHL player cannot have his contract terminated.

Gubarev went on to explain that his team cannot giver permission to terminate their contract because they would lose the right to Kravtsov. Therefore, he can not sign an NHL contract and will remain under the team’s contract.

This is important to Tractor due to the notion that, if for some reason, Kravtsov doesn’t sign a deal with the Blueshirts, he could return to his KHL team next season.

An interesting side note comes via the last line of Gubarev’s statement which indicated that if Traktor failed to qualify for the KHL playoffs and had worked out a deal prior to the first game of the KHL postseason, Kravtsov could have left.

The rules and regulations of the KHL are in essence what is keeping Vitali from coming to the Rangers right now.

So for now, the Rangers will wait until Kravtsov’s contract has officially expired on April 30. The team shouldn’t be in too much or a rush to sign him now.

The team will definitely be in contact with Vitali’s agent starting sometime in May and should have a deal to bring him to New York for the start of camp next season if all goes well with the contract negotiations.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at