Two-time KHL champion Ak Bars Kazan has spiked rumors that a lockout signing with Detroit Red Wings star forward Pavel Datsyuk is imminent.
The two-time Stanley Cup winner was heavily linked with the Russian team, where he played before moving to North America in 2000.
“As there is no certainty with the lockout dates, Ak Bars is not holding any negotiations and is not going to sign short-term contracts with NHL players,” Ak Bars announced on its website Monday.
The deadline for averting a lockout passed Saturday after the NHL and the players’ association failed to agree terms on a new collective contract.
According to KHL regulations, contracts with incoming NHL players must include a get-out clause in case the lockout is resolved.
During the previous lockout in season 2004-05, Datsyuk, 34, played for Dynamo Moscow and won the Russian League.
Several stars have already agreed to come to Eastern Europe, including last season's MVP Evgeni Malkin joining his hometown team Metallurg Magnitogorsk along with Ottawa Senators defender Sergei Gonchar.