The Russians are ready.
With time ticking down until the NHL is expected to lock out its players, KHL teams and executives are bracing for a windfall. The Russian-based league will open its arms to NHL players who wake up Sept. 16 without a place to play because it believes it can capitalize while arenas go dark around North America.
"Mainly I think it's going to be a lot of additional marketing potential for the league and hockey itself as a game," KHL vice-president Ilya Kochevrin told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. "The stars bring additional attention ... to a lot of people who probably don't consider hockey the sport of choice.