While they're still smiling and proclaiming that co-existence is best, the little skirmishes so far between the NHL and the KHL may be just the preamble to a protracted signing war. One which may very well redefine what the NHL has become in the last ten years.
Alex Radulov became the first "stone in Gary Bettman's shoe" this off season, as he bolted on his former employer the Nashville Predators, moving to Ufa and setting off a bit of a fire fight between the two sides as they strive to interpret sliding dates of enforcement and further intentions.
With the Russian based hockey league looking to find it's feet this season, the real action could come in the 2009-10 season, when a potential KHL universal draft may redraw NHL lineups for years to come.
We'll follow some of the dispatches from the two camps as the two leagues keep a wary eye on developments on both continents.
August 18-- NHL, Russians remain at odds over Radulov
August 18-- NHL refuses Russian compensation offer
August 15-- Feud Brews Between NHL, Russian KHL
August 15-- NHL LOSING ON RADULOV