Alexander Medvedev, the Russian billionaire and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Russian energy company Gazprom, shown in the top right, may become the first Russian billionaire with an NHL franchise. Medvedev is already the owner of Russia's Continental Hockey League and has said that he has narrowed his decision to just three possible teams. Medvedev likely wouldn't be welcomed into the NHL with open arms considering that several NHL players ending up playing for the Russian league. There isn't currently a player transfer agreement between the two leagues. Medvedev is set to meet with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly later this week at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Medvedev is hoping to develop European hockey and is meeting with Swedish teams. The Russian league did have some difficulties with teams paying player salaries in the first season but Medvedev says he will crack down on any teams with debts.
One team that Medvedev can't have is the Phoenix Coyotes. The co-CEO of Research in Motion, Jim Balsillie has been trying to buy a hockey team for several years including trying to buy both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators. Now the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes may be his for the taking. Reports say he has made a $212.5 million offer for the Coyotes and will move the team to Southern Ontario.