NHL signs agreement with KHL

The NHL and Kontinental Hockey League signed a formal agreement to mutually respect each other's player contracts, the KHL announced Monday before a preseason game between the Carolina Hurricanes and SKA St. Petersburg.

Under the agreement, the NHL and KHL will honor each other's contracts and only free agents can switch leagues.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the agreement in an e-mail to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Monday.

The agreement brings an end to several years of contentiousness over the rights to players, with much of the ill will between both leagues born out of star winger Alexander Radulov leaving behind a valid contract with the Nashville Predators and signing a deal in the KHL in the summer of 2008.

"The day before yesterday, Bill Daly and I reached a formal agreement about the appreciation and respect of the KHL contracts," Medvedev told ESPN.com. "It's very important. We have a legally binding agreement. This agreement confirms the validity of KHL contracts and is fully in compliance with hockey industry standards."

"I sent him a letter confirming that we recognize and respect the validity of the standard terms of KHL SPCs," Daly wrote. "But that's always been our position -- this doesn't represent a change for us."