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Evgeny Malkin of Metallurg Magnitogorsk, left, fights for the puck with Jamie Johnson of Dinamo Riga during their Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) ice hockey match in Riga Oct. 22, 2012.

INTS KALNINS/REUTERS

The Kontinental Hockey League's president says he wants to slash its salary cap as clubs struggle financially in Russia's economic crisis.

Dmitry Chernyshenko told Russian media Saturday he wants to cut the 1.1 billion ruble ($17 million) salary cap by 50 million rubles a year each season until 2017-18.

At current exchange rates, that would result in a cap that is a fifth of the NHL's current $69 million level.

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The plans likely spell an end to the KHL's plans to rival the NHL's popularity and attract big-name players from North America.

Almost all of the KHL's 28 clubs rely heavily on Russian state-owned companies and regional governments for their revenue.

With Russian government finances under pressure from low oil prices, several clubs are reportedly struggling to pay players.

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