View Poll Results: How do you see the future of the European Hockey?

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  • European League will develop European Hockey

    39 61.90%
  • The EAHL project is the best solution

    4 6.35%
  • What for do we need any united league? I'd prefer National Championships

    7 11.11%
  • I'm for the new standards of the ECC

    13 20.63%
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Thread: Do you support the European League?

  1. #1
    IHF Member DIN's Avatar
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    IHWC Do you support the European League?

    Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip to Yaroslavl (where Lokomotiv plays) supported the idea of the European Hockey League (the united European League), and now all russian sport magazines and newspapers discuss positive and negative sides of this League.

    Vyacheslav Fetisov is still :innocent0 praying for his EAHL project (http://www.internationalhockeygang.o...ad.php?t=1643), Vladislav Tretyak has an assignment :scared001 for the European Hockey League, so my question is about your personal attitute concerning the idea of the European League.

    Do you think we need it to develop the general level of the European hockey :045: , or it's better simply to re-organize the ECC, and support own teams?!

    P.S.: My personal point of view is that we are to start discussions about possibility to have the united league for top European teams, and have National Championships in each country to have a stimulus to play in the European League.
    "Keep nothing in your house that you can't use or don't find beautiful" W.Morris :smart:

  2. #2
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    In a past thread, Europeans were explaining how a European superleague is unfeasible economically because, for some reason, fans are not interested in international club competitions as much as domestic ones (especially local derbies). Which is unfortunate because the G14 in football is just clamouring at the chance of forming a European superleague, but are settling with the Champions League which keeps on adding games to accomodate the big clubs. So, I'm not sure where the difference in fan attitude comes from between the two sports (who sometimes have teams in top domestic leagues of both sports).

    But economics aside, I'd love to see a European superleague that will rival the NHL. It will make the NHL less complacent, and there would be incentives on both sides to put the best product on ice. Then maybe eventually people will anticipate a Habs-CSKA match as much as a Barca-Chelsea match.

  3. #3
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    I chose the first alternative but it's a long way coming.

    You can't make a pan-European league and then expect demand (see EHL), you have to build the demand before building the league. The way I see it Europe has several international club competitions that need to be enforced and made more popular. These are:

    -IIHF events (ECC, Continental Cup)
    -International leagues (BOL, Latvian League, Interligas, EBL)
    -Practice tournaments (especially Nordic Trophy and Spengler Cup)

    IIHF events (especially Continental Cup) will need a makeover in the near future. The best solution would be combining ECC with CC with some kind of a relegation/promotion system. International leagues are good but hopefully they'll become more balanced. Instead of 1 "visiting" team in other country's league have more like Interliga. Nordic Trophy is something I personally have high hopes for. Hopefully it will expand and become a prestigious tournament of its own right (instead of being considered as preseason).

    So why are these improvement necessary? More meaningful games means more good matchups and that builds international (club) rivalries. And THAT is what builds demand which we need before we can even dream about a pan-European league.

    So what can you (the average hockey loving European) do to improve the chances on seeing a European league some day? Go see international club games, watch them on tv when possible, show interest, show that there is demand for international club games in Europe. If there is demand, there shall be a league.
    "Lord Baelish, what you suggest is treason."
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  4. #4
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    This is an extremely tough issue to discuss. I'm generally in favor of Tokyo's and Shardik's views on big clubs facing off against each other. On the other hand I don't think a European Super League will succeed. I think the fans like it the way it is. Then there is the cost of hockey which I think impedes any such direction to increase the growth of hockey in Europe.

    I didn't vote because I don't know the answer.

  5. #5
    IHF Member Aldair's Avatar
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    I'm fully agree with Shardik. Absolutely, with every word he said. :)

  6. #6
    IHF Member DIN's Avatar
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    The IIHF has developed the plan of the group stage for the European Hockey League in ‘2008-‘2009. Following the information from the IIHF (given by the Sport-express newspaper), there are to be 32 teams in 8 groups (4 teams in each group :023: ). Group stage will be played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays in November, December, January, February (excluding those days when Football Champions League is played).
    "Keep nothing in your house that you can't use or don't find beautiful" W.Morris :smart:

  7. #7
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Interesting. So IIHF copied UEFA's Champions League model it seems. I hope it's a success and that there's enough demand to support all those games being played. What else are they doing to increase interest in the new format?

  8. #8
    IHF Member DIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks
    Interesting. So IIHF copied UEFA's Champions League model it seems. I hope it's a success and that there's enough demand to support all those games being played. What else are they doing to increase interest in the new format?
    The International Hockey Federation will celebrate it's 100 anniversary in '2008, so the opening of the new League could be dedicated to this jubilee!!! :drink2: BUT, even Football Champions League has developed for decades, so contracts with TV channels, visits of famous teams from Hockey countries, such as Czech Republic (into Russa first of all), Finland, Sweden, etc will help, but not guarantee full Arenas on first couple of years.
    I've not seen yet any advertising of possible League, it's too early now.
    "Keep nothing in your house that you can't use or don't find beautiful" W.Morris :smart:

  9. #9
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks
    Interesting. So IIHF copied UEFA's Champions League model it seems. I hope it's a success and that there's enough demand to support all those games being played.
    Amen bro.

  10. #10
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIN
    The IIHF has developed the plan of the group stage for the European Hockey League in ‘2008-‘2009. Following the information from the IIHF (given by the Sport-express newspaper), there are to be 32 teams in 8 groups (4 teams in each group :023: ). Group stage will be played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays in November, December, January, February (excluding those days when Football Champions League is played).
    Hit me in the head and call me Charlie, I didn't see this coming. Any link for this, DIN?
    Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I know I'll be all over this kind of tournament but hopefully the big public will find it too. 32 teams sounds like a lot. How are they chosen anyway? Do they take the 32 best teams in Europe (hard enough task in itself) or do they let in some champions of smaller leagues or is there some kind of qualifying?

    Maybe like this: 4 RUS, 3 SWE, 3 FIN, 3 SUI, 3 GER, 3 CZE, 2 SVK, 2 AUT, 1 BOL, 1 DEN, 1 NOR, 1 POL, 1 ITA, 1 FRA, 1 GBR, 1 LAT, 1 Interliga?
    "Lord Baelish, what you suggest is treason."
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  11. #11
    IHF Member DIN's Avatar
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    IHWC

    Well, Shardik, there an interview with Rene Fasel in the Sport-express newspaper:
    http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?129839 (to my regret this article is in Russian).

    FHR also has plans for the EHL with teams from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Swiss, Slovakia, Austria, etc. Here's one of links to it (but it's also in Russian... :smart: ):
    http://www.regnum.ru/news/722339.html
    As I've written above, Vladimir Putin's with both his hands for this League.

    BTW, I'd add also teams from Belarus into possible League, and qualifying will be the best choice to my mind (some teams may loose their place in case they won't show good results).
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  12. #12
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links DIN! Not that I understand any Russian but the babelfish translation is acceptable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rene Fasel
    But on the interest from the side of public? - even the football League of Champions were required many years, in order to become such as we see it today. It is not possible even to compare the European Champions Cup of 30- summer remoteness and today's league. , out of any doubts, television played the key role in the development of this tournament. And for hockey, probably, one must pass similar way.
    I am very glad of the statement in bold. The league needs to get televized in all participating countries right off the mark. At least in Finland there is demand (IMO) for more hockey on tv especially during the timespan between November-February (when this EHL is played). The only hockey we have on tv during that time is a weekly Mestis game, EHT and tape-delayed games of World U20. So I think hockeydeprived fans would watch EHL games even if their teams didn't participate.
    "Lord Baelish, what you suggest is treason."
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  13. #13
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik
    Maybe like this: 4 RUS, 3 SWE, 3 FIN, 3 SUI, 3 GER, 3 CZE, 2 SVK, 2 AUT, 1 BOL, 1 DEN, 1 NOR, 1 POL, 1 ITA, 1 FRA, 1 GBR, 1 LAT, 1 Interliga?
    Hey, I like this! There would be some terrible blowouts, but it would eventually be a lot of fun for hockey fans in nations like Poland, Italy, France etc to see the top teams stop in.

  14. #14
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    We're getting down to semantics of a yet to exist competition, but it's fun so I'll participate.

    At least a few spots in the 32 need to be open to qualification (doesn't have to be 16, like in football CL) to encourage non-traditional hockey nations. Maybe the Continental Cup can be incorporated into that.

  15. #15
    IHF Member Aldair's Avatar
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    My opinion is that 32 teams are too much. But ok, let's say it will be 32, so I would divide it between different leagues in the way accordingly to IIHF raitng:

    1 team is previous champion - 1 team
    3 teams - 4 top europenians(currently SWE, CZE, RUS, FIN) - 12 teams
    2 teams - next 4 europenians : SLV, SWE, GER, BLR - 8 teams
    1 team - AUT, KAZ, DEN, LAT, UKR, NOR

    other 5 teams - qualification round where every european country can put one team only, maybe with qualifcation rounds system like in UEFA.

    But still, I think it's better to start from 16 teams, and to put "wild cards" for top 6. Others - qualification, when evrey country from top 6 can put another team.

  16. #16
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Yeah, 16 teams with

    2 teams - 4 top europenians(currently SWE, CZE, RUS, FIN) - 8 teams
    1 team - next 4 europenians : SLV, SWE, GER, BLR - 4 teams

    and 4 qualifying spots, for example, would create a more sensible competition with less blowouts.

    But I'm guessing that someone wanted to guarantee multiple spots for second tier nations, as well as provide more spots for third tier nations (more IIHF votes?). Just a wild guess.

  17. #17
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    so
    Russia,Sweden Finland,Czech - 4 teams from each nation - 16 teams - 12 automatic in groups rest do qualifying round

    Slovakia,Switzerand,Germany - 3 teams from each nation - 9 teams - 6 automatic rest have to qualify

    Belarus, Austria, Latvian championship, Slovenia - 2 teams from each nation - 8 teams - 4 automatic rest have to qualify


    so 22 teams would get automatic qualification, 11 from these bigger nations would go in qualifiers and would meet 9 other teams from the list below if there is more than 9 teams they would have a pre qualifying round to get 9 teams. The 9 losing teams in the final qualifying round could drop into continetal cup. and go into 3 groups with hosts already selected.

    The following nations could get 1 team all need to qualify
    Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Italy, France, Ukraine, Uk, Holland, Kazak, Lithuania, Belgium, Israel, Spain, Belgium, , previous seasons EHL champions, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, croatia - 20 teams

    EHL - group phase - 8 groups of 4, top 2 go through to knockout stages. Best 4 group winners get option to host this and 2 knockout matches on one day and the 2 winners play the next day and winner of that game advances to final round.

    Final round 4 teams - semi final - saturday, Final Sunday hosted in Neutral venue previously chosen by IIHF.

    continental cup - 9 teams losers from final qualifying round of EHL join 3 hosts

    3 winners progress along with the best runner up.

    these 4 teams join 8 3rd placed teams from group phase of EHL in continetal semi's in 3 groups of 4. The 3 winners would join an already selected host in the final round.

    Would be interesting to see how much of the final 16 came from outwith the top 4 leagues.

  18. #18
    IHF Member Raven's Avatar
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    I like this idea, with a schedule format similiar to Champions League it could work. I would love to be able to see the games here in Canada!!!!! Perhaps The IIHF could still use the Continental Cup as a tournement where the winner gets a bye to the final round....or somewhere along the way. 2008 may be a great year for hockey if this works out

  19. #19
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Ladies and Gentlemen.

    There was a slight mixup in the database and this poll will have to be re-done, so please vote again.

    Thank you.

  20. #20
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks
    In a past thread, Europeans were explaining how a European superleague is unfeasible economically because, for some reason, fans are not interested in international club competitions as much as domestic ones (especially local derbies). Which is unfortunate because the G14 in football is just clamouring at the chance of forming a European superleague, but are settling with the Champions League which keeps on adding games to accomodate the big clubs. So, I'm not sure where the difference in fan attitude comes from between the two sports (who sometimes have teams in top domestic leagues of both sports).
    As I've said in other threads about this, you can't compare the two sports:

    1. The G14 is football's NHL. A European Superleague would be setting itself up as a 2nd division NHL in the short- to mid-term with the hope of becoming an NHL competitor in the long-term. But that long-term aim is a huge gamble.

    2. The best football players in the world play in Europe. The best hockey players in the world play in North America. While that may change over time, it is certainly true now. So why are you really interested in seeing the top Finnish club side in the early years/decades of this tournament? As a test, at your next home game, ask fans in your building to name more than a dozen players playing in Sweden, Finland or Switzerland. There are people in this forum who could, but we are not the typical hockey fan profile...

    3. Football is endemic across Europe. Even if your team isn't in the Champions League group stages, you will still watch the Champions League games. Hockey isn't, so there are very few European fans that would watch this tournament if their own team wasn't involved.

    4. Football is at a higher level in more countries across Europe. Therefore, there are very few blow outs in the group stages of the Champions League. Hockey doesn't have that same strength in depth. You need to bring in French, British and Italian teams to claim a true European League, and yet those teams can only weaken the competition. There are some teams in the Champions League who are struggling (Levski Sofia, Spartak Moscow, Dynamo Kiev). But you also have groups like Group F where the bottom placed team (FC Copenhagen) have a 1-1-2 record in 4 games. You couldn't have that in a hockey equivalent. There may be an argument that you could one day, but that doesn't help the argument of selling it now.

    Graham.
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  21. #21
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    I think its better to develop ECC. Expand it to eight teams at start and have 16 teams in minde in the future and make it best of 2 games every round. The champions from the seven strongets Leauges in Europe and the winner of the Continental Cup. I think hockey in Europe develop best if we have many strong but smaller national leauges and a strong Europeen champions cup. The top leauges in Europe must start to develop ECC so it can be a tournerment whit prestige and money.

  22. #22
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I think its better to develop ECC. Expand it to eight teams at start and have 16 teams in minde in the future and make it best of 2 games every round. The champions from the seven strongets Leauges in Europe and the winner of the Continental Cup. I think hockey in Europe develop best if we have many strong but smaller national leauges and a strong Europeen champions cup. The top leauges in Europe must start to develop ECC so it can be a tournerment whit prestige and money.
    If you're going to do that you should eliminate the two "invitationals" from the Continental Cup, so that the ECC final can actually have clubs from eight different nations compete.
    It would be interesting, as a concept, but of course you have to remember the problem with teams from small leagues that don't have much money for travel.0.

  23. #23
    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    I don't think a European Hockey League could rally supporters in the same way as the national championships do today. Look what happened the last time an European League was tried. The interest started at a low level and never picked up.

    I agree with other contributors here that the only way to get a viable EHL is to grow the interest first, by promoting the international club tournaments that exists today, although they are mostly ignored by press and public alike.

  24. #24
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    A lot of people on this board seem to enjoy international club competitions. But I suppose we're a minority..

  25. #25
    IHF Member Tobias's Avatar
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    I would like to see international championships, but i really don't see it happen. People care more about the national rivalry i guess.

  26. #26
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    (3 teams from every country, 2cup)

    EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (6 games in group):
    A:
    Ak Bars Kazan, SC Berne, HV 71 Jonkoping, Keramin Minsk
    B:
    Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Pardubice, HPK Hameenlinna, Salzbourg
    C:
    Karpat Oulu, Avangard Omsk, Nuremberg, Dynamo Minsk
    D:
    Farjestad, Jokerit Helsinki, Liberec, Dukla Trencín
    E:
    HC Davos, Sparta Prague, Slovan Bratislava, Dusseldorf
    F:
    Mannheim, MoDo Ornskoldsvik, Zoug, HC Kosice

    CONTINENTAL CUP (only 4 games in group):
    A:
    Valerenga IF Oslo, Linz, Alba Volan Szekesfehervar, Steaua Bucharest, Kiev
    B:
    Cortina, Aalborg, Stavanger, Furuset Oslo, Ujpest
    C:
    Herning IK, Belfast Giants, HC Morzine-Avoriaz, Cracovie, Slavija Ljubljana
    D:
    Villach, Bolzano, Cardiff, ASK Ogre, Miercurea-Ciuc
    E:
    Milan, Storhamar, Sonderjyske (Vojens), Kazzinc-Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, Metallurg Liepaja
    F:
    Grenoble, Coventry Blaze, Sokol Kiev, HK Riga, Astana,
    G:
    Yunost Minsk, Briançon, Podhale Nowy Targ, Olimpija Ljubljana, KHL Medvescak Zagreb
    H:
    Kazakhmys Karaganda, Acroni Jesenice, Tilburg Trappers, GKS Tychy, Energija Elektrenai

  27. #27
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Now that I had more time to think about it, to answer the topic title. NO
    It's better individualism and identity which develops styles over one league offering a melting pot.

  28. #28
    IHF Member Aldair's Avatar
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    So, what will happen in the next season with the teams and countries that are outside of the biggest 7th?

    Here is the full article from the IIHF about new league format.

    Now, we got 12 teams for the first tournament.

    Quote Originally Posted by IIHF
    The Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden will be represented by two teams: the national champion and the regular season winner. If the national champion has won both the playoffs and the regular season, the second-placed team of the regular season will be the second participant. Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland will take part with their national champion. The twelfth team is to be announced later.
    In the second there already will be 24 countries. BUt what will be with other countries like Belarus, Denmark, Latvia, Kazakhstan and etc. in the upcoming season? Does that mean they will stay outside of the "Europe" for one year?

  29. #29
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Aldair: that's probably a good idea for the first season, just so that any issues in the scheduling or running of the league can get sorted out.
    If you immediately throw in teams from all the various countries all the way down to Romania, Spain, or whomever, you'll find that any problems could shut down the entire league. The clubs only have so much money for travel and whatnot so to get it all running smoothly before involving the lower-tier teams and nations is the best way to go about it.

  30. #30
    IHF Member Aldair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    Aldair: that's probably a good idea for the first season, just so that any issues in the scheduling or running of the league can get sorted out.
    If you immediately throw in teams from all the various countries all the way down to Romania, Spain, or whomever, you'll find that any problems could shut down the entire league. The clubs only have so much money for travel and whatnot so to get it all running smoothly before involving the lower-tier teams and nations is the best way to go about it.
    Ok, no problems with that - but my question is if other clubs will play this season? Maybe CC will be continued?

  31. #31
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Among the richest Swedish clubs, the attitudes to a European league are changing.


    Today, Lars Glennert, the departing chairman of Färjestad, said that he foresees a professional European league with around 40 teams in a few years. The league will be closed and private (i.e. not controlled by the national federations) and organized like the NHL.

    Glennert goes on to say that the league will have a huge impact on international hockey as the national team tournaments which have been a recurrent event for decades will be a thing of the past. With the establishment of the European league, the national teams of the European elite nations will only be assembled for the World Championship and the Olympics.
    http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportblade...icle2373101.ab


    Glennert's visions were echoed by Frölundas GM, Mats Adrian the other day. Adrian didn't go as far as Glennert as he emphasized that he and Frölunda prefers a Swedish private league (perhaps with the addition of a team from Oslo and Copenhagen). If this idea cannot be realized, then Frölunda will look into a European league. Meanwhile, Frölunda will keep a close eye with the development of the Russian KHL.

    http://www.hockeysverige.se/news_sho...html?id=493890
    Last edited by Karsten; 30-04-2008 at 01:21.

  32. #32
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Among the richest Swedish clubs, the attitudes to a European league are changing.

    Today, Lars Glennert, the departing chairman of Färjestad, said that he foresees a professional European league with around 40 teams in a few years. The league will be closed and private (i.e. not controlled by the national federations) and organized like the NHL.

    Glennert goes on to say that the league will have a huge impact on international hockey as the national team tournaments which have been a recurrent event for decades will be a thing of the past. With the establishment of the European league, the national teams of the European elite nations will only be assembled for the World Championship and the Olympics.
    http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportblade...icle2373101.ab
    Interesting. What impact do you think this will have on the NHL? If I read this write, does this mean that the traditional European National Team competitions, perhaps even some of the club competitions, might be obsolete? How do you think the fans would behave towards this, towards change and possibly make national team tournaments a thing of the past?

  33. #33
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Still sounds like nothing close to being definitive, but I guess the European elite leagues now have to contend against not just the NHL but the KHL as well, so that might force some changes beyond just the new Champions League.
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  34. #34
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    If KHL take of the best respons from Sweden and Finland are to creat a Nordic superleague. The worst respons are if some top clubs from Sweden and Finland joins KHL..

  35. #35
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks View Post
    Still sounds like nothing close to being definitive, but I guess the European elite leagues now have to contend against not just the NHL but the KHL as well, so that might force some changes beyond just the new Champions League.
    You're right. I think its safe to say we will see major changes in the structure of the European leagues within the next 10 years. The direction of the changes is also pretty clear: more professional, private and closed leagues, and the power of the national federations (and the IIHF) will cease. At first, (more) private and closed leagues will be established on the national or the regional level. This is already happening, e.g. the closing of the Czech league, the geographical expansion of EBEL, the establishment of KHL, but in the longer run the wealthy clubs may take it a step further and create a European-wide league. What was unimaginable just a few years ago, might just become a reality.

    To some extent, this development is not really surprising. I can only speak about the development in Sweden which I have followed closely. Here, the Elitserien clubs have sought great inspiration from the NHL after a score of former Swedish NHL'ers have returned to Sweden and been part of the management of the clubs.

    In general, the Swedish Elitserien club have become far more business oriented over the past decade. Hockey is no longer just a game. It is also entertainment that competes with other leisure activities, and for this reason the fans should get the total package. New modern arenas have been constructed with restaurants, VIP lounges and so on and merchandise has developed into an industry. The greater concern with financial issues is forcing the clubs to look for major changes in the structure of the leagues, and here the NHL again serves as a model.

  36. #36
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    "NHL-isation" of European hockey will bring nothing but the demisse of the sport as such. Just like NBA ruined Eurupean basketball for all practical purposes, and major influx of American and East European money turned European soccer into a private garden party of the extremely rich, the greed of some hockey club owners shall bring nothing good.

    What's good for Swedish hockey in general is if few wealthiest clubs abandon Sweden for pursuit of money in Europe? First, NHL (and now even minor leagues) stripped European national championships and IHWC from best player and now some EHL will just finish the work.

    In the end, we'll have a tiny group of very rich teams and a bunch of beer league teams for overage veterans and former juniors.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    This is already happening, e.g. the closing of the Czech league.
    The Czech league is not closed. Extraliga clubs wanted to close it, but 1. Liga winner Usti nad Labem suited them in front of an anti-cartel court and won.

    This year, there was a promotion/relegation series again (and Usti nad Labem was relegated vs Mlada Boleslav, by the way)
    That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise

  38. #38
    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    What was unimaginable just a few years ago, might just become a reality.
    This article (in Russian) was published in Sport-Express at the 1st of April: http://www.metallurg.ru/news/37038/
    Though April joke, the suggested formula (of euro-wide KHL) looks realizable.
    Who knows...
    Salavat - green rockets!

  39. #39
    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    You're right. I think its safe to say we will see major changes in the structure of the European leagues within the next 10 years. The direction of the changes is also pretty clear: more professional, private and closed leagues, and the power of the national federations (and the IIHF) will cease. At first, (more) private and closed leagues will be established on the national or the regional level. This is already happening, e.g. the closing of the Czech league, the geographical expansion of EBEL, the establishment of KHL, but in the longer run the wealthy clubs may take it a step further and create a European-wide league. What was unimaginable just a few years ago, might just become a reality.

    To some extent, this development is not really surprising. I can only speak about the development in Sweden which I have followed closely. Here, the Elitserien clubs have sought great inspiration from the NHL after a score of former Swedish NHL'ers have returned to Sweden and been part of the management of the clubs.

    In general, the Swedish Elitserien club have become far more business oriented over the past decade. Hockey is no longer just a game. It is also entertainment that competes with other leisure activities, and for this reason the fans should get the total package. New modern arenas have been constructed with restaurants, VIP lounges and so on and merchandise has developed into an industry. The greater concern with financial issues is forcing the clubs to look for major changes in the structure of the leagues, and here the NHL again serves as a model.

    It's a disturbing trend (in my eyes). I actually don't go to many NHL games because of the MacDonaldization of the game. Karsten is dead on when he describes it as being/becoming an entertainment package. The biggest danger with sport as entertainment is that you always want something better (better effects, better sound, more events between periods, more activity between the actual play). Before you know it, the game takes a back seat to the entertainment value. But because people want more entertainment value, costs rise and you need the closed leagues to be able to generate the income to provide that value.

    The best way to provide the value is to standardize as much as possible so costs are down in the relative costs-revenue scheme of things. People who go to NHL games in different cities start to realize that it's like going to an Aldi/Lidl/Stockmanns/Safeway/Walmart in the next city. Everything is done the same way and in the same place for the most part.

    What I like about "hockey" is difference. The fact that the game is played differently, the fans are different, the ice surface is different, the sweaters are different - - I think you get my drift. I think my posts and threads also show that I like this part of the game too.

    Looking to the NHL is fine but following it blindly is just blind idiocy. What makes Finnish hockey so good? What makes Swedish hockey so good? What makes German hockey so good? What makes Czech hockey so good? What makes Swiss hockey so good etc etc. There are lots of good answers to these questions for all the countries. Superleagues are the kiss of death for hockey. Soon there'll just be NHL style playoffs that never end, featuring essentially the same teams. Maybe that's what fans like but I prefer to think that's because that's all fans seem to remember.

    Nope/Nichts. Instead count me in for leagues that are different and create their own hockey culture. That's what keeps this Forum going in my eyes. The last thing I want is to be posting on this site when it becomes so diluted as to be like reading the never ending flaming and repetition you see on the HF Board.

  40. #40
    IHF Member bordshockeypampen's Avatar
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    I would support a European League if it would include relegation to and promotion from other leagues. I think closed leagues are are a bit boring.

    Unfortunately, I don't think a European league with promotion and relegation is a realistic option right now, so I hope Champions Hockey League will be a success, and that plans of a closed European league won't come true.

  41. #41
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    I've lookd to see if this was referenced elsewhere, but did not find a match.

    And because I'm "over here" this might be common knowledge to most, and may be meaningless, but this story caught my eye this morning (afternoon to most I'm sure).

    http://www.sm-liiga.fi/arkisto/uutis...jen-etuja.html

    Contains some finnish, but the main prerss release is in English.

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