European Expansion for NHL

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Coach Travis, May 18, 2007.

  1. Coach Travis

    Coach Travis Back2Back!!!

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    It seems that many hockey pundits are advocating that NHL expansion into Europe is a growing possibility. It seems like there are plenty hurdles to overcome, but it's a very intriguing proposition, so I thought people might like to discuss it.

    I don't know exactly where this type of expansion would be headed and I'm a little uninformed to maybe what exactly this thinking is, but when I think of expansion, I think of an NHL franchise based overseas, but I've also heard some talk of the NHL's Stanley Cup Champions vs. some type of European Champion, maybe someone can confirm or dismiss this for me?

    Any thoughts on the topic?
     
  2. Mcjlockhart89

    Mcjlockhart89 Humboldt Strong

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    Personally I think it will never happen, the travel prices would be far to high to make it even economical, the only way it would work would be similar to the MLB's two different leagues, so a Euro league and N.A. league. But saying that I think it will never happen.

    Though the N.A. champs vs. euro champs could be a possibility
     
  3. shatner_rules

    shatner_rules You're in Trouba

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    I can see alot of players wanting no trade clauses in their contracts if this happens. Could you imagine playing in Anaheim one minute and then being traded to Helsinki?(just picking that city, no disrespect).

    I suspect it would just be the Stanley Cup Champs versus European Champs.
     
  4. frozenpondscum

    frozenpondscum Registered User

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    Start with a European division of 4 teams with the aim of having 8-10 some day.

    European teams are stocked with volunteer expansion draftees and UFA's. All contracts must contain a transatlantic trade provision: a)blanket permission, b)blanket refusal, or c) case-by-case approval required. Over time, the market will naturally adjust so that flexible players will tend to get a bit more money/years in their contracts.

    Each European team makes two 7-8 game road trips to North America to play 15 games total (visiting all the teams in one of the NA conferences). Two Euro teams visit the East, the other two visit the West, then it reverses the following season.

    Each NA team makes one Euro road trip to play all four Euro teams.

    So each NA team ends up with 40 home games, 42 road games. No big whoop as long as there is some revenue sharing to compensate for the single lost home date.

    All the rest of the Euro team play is amongst themselves (37 games left, so 12-13 games vs each opponent).

    The first Stanley Cup round, there is one series between the top 2 Euro teams. NA participants are reduced from 16 to 14. (Or there's a couple of play-in games to reduce from 16 to 14). Giving the Euro division a guaranteed berth in the second round integrates the competition better, and is fairer than giving it a guaranteed berth in the World Final.

    Subsequent Stanley Cup rounds involving Euro teams have a modified format (e.g. 2-3-2 or 2-2-3 or 2-5 or 2-4-1 or 3-4) rather than the 2-2-1-1-1, to mitigate travel.

    There are still significant challenges/hurdles, not the least of which would be the European Hockey federations and the IIHF. But at least in the format here, travel and player movement aren't the insurmountable issues.

    IMO, the top candidate cities would be Berlin, London, Stockholm, Prague, Helsinki, Paris, Moscow, Munich, Zurich, and Hamburg.
     
  5. Coach Travis

    Coach Travis Back2Back!!!

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    What about St. Petersburg? 4.66 Million people?

    The idea of having a team in London is very interesting to me. On the one hand, it's not a traditional hockey market by any means, but it is a city of over 9 million people. Maybe it could work?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
  6. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    Bob McKenzie said on the radio recently he is convinced that there will a European division within 15 years, and that the NBA will also have one within 5 years after that.

    I don't see it happening for the simple season that European hockey fans are more concerned with local rivalries (or derbies). Fans in Helsinki are more concerned with games vs Turku, Tempere and Oulu and not vs Stockholm, Prague, Moscow etc.... History has shown this.
     
  7. Coach Travis

    Coach Travis Back2Back!!!

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    Well, right now it's an untested plan so there's no way to know for sure that it won't work. But it stands to reason that a city like, say, Helsinki would be favour being able to watch world class talent live on a regular basis, an option which would have previously only been available in North America.

    In any case, there is a lot of research that needs to be done, but it's an opportunity with a huge upside financially.
     
  8. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    There may be some upside financially but a LOT of hurdles to overcome which have been covered on other threads on this board recently. I hope it is done gradually whatever the process. I also hope that the current francises are sufficiently stable in NA before there is a lot of effort across the Atlantic as well- why go across the ocean and at the same time have some francises on this side of the Atlantic who are still operating with a whole lot of red ink- does not make any sense to me. In addition, I would hope the tv deal- especially for the US will be more accessible and yield more money for the teams than what is currently in place. I think the television problem and lack of revenue should be a higher priority in the next 5-10 years than having teams in Europe right away.
     
  9. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    The real problem here is that more expansion isn't a good idea. For it to work you'd need to move some NA franchises to Europe IMO.
     
  10. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Which is why I say IF you want 30 STABLE and PROSPEROUS francises in NA, then you better hold off for the near future until you are sure they are stable before going to Europe. Actually, I think Bettman has said as much in another thread where he said he wanted stable markets here before going to Europe which I totally agree with. If you don't mind folding some clubs in NA, then it is indeed one option to have them in Europe instead. Personally, I don't agree with that but I think if you move too fast without a decent tv contract and at least improved ratings and stable clubs here, then that is what you would invite to happen.
     
  11. Hollywood3

    Hollywood3 Bison/Jet/Moose Fan

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    IMO, it could work but not in the way North American fans envision expansion. It would have to involve existing teams switching from their national league to a pan-European league. Therefore, teams would not necessarily be in the "markets" the NHL wants but in the cities that have the best hockey teams.
     
  12. slowpoke

    slowpoke Registered User

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    And the amatuer draft. If an "Eric Lindros" doesn't want to go to Quebec City, he sure won't want to go to Moscow.
     
  13. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Registered User

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    The NHL does not need an expansion team or league in Europe. Just work with the existing leages and clubs to play competitive international tournaments for real $ prizes trophies and bragging rights.
     
  14. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Registered User

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    I would love to see this. The Stanley Cup champs better take this seriosuly!
     
  15. OLYMPIA STADIUM

    OLYMPIA STADIUM Registered User

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    God i hope that this never happens they have changed the game way to much.this turns my stomach.
     
  16. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    How would that change the game in the least bit? It doesn't seem any different than when the Flyers took on the Red Army or the Summit Series in 72' and 74'.
     
  17. OLYMPIA STADIUM

    OLYMPIA STADIUM Registered User

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    Its bad enough seeing the NHL being changed into european style league from old fashion north american hockey. alot of old time fans like myself dont want to see this.
     
  18. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    So you dislike the idea of the Stanley Cup Champions facing the European Champions? I still don't see how this is at all a threat to what you enjoy. What you responded to would be a short series between the two champions of hockey to see who is truly the best. Also, you don't need to validate your view of hockey by saying "a lot of old time fans like myself". I don't see how anyone would be threatened and how the game would change. How old timey are you? Early NHL? Maybe NHA? Things change and whether you want them to or not.
     
  19. OLYMPIA STADIUM

    OLYMPIA STADIUM Registered User

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    Alot of older fans like myself just dont like the changes and alot of the NHL oldtimmers dont like it either.back in the 1970s when montreal and philadelphia were playing russia the big diffrence back then was the league was not trying to change the playing style of the NHL.i dont want to see this happen leave the europeans over in europe.
     
  20. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Exactly, you don't solve problems by jumping into a minefield with buried treasure.
     
  21. Dangerfield

    Dangerfield Registered User

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    The biggest problem I see would be adding another series on top of what is already the most grueling championship march in any team sport. By the time a hockey club wins the cup, they are spent. The Euro champs are unlikely to face anything that demanding.

    The NHL could shorten the Stanley Cup run, which really would harm the tradition and take revenue from the playoff teams, or shorten the regular season, which would take revenue from all teams. Either way it wouldn't work.
     
  22. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    No way they would shorten the playoffs- that would be suicide. I think any typw "series" would take place in Sept. Again, the fuller details would need to be shown but anyway you slice it the Stanley Cup winners would most likely have a shorter training camp I would imagine to compensate for this extra series.
     
  23. LeafErikson

    LeafErikson Schwifty 24/7

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    I think more than anything, the leagues, and the Franchises that exist in Europe, need to step up to the plate, and start building their leagues to the extent the NHL has built theirs, and bring top end talent over there to play. Russia seems to be doing that to a degree, spending lots of money to keep the talent they have over there, and steel some of theirs back, ala Perezhogin.
    I actually agree with what the Russian league is doing, despite how annoying it might be.;)
    Lets see if Sweden, and maybe the UK, (as London has been suggested as a good market), maybe Finland, and some club teams from Germany, Czech, and Switzerland can maybe get together, and build their league(s) together. That seems to me as more of a realistic idea, than the NHL actually expanding over to Europe.
     
  24. They'd be dominant at home... jet lag is horrable.

    I flew into America when I was 7 for a tournament in Denver... My god was I tired.

    They'd be too good.
     
  25. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Registered User

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    agree 100%. Follow the FIFA/ UEFA soccer model.
     

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