Rank the major European leagues

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by colonel_korn, Jul 24, 2006.

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  1. colonel_korn

    colonel_korn Luuuuuuuuuu....lay?

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    Hopefully this is not too controversial or nationalistic a subject.... :D
    I was wondering how the various European elite leagues compare in terms of the talent and level of play in each one? As a North American I don't follow them all that closely. Would this be a fairly accurate ranking of the quality of each league? (This is just based on my impressions of each one from what I've read here)

    1) Russian Super League
    2) Swedish Elite league
    ...
    3) Finnish SM-Liiga
    4) Czech Extraliga
    ....
    5) Swiss National League A
    6) Deutsche Eishockey League
    7) Slovakian Championship League
    ....
    8) Austrian League
    9) British League

    (The ... represents a somewhat large gap between the league above and the league below)
     
  2. -300*C

    -300*C Registered User

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    I don't see a big gap between the Swedish and the Finnish leagues. :dunno:
    Here's the results of last year's European Champions Cup 2006, it may not make a difference anyway.. (the attending teams were the current champions of their countries.)

    1. Dynamo Moscow RUS
    2. Karpat Oulu FIN
    3. HC Davos SUI
    4. HC Pardubice CZE
    5. Slovan Bratislava SLO
    6. Indians Frolunda SWE
     
  3. ALF AmericanLionsFan

    ALF AmericanLionsFan Registered User

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    I agree with this except I would switch the DEL with the Swiss NLA
     
  4. stv11

    stv11 Global Moderator

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    Your top 7 seems ok to me (though there may be a bigger gap between Germany and Slovakia than between Sweden and Finland). Not sure how Austria and Britain compare to the like of Belarus, France or Norway, though Austria is a good bet for the 8th spot.
     
  5. FoppaArGud

    FoppaArGud Registered User

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    How is Finland so far behind the Swedes?

    They seem to be on almost equal footing, both sent a ton of players to the Worlds last year. I also think the German league should be placed above Swiss, I dunno much about the Slovak outfit but that seems like one to watch with the talent they've produced in recent years.
     
  6. Montandon

    Montandon Registered User

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    You can't make a ranking of the different leagues.. Every league has its strengths... For example the SM-Liiga of Finnland is very strategical, while in Switzerland they play more offensively... In Germany, they play more defensive.....

    And another thing is, that between the badest team of the finnish or swedish league and their best team, there is a bigger difference, as between the best and badest in Switzerland for example...
     
  7. kacz

    kacz Registered User

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    The Belarus Open League is a toss up anywhere between #8 and down
     
  8. hdw

    hdw Registered User

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    Hmm, almost

    I wouldn't say that the diff between the Finnish and Swedish leagues is that big.

    And I wonder if the Slovakian league is that far down.
    I mean, Canada, US, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czechia and Slovakia is the 'big 7' in hockey.

    Of the 8 in the quarters in any international competition, those 7 are always there, joined by the current hot random nr 8 (Swiss, Austria, Germany ...)

    And if you look at the WC it's very much 'local' players (since the big guns from the big 7 are either in the SC playoff or injured). But it's still the same 7.

    So is the British league really number 9?
    We haven't seen any Brits in WC for a long time, Kazakstan, Latvia, Denmark, Norway yes, but GB?
     
  9. colonel_korn

    colonel_korn Luuuuuuuuuu....lay?

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    Yeah, the British league is just on there 'cause it was listed on hockeydb's European Elite league page, the other ones weren't for whatever reason.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues.html

    As for Sweden vs. Finland, somehow I got the impression that the Russian and Swedish leagues were the clear #1 and #2 leagues in Europe and the rest were a cut below, including Finland and the Czech league. But maybe I was mistaken. :)
     
  10. hdw

    hdw Registered User

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    Quality of the leagues

    I've been pondering this a bit, and checked stats and team rosters.
    Sorry if this is all frikken obvious.

    Thinking about it I realised that my initial assessment based on the national teams only tell part of the story, there's also the economic side, which comes down to how much the fans are willing to, or capable of, spending.

    The more money a team gets, the more good players they can hire, which brings in foreign players and keeps nationals at home.

    The British league is a prime example, it's stuffed shockful of Canadians, making the league miles better that the (excuses to the sons and daugthers of Albion) quite misarable national team. And of course, Britain also sports an advantage by having a language that isn't to far away from the ones used by many of their North American cousins.

    But on the other hand, looking at the European Champions Cup doesn't tell the entire truth either, esp since it doesn't get very much of media attention (and thereby money) as the national leagues or national team cups (at least here in Sweden).
    I know that Indians actually rested a lot of top players and loaded up with juniors for the Euro, they didn't want injuries on key players in 'pointless' game.

    Long ramble, but my point is that the British, German, Austrian, Swiss etc leagues are a good deal better, or at least better, than their national teams, while Demark, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Kazakstan etc are the other way around.
     
  11. hdw

    hdw Registered User

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    Lies, damned lies and statistics

    Had some coding and database fun with the team rosters from Turin(o).

    Here's the list of how many foreign nationals the different leagues sent.

    League number nationalities

    NHL 112 CZE,FIN,GER,SUI,KAZ,LAT,RUS,SVK,SWE
    Rus 24 KAZ,LAT
    SEL 8 FIN,SUI,LAT,SVK
    Sui 5 FIN,ITA,LAT
    Aus 2 ITA,LAT
    Cze 2 GER,SVK
    Ger 2 LAT
    ECHL 1 LAT
    UHL 1 ITA
    Fin 1 LAT
    Kaz 1 LAT

    The data from Riga is even more telling:
    RUS : 38 : KAZ BLR UKR LAT SVK CZE
    NHL : 37 : CZE FIN SVK SWE SUI RUS BLR
    SWE : 24 : DEN NOR FIN SVK LAT SLO SUI
    GER : 10 : NOR LAT CAN CZE KAZ SVK
    CZE : 9 : SVK SLO
    SUI : 8 : FIN CAN CZE LAT
    BLR : 6 : UKR
    FIN : 5 : LAT NOR CZE
    AHL : 5 : LAT NOR DEN
    ITA : 2 : LAT SLO
    SW2 : 2 : NOR
    AUT : 1 : ITA
    FRA : 1 : SLO

    It's worth to notice that with all the big boys battling for the cup, or can't be arsed to play for their nation, the russian league is actually providing more 'foreign' players than NHL (but count AHL and the balance is back) and that Canada registered one player from the German league and one from the Swiss league.

    Actually USA, Russia and Sweden are the only teams that went with only national league and NHL players. (Russia added one NHL:er, a certain Alexander Ovechkin, Sweden added bunch of young Red Wings and Ye Olde Ranger Nylander).

    But again, this is just statistics, if you let the teams of the Finnish league meet the teams in the German league I'm quite sure that the Finns wouldn't have any problems of coming out on top.

    One have to remember that the majority of the players in each league are nationals.
    The top dogs in Russia, Sweden and others go to NHL but the next level stays at home.
    Many prefer being an 'important player' in their national team, instead of 3-4 liner in NHL or bounce between NHL and the minors.
    Some, mainly older players, grab a year or two in Germany or Suisse because it's good money.

    It really shows the difference in money.
    In Turin the 'big 7' basicly took their entire teams from NHL, while the others pulled theirs from the Russian, Swedish, Suisse and German leagues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  12. stv11

    stv11 Global Moderator

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    Regarding the slovakian league, although their national team is above Germany and Switzerland, their best players all play abroad and they don't have the money to attract top imports. That's the reason I would rank this league at the 7th spot.

    Regarding the Switzerland vs Germany issue, the German league use more import players but half of them are average AHLer who are not better than your average swiss league 2nd/3rd liner, so even with a small avantage in player depth for the germans, I think that the quality of the best players is what places Switzerland above Germany (top notch DEL players like Trepanier, Lebeau or Julien were not that impressive in Switzerland, while Germany doesn't have players as good as Peltonen, Nummelin, Domeniccheli or Petrov).
     
  13. hdw

    hdw Registered User

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    More silly stats :)

    Yep, which shows clearly in the WC team stats.
    Slovak WC team:
    8 CZE 7 NHL 4 SWE 2 RUS 1 GER
    vs.
    Suisse WC Team:
    3 NHL 1 SWE

    Almost the entire SVK WC team is playing abroad, since almost any league is better play (and money) than the SVK league.
    But almost no SUI players are, since basicly only NHL is the option for SUI players (Martin Plüss is the odd man out, but don't tell him, I want to keep him in Gothenburg).

    Yep, as in:
    German contribution:
    4 NOR 2 LAT 1 CAN 1 CZE 1 KAZ 1 SVK
    vs
    Suisse contribution:
    4 FIN 2 CAN 1 CZE 1 LAT

    More players from the German league, but higher 'quality' from SUI.
     
  14. Ego

    Ego Registered User

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    There are usualy couple guys from Slovak league in Natioanl team. I would say Austrian league is very close to Slovak, but it is really hard to compare, because these leagues are extremely different.
     
  15. Mokoma

    Mokoma Registered User

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    At least now (and the recent years) finnish teams have been almost dominating over the swedish teams. Of course one can argue that the swedish teams have been unprepaired etc. but still...

    Sure I'm a bit bias as a finn but placing SM-liiga far behind Elitserien is just wrong. It's also difficult to compare different leagues on the basis of hockey, because the overall play is so different in different leagues. Who can say which is better?
     
  16. edd1e

    edd1e Registered User

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    I think SEL has more money to offer than FNL, but still most of the teams are kinda equal, mayby the swedes have more quality teams than fins.
     
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