Baltic Hockey League

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Pardus, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Pardus Registered User

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    Starting from next season there will be a CHL type hockey league called Baltic Hockey League. Teams are qualified by their success in their national leagues. Four teams from Latvia and two teams from both Estonia and Lithuania. In a few years it is a plan that BHL would replace all three national championships.

    What are your thoughts on this project? In my opinion BHL is definitely the best solution for developing Estonian (and Lithuanian) hockey. I'm really excited and couldn't wait for the ignaural season to begin!
     
  2. GBHockey Registered User

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    Could potentially be a good idea but I see the Latvians dominating.

    There's Belarus and Poland bordering too and whilst Belarus is land locked, they're an okay hockey nation who along with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, could grow much more.

    The more games against domestic teams of neighbouring nations, the better. It allows for teams and nations to see exactly where they stand against each other, see how they do things differently and perhaps work together in some way.

    The BHL sounds like one step forward, and that's great. I'm not very aware of what the development system is like in those Baltic nations but I don't think it would be too far wrong to say that they need to do more, and increase the quality of the development programmes. There's some very good hockey nations a short distance away, Finland, Russia, Sweden.. Perhaps even as far as Czech Republic. One thing which is important will be for these nations to accept any help offered to them, it's vital that they don't simply try to keep things entirely in house and keep it their way. That is how it is here in Great Britain, our governing body will not accept any help from the IIHF and our development systems are poor. Besides our top league, which is at a good level because of it being foreign player heavy, everything else is awful. The key to growing the sport is to work with other nations, play more games in junior level and bring in more competitiveness. The BHL appears to tick two of those boxes and as I have little to no knowledge of the junior systems over there, I can't comment much further but I definitely see this as a step forward.
     
  3. TheWhiskeyThief Registered User

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    For such a small geographic area, the travel times are pretty rough. It’s good for development just because you’re not seeing the same teams.

    But for development, coach the coaches up, get the kids looking at skill vids via YouTube.
     
  4. Rigafan Registered User

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    They manage it with the Baltic Basketball Legaue and some teams have literally 50 people show up!
     
  5. Pardus Registered User

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    So the teams for inaugural season, 19-20, should be:

    Välk 494 (Tartu, EST)
    HC Viking (Tallinn, EST)
    HK MOGO (Rīga, LAT)
    HK Kurbads (Rīga, LAT)
    HK Zemgale (Jelgava, LAT)
    HK Prizma (Rīga, LAT)
    Energija (Elektrėnai, LTU)
    Hockey Punks (Vilnius, LTU)

    Waiting for the schedule to be released.
     
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  6. Rigafan Registered User

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    Do we have any website? I've searched a few weeks ago and didn't find anything
     
  7. SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Not as far as I know.
     
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  8. GX Registered User

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    I doubt Mogo and/or Prizma would be too eager to participate in this. Wouldn't be surprised to see HS Riga replacing one of them.

    Meanwhile, Buncis from Latvian federation shed some light on the format of the league a month ago: There would be a round robin stage, with 4 teams in each group, meeting each other 2 times, followed by 'playoffs'. He also told that it is not certain whether the teams are ready to play. Some Latvian teams are uncertain of financial capabilities, while for Lithuanian and Estonian teams there is also the question of player availability.
     
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  9. Michal Registered User

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    The Polish hockey is in never-ending crisis. I think Baltic Hockey League could be a good step for us. Do you know anything about any negotiations between BHL and Poland?
    @Pardus ?
     
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  10. Pardus Registered User

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    Haven't heard anything. Belarus tried to re-establish EEHL but at least Estonian teams are lacking money for that to happen.

    They should get BHL started now, so who knows if there could some day be a joint league with Belarusian and Polish teams.
     
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  11. SoundAndFury Registered User

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    It just adds so many complications to go abroad. Travel is a huge strain on the budget, Belarus isn't in EU and all. It just isn't worth it for countries that can sustain a single country league.
     
  12. Michal Registered User

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    @Pardus I have read an article on Polish website today about project of a new hockey league with teams from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. All of these countries are interested. There is a chance the league would start in 2-3 years. The project is still being negotiated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  13. Pardus Registered User

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    I guess it's the EEHL you are talking about. Yes, they had negotiations in Minsk. Just didn't remember Polish teams were involved too. Estonian Ice Hockey Association stated earlier this that Estonian clubs don't have money for EEHL.

    Belarusian clubs would be involved in EEHL (because it's mainly their project) but not in BHL.

    I really hope BHL comes true this year. So maybe (after 5 five years at least) could be time for EEHL.
     
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  14. Toro2017 Registered User

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    So if Baltic states would go with BHL, then could the others build a new version of EEHL with Belarussia, Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia? Six team division (for each country) and after regular season they would first play playoffs for divisional winner (national winner) and then go to conference finals and final.
     
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  15. Pardus Registered User

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    Sounds like a good plan. And maybe later also BHL teams could enter the EEHL playoffs.
     
  16. Albatros Registered User

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    I don't think this could be interesting to Polish or Slovak teams, too much travel for no obvious benefit.
     
  17. Pardus Registered User

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    Previous poster wasn't talking about Baltic Hockey League.
     
  18. Pardus Registered User

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    So, Lithuania is back in 1B and Estonia won only Netherlands and Ukraine. Both Baltic nations need to get their best clubs to the level of Latvian league and solution for that is BHL. Step by step. Players from Estonian or Lithuanian national championships are just not enough for division 1 level.

    Now I'm pushing all three Baltic nations to make the biggest effort for BHL to happen. Hungary and Romania have Erste Liga; Austria, Italy and Slovenia have AlpsHL (not to mention EBEL) so I guess you know the importance of international co-operation.
     
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  19. Toro2017 Registered User

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    I wonder if it would be at all viable, if some finnish team would participate? Could they help to bring the level of play higher? Because there is one "big" ice rink in finnish capital area kinda out of use at the moment. So could Espoo Blues, Espoo united or Espoo something help Baltic Hockey League and would the baltic teams be able to travel also to Finland?
     
  20. Pardus Registered User

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    Out of option. Espoo Blues and Espoo United don't exist anymore (well Blues does, but only in juniors). Kiekko-Espoo aims to Mestis. Any Finnish team wouldn't ever have interest to play in a Baltic league. Also too expensive for Baltic teams to travel to Finland.
     
  21. amoboko Waikato Junglist

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    I would also be a huge fan to include some Polish teams, like Gdansk to be part of that project.
    Althou, despite the level of the domestic leagues, they also have their charmes.
     
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  22. kabidjan18 Registered User

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    They just need the funding to bring Lithuanian and Estonian NT players back to the local teams on a reasonable salary. Then it would be competitive. The BHL idea sounds great, I hope it materializes, the EEHL sounds like a long shot.
     
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  23. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    There are already two Hungarian teams in Slovak top league as of last season and there was talk about Polish ones as well.

    I am not sure if it makes sense from Slovak point of view tbh. Even Hungarian teams where hockey is improving (unlike in Poland and Ukraine) finished in places 8 and 9 after regular season, since they already have their top team in EBEL. Also, they did little to improve the attendance numbers in the league. Belarus would be too far for Slovak clubs to travel regularly.
     
  24. EvilDead Hickory Dickory Dock...

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    How has the Slovak league done since the departure of Slovan Bratislava btw @slovakiasnextone?
     
  25. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    Had a few bad years right after, but has been recovering in the past few seasons.
     
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