IIHF/European leagues concerned about talent drain & ASG format

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by LadyStanley, Feb 3, 2011.

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  1. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/....html?tx_ttnews[backPid]=955&cHash=264c14fadb

    IIHF's Lukas (or Lucas) Aykroyd wonders if there are too many Europeans "stuck" in the AHL (7 of the 46 at the AHL ASG were Europeans).

    2006 study = pre lockout stats, pre cap, UFA @ 31, teams could hold European player's rights until they became UFAs, and existence of IIHF-NHL transfer agreement. That's not reality the world of the last five years, nor indicative of the future.

    And he goes on to say there'd be more room for North American players to develop in AHL if there weren't any Europeans.



    http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/....html?tx_ttnews[backPid]=955&cHash=c634c86390

    In a second article, he takes the NHL All Star format to task.



    http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/the_iihfs_still_as_subtle_as_a_brick/

    KK's reaction



    Mod note -- no regional bashing. Just address the issues of the article and the business aspects of the current CBA, etc.
     
  2. Mathradio

    Mathradio Drive for 25

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    I wonder what kind of all-star team European major-league hockey can assemble. Whoever would assemble that kind of team would be able to choose from 8 European major leagues, all at an AHL-level or higher.

    That being said, I'm sure an all-star team from European major-league hockey can put on a good game vs. the NHL all-stars or so.
     
  3. MountainHawk

    MountainHawk Registered User

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    Probably would be a rout if you don't include the KHL, and I'm not sure the NHL would agree to play KHL players.
     
  4. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    Well...

    First of all : what I disliked about that article is that it sounds like the author already knew what he was to write. The guys who failed might have failed anyways.

    As for the All-Star Game : it would certainly be interesting, but then again... The NA vs. World game wasn't much better, and the author made it sound otherwise.
     
  5. Rink Rage

    Rink Rage Registered User

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    MLS does something kinda similar with their All-Star game. Although, instead of playing Euro leagues, the MLS All-Stars play Manchester United, which is a game where the athletes give effort.
    Pierre LeBrun suggested something like this sometime in the summer, although, he included a cash prize.
     
  6. LeftCoast

    LeftCoast Registered User

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    Maybe part of the solution to the talent drain is to allow NHL teams to have European affiliates and allow them to "loan" players to Euro affiliates in a similar manner as they do with their AHL affiliates.

    Transfers/loans couldn't work exactly the same. Obviously, due to travel distance and time zones it would make short term call ups and re-assignments impractical. Also European league teams are generally in business to compete and make money where many (but not all) AHL teams are strictly developmental teams (owned by the parent club). They would need some roster certainty. Maybe a allow transfers/loans/assignments/recalls only during certain windows, like October and then after the Euro league season is over.

    I think if NHL teams felt they had more input into the training, development and coaching of their European prospects who remain in Europe, they might be more willing to leave them over there and invest in European coaches, trainers and staff.

    Also - having the NHL club pay the NHL or minor-pro salary of the players who are on assignment as they do with players in the AHL would be a financial boon to many European teams and would provide an incentive to develop NHL players.
     
  7. mouser

    mouser Business of Hockey

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    I still think the 2006 IIHF study methodology suffers from some degree of selection bias due to the way they classified players.

    It does reasonably show that going to the CHL is not necessary to achieve an NHL career.

    What it doesn't do though is compare the success rates of players that went to the CHL/AHL vs. players that stayed in Europe.
    - It does contain the success rates of making the NHL for all the 16-19 year olds that jumped the pond to play in the CHL.
    - It doesn't contain the success rates of the 16-19 year olds that stayed in Europe--it only cites the players that succeeded in making the NHL while ignoring those that didn't.
     
  8. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    Playing a European team for the ASG would never gain any traction with the GMs because of the injury concern. A game for the "pride of the league" or whatever would necessarily involve hitting, and GMs would never vote for a change that gives players a greater chance of being injured in an essentially meaningless contest.

    It's not a bad idea in theory in terms of ratcheting up the excitement, but as long as the ASG happens before the season ends, it's just not going to be all-out hockey because of the injury factor.
     
  9. FissionFire

    FissionFire Registered User

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    I agree with this, but it's not as black-and-white as that. The players who go to the CHL are generally going to be good enough for the CHL and usually are only the upper tier of Europeans in that age group. Also, by losing those players to the CHL the European clubs would have to replace them with other players whom I would think we can assume wouldn't be of the same caliber. That fact alone would skew the European success rate down compared to the CHL player rate and I suspect might be a big reason why those numbers were not included in the report. I'd image if the top CHL-aged players were going to Europe instead that their NHL success rate rate would be inflated if compared to the players left over + their replacements.

    I think an NHL All-Stars vs. European All-Stars game would be very exciting for the fans and a great way to give the league even more exposure. Even ESPN would be forced to give it plenty of coverage at least initially because of the sheer novelty of a cross-league All-Star format. The games would also have lots of pride on the line for the NHLers and motivation to validate themselves to Americans by the European leagues.

    The main problems are the league and the players. Like you mentioned, I highly doubt the owners and GMs would be interested in exposing their stars to an emotionally charged game like this. The league could initially benefit from the publicity, but how much lasting power is there really for this format? The All-Star game is mainly about showcasing the players skills and giving the league a change to let the big sponsors have direct access to these players. It's just a big marketing gimmick and glad-handing event really for the corporate cash and not really about what the regular fans want. Additionally I'd imagine the European leagues would insist on alternating venues meaning the NHL would lose out on a TON of their marketing exposure every 2nd year. Not to mention how many corporate fans (or even average fans) really care about players from the SEL, KHL, etc. that they probably never heard of and who may not even speak English. Hockey fans in general aren't as globally aware as say soccer fans of leagues outside the NHL. Honestly, how many people here could name the top scorers in the KHL right now? Or SEL? Or the winner of the Finnish MVP last year? European hockey just isn't something NHL fans are really aware of or seem too interested in learning more about. All this means the driving impetus for this format would have to come from the players in the form of something negotiated into the CBA. I just don't see this issue being important enough to the players to want to push the issue. Realistically, how many NHL players want to consider having to travel to Europe for 3 or 4 days mid-season to play a real hockey game and then turn right around andramp back into the season? I'd imagine it's not a very popular thought. The All-Star game is like a small vacation where they get to play a scrimmage and do some skill drills. Now you are telling them they have to give that up and make a CBA concession to get it? Ehhh....... Unless the IIHF/European leagues can guarantee the NHL the same level of exposure, and more importantly income, from this format that the NHL currently has then I don't see any reason the league or players would want this.

    This isn't even getting into the politics of the matter from the European side. Who picks the roster? Do you make every league get a representative even if the league isn't all that good comparatively (ie Germany and GB, even arguably Slovakia/Slovenia/Swiss). Would the SEL, for example, want to take part if the KHL has a large majority of the players? That could make the SELs stature seem diminished comparatively if the best players are in Russia. Heck, would the Russians even agree to this at all without having the main role in the selection process? In the past they've always acted like the dominant force in European hockey and I don't see why they'd be willing to give other leagues anything that seemed like equal stature when they are reportedly trying to absorb teams from other league to create a European "super league".

    Just sounds like a nice theoretical concept with far too many practical hurdles to make a reality.

    EDIT: Although they did suggest an AHL vs. Euro All-Star format. That might be something worth looking into on a trial basis, although I'd suspect that a KHL All-Star team alone with all those NHL-caliber players should be able to win rather handily even without help from other leagues.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

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