Discussion in 'The KHL' started by Caser, Mar 15, 2019.
Soo.... judging by the recent news KHL is going to Tashkent.
Are there any concrete news regarding this? I know Humo Arena has been opened and it did so with style. My Facebook feed is littered with congratulatory posts from a wide variety of famous faces, most of whom I don't know; yet even Ovechkin posted something about it. Based on that, I want to assume it is supposed to be something really big. No ice arena gets so much hype for no reason.
I really hope it won't be another Kunlun and it will help Uzbekistan improve and become a good part of the post-USSR tradition in hockey. Tashkent is a good location to try it. A new face in the eastern conference, an untapped market which could bring in a lot of revenue...
I know Tashkent is not the dream location to expand but it definitely is much more meaningful than an obscure Chinese team with no home arena or fans after so many years. If this hype is anything to go with, hockey in Tashkent will be awesome.
Fun (?) fact: Tashkent literally translates as "Stone City" (Каменный город) in Turkish. Their name for "Ice Palace", which happens to be "Muz Saroyı" (I think), is quite similar to how we would say it: Buz Sarayı. However, with one but important detail: while "buz" in Turkish means "ice", "muz" is "banana". I will appoint my meme team to deal with and unearth this kind of stupid single-digit-IQ fun.
Well, championat.com is mostly reportig that, for example here (Клуб из Узбекистана будет играть в ВХЛ, после ОИ-2022 он может войти в КХЛ) it is stating that a team from Tashkent will join the VHL already next season with the aim to join the KHL in 2022.
Well, it can't be worse than Kunlun anyway, I mean, they got a new 12k arena, there are notable Russian and Tatar diasporas, so I hope they will attend games. Also there is some history, as a team from Tashkent was playing in the Soviet second tier together with Sibir, Severstal, Lokomotiv, Minsk, Salavat and Ak Bars.
And obviously hope they will serve free pilaf in the playoffs.
Thanks for the link, that sounds awesome. I also found an older piece of news, according to which the club is already sponsored by Eriell and this is even before the completion of the arena. Tashkent is big enough to support a decent KHL club. The only question would be how dedicated & well-planned the structure is and how interested people living in Tashkent will be in the club. As you said, the city already has a history in that aspect so I see no reason to feel negative about those questions, either.
I'm also happy that KHL is actually looking to expand. 24-team league idea is not bad but it makes no sense to play two conferences and keep an international league in that case... I'd honestly rather see a push for central & eastern Europe alongside with Scandinavia maybe and then reinforce the eastern conference with decent markets like Tashkent, Krasnoyarsk, Almaty and even one side from South Korea, maybe, to make it a 30-league team if not 32. Hell, at some point they had plans of going as high as 64-teams, which was kinda weird.
It's not happening. Though the KHL parades Jokerit as some sort of an example of "model organization", for all the other hockey playing countries in Europe they are a warning sign.
This. We don't get a lot of news about KHL in Sweden, but when Jokerit is mentioned it's not about "aw man, wish that was us", it's "thank god we're not in that mess". KHL at least in Sweden is impossible.
So, I would not talk about Uzbekistan seriously. That project is aimed at the VHL. Do not believe all rumours. In many cases fake news produced by media.
As our Swedish friends like to speak about expansion to Sweden, I can bring some details.
We know about the Crowns project. Leif R. Carlsson was recently interviewed, I will try to sum his statement up. So, the KHL was seriously interested in AIK Stockholm, but the Swedish Ice Hockey Association (SIHA) and other entities blocked it. Then, the Crowns started to negotiate with the KHL. The club was not registered in Sweden, so SIHA did not have jurisdiction over them. But, the Crowns formally requested from SIHA to confirm that status - and SIHA replied them "it is not our business, it is between you (Crowns) and the KHL. Do what you want." Good. To sum it up - a budget is secured by Crowns, SIHA is not against the idea, so the last thing is to get a signature from the Russian Hockey Federation (FHR). Here the problems and weird things started. Reportedly, SIHA made unprecedented pressure on FHR not to give that approval to Crowns. The pressure of the kind - if you give approval, Russian NT will not play against Sweden anymore!
So, Swedes are blocking the development of European club hockey. First, they signed a very bad transfer agreement with the NHL. As Bykov said, Europeans are vassals of the NHL. That bad agreement is a key reason why European club hockey cannot develop. And, of course, the NHL does not keep their words - so many Swedes in the NHL and zero Swedish NHLers at Olympics. Great job by SIHA!!!
Then, they block AIK and Crowns because they value their league. Yes, they value their colonial status (to NHL) so much that they have no problem to hinder the development of the European club hockey.
The sad news for Swedes is as follows. They cannot block the KHL´s expansion to Europe. Their threats to other European hockey federations does not work anymore.
When the KHL expands with one, two or three European clubs, the SHL will have serious problems to keep their players. Very similar to the Liiga.
It is questionable if the KHL should expand to Sweden. The SHL has had serious problems with attendance in the last decade. Only the Liiga had bigger issues with attendance.
I dont't think bringing up Crowns over and over again when talking about the "swedish expansion" does anything to help your case. They were taken as such a joke most people at the time (they are long forgotten now) didn't think they were serious. Weren't they planning on travelling around different countries? Who would actually have cared about them?
The agreement is fine. They would move to NHL anyways and probably just leave for North American junior leagues earlier otherwise.
That's fine, we litterally could not care less about KHLs expansion into Europe. If clubs wants to join, you no one here will care.
We will be fine. We produce enough good players to always have a good product no matter how many would go to different leagues. It's questionable if the KHL should expand to Sweden yes (which is impossible anyways so whatever), but not for the reasons you mentioned.
Like I've said in the past: We do not care about KHL. Very few if any, even super hockey interested, would have trouble naming more than maybe 2 KHL clubs.
Could you explain to me while you say "Swedish clubs has had bad attendance for decades" and then the KHL is interested in AIK? A club with notoriously bad attendance and a lack of fans. A name that is arguably the most hated sports name in all of Sweden because of the football club (which makes it more or less impossible to fans to switch to it). How did they reason when they wanted AIK? I could not think of many clubs that would be worse to want.
I am surprised our Swedish friend did not mention unprecedented, unfair and very political threat by SIHA to FHR. That is the point here, not Crowns. If you have great league and resources, which I believe you have, SIHA should not worry if one club joins a foreign league. But, SIHA did everything, even unfair, to block it! What did they worry about?
Then, another pressure on IIHF to change their bylaws - to hinder KHL´s expansion. You must be naive if you do not see that pressure.
And I could go on and on ... My only problem here is the double-face by Swedes. They publicly proclaim something and doing an exact opposite behind closed doors.
Yes, the NHL Transfer Agreement with Sweden/others is great if you want European leagues to be NHL´s colonies like Bykov said. The problem is not that Europeans move to the NHL and their age. The problem is the transfer rules. And we do not have illusions how negotiations happened behind the closed doors.
The saddest part here is that Swedish hockey officials are not able to admit their colonial status or care enough to try to change that status.
Respect to Swiss and the KHL who refused to sign that colonial agreement with the NHL.
I can't remember any of that because it's been years since I paid attention to it, since it's been years since it was relevant, and I prefer not to comment on things I can't remember/don't know about. AIK wouldn't have joined anyways since their members also said no. If you remember right there was a members vote to explore the option to join KHL, out of which a pathetically small % of their members actually showed up to even vote for, since it was seen as such a non-issue.
Yes? Maybe? Ok? Just commenting so I won't get called out for not mentioning it.
How would we change status quo? Like I said, our players WANTS to play in the NHL. If we blocked them from going there or demanded much more money, they would just go to their junior leagues instead and develop there. We are fine with the players going there. Players wants to play in the best league, what a shocker!
The good part is we have enough B-tier players to supply our own league, and KHL teams.
It is hard to sell KHL hockey for people in Astana, selling VHL to poeple in Tashkent seems far-fetched if not impossible. I do wish the success though. Bring back the name of Binokor as well.
Well, Tashkent is 2.5 times bigger than Astana (and the Russian-speaking community is also bigger, which matters here too). So maybe it is possible to build something on top of that.
Just for the record, I do hope I am wrong.
Despite being told this several times over the years, he doesn't seem to understand that European federations have no leverage on the NHL. The player associations are so strong in both Sweden and Finland that any attempts to try and block player movement would be met with swift legal action. Plus Bykov's opinions are completely irrelevant, he doesn't know how clubs are run over here and the economic environment. When the players who move at 18-20 years and are making hardly half, more often way less, of what the transfer amount is, the clubs are making profit because they haven't contributed as much money to the players development over the years as Russian clubs.
Also, I don't see how Liiga has "attendance issues". When the biggest arena is taken out and replaced by promoted clubs and cities with arenas which cannot get above 5000 because that sort of attendance simply isn't there (3000-4000 average is the max at Vaasa, Kouvola and Mikkeli), even if they had magically turned out to be perennial playoff teams.
10 years ago (every spring) Latvia was a prominent playoff team in international hockey world cup level. Now they seems to fight against relegation every spring.
10 years ago Slovakia was a prominent playoff team -> Now they have hard time to reach the playoffs.
10 years ago Belarussia was a prominent playoff team -> Now they play in division 1A
10 years ago Kazakstan was (what we in finland call) an elevator team that goes back and forth between top level and Division 1. -> Now they have been in Division 1A for three years in a row.
Where is the development that KHL is supposed to bring in those hockey countries they expand to?
South-Korea managed to get promoted all the way to the top level, before they had winter olympic games in Korea. That was done with out "KHL help". Now China is trying to do the same with KHL help. If they dont manage to get to the top level, before winter olympic games in Beijing, can we still say that China made the correct choice not to follow South Koreas example but rely on KHL?
Five years ago, when Jokerit joined KHL, many people in Finland (maybe naively) thought that KHL would benefit finnish hockey in many ways. Now it seems to be that almost every hockeyfan in Finland thinks that the only benefit from KHL is that Jokerit players get better salaries and can present themselfs to other KHL teams to possible get traded and get even better salaries. But the hard reality is that players dont get better just because they are given two or three times better salaries in some Siberian town.
So where is the development and benefit that KHL is supposed to bring to European hockey, by expansion? The development and benefit that SIHA is "supposedly" denying hockey Europe?
The KHL has never been responsible for the development of youth hockey in respective countries. That is the duty of a national hockey federation.
The KHL is an international professional league, whose role is to develop the club hockey environment in Eurasia.
If you want European leagues to be a colony for the NHL, without any say in global hockey development, you can go with European hockey status quo. Swedish league is great, but it will never achieve the status of a global league. It is nothing more than a colonial league for the NHL. Our Swedish friend has confirmed that.
If you want European hockey to be as independent over the NHL as possible, you need something else than a national league. Unfortunately, I do not see a European national league who has the ambition to go global. As we can see in the KHL, the KHL is the sole league whose players contracts are respected by the NHL. I know, you do not see it as an important issue, but it is a key factor in reality because the NHL considers the KHL as a league who has their own interests. On the other hand, the NHL considers other European leagues as their vassals. They do everything that the NHL wants them to do.
And what you say about salaries. Great, you get one reason for such a league. Players have options for their careers. Would be great if other European leagues were able to pay at least as much money as the KHL. If current national leagues were able to do that, we would not need a league like the KHL.
Now this is odd, Uzbekistan isn't even an IIHF member (not even an associate member like Kyrgyzstan for example).
So club hockey environment has developed in places like Latvia, Kazakstan, Belarussia and so on? But for some reason it does nothing for those countries national teams. And one or two I could understand but most of the foreign participant has seen their national team degraded over the now 10 years of KHL. So tell me again, why should for example SIHA go for KHL expansion in Sweden? If the result would be that one swedish (KHL) club team "hockey enviroment" would develop, but it would risk the national team and other development in the country?
And yes, I agree that the situation with north america is not perfect. But if one wants to see hockey Europe as a colony to north america, the answer to the problem is not to become colony to Moscow also. And since all our players wants to play in NHL, it is better (from two evils) choose the lesser evil.
*sigh* If the European leagues did everything the NHL wanted them to, then there would be no deadlines for player signings or an agreement to return a player to his European club if they don't make the NHL and don't want to play in AHL. So that argument fails on those two examples alone.
And hockey is small sport in the global scale, why should a European or Nordic league need to go "global" when there is no need for them to do so or any logical sense to do in a market dominated by the most popular sport on the planet?
is just confirmation why KHL isn't a global league and why European clubs are not interested in joining it nor should they.
I can give you a scenario which has happened in the press.
Guys from Uzbekistan attended the KHL HQ in Moscow a month ago to talk about further co-operation. The first step of Uzbeks is to be the IIHF member. So, they consulted with the KHL, because the KHL has great relations with Fasel & the IIHF. That´s all.
And media started their stories on how Uzbekistan will join the KHL. Stories based on nothing.
Then journalists asked some "experts" what they think about the Uzbek team in the KHL. Of course, "the experts" are against the idea, because the KHL has excluded RUSSIAN teams to accept a team from Uzbekistan?
And, you can read "analysis" and "columns" about Uzbekistan all days. Stories based on nothing.
That is how a fake reality has been created.
And then, we will hear crazies stories about the KHL expansion from our friends.
Meantime, the Russian press has started its traditional anti-KHL campaign. You know, the KHL has excluded only Russian teams, so all media hysteria is against Slovan, KRS and others. And heavily pro-Severstal.
I have not a problem if the media talk about Uzbekistan or other unrealistic expansion rumours. Fine, they can do that. But, why do not they cover rumours about France or Germany? Chernyshenko has said many times that talks with those countries are the most likely to materialise.
Ordinary people do not have the time or skills to follow every KHL´s expansion rumour. And, when they hear/read something, it is such a crazy idea like Uzbekistan. Media should inform more correctly not to misinform their readers.
If you want to know most likely scenarios for KHL´s expansion, listen to Chernyshenko. I mean listening to him, not just reading his statements, which are not correctly done by journalists.
That's fine for us. We would be beyond delusional to try and make the SHL a "global league".
I am sure you understand the difference in hockey youth program between Latvia, Belarus and Sweden on the other hand.
Even our friend from Sweden confirmed it.
As I said earlier, Swedes cannot block the KHL´s expansion to Europe. Even if our Swedes friends do not admit it, the SHL will have serious problems when the KHL expands with multiple European clubs. That is around 15 players per team. Where to get them? Liiga and CZ are able to offer just a few names, the rest must be taken from Sweden and NA. Who has the most players in NA (except CAN/US)? Swedes? Players, who could come back to the SHL if the league were able to offer better paychecks.
Swedish national team would be just fine.
Good, you agree with the NHL and Europe.
The relationship the NHL vs Europe and the KHL vs Europe is totally different.
European hockey federations can do nothing to change the NHL´s position. Look at WHC or Olympics ... the NHL clubs do not allow their players to play at all (Olympics) or block players still playing playoff (WHC). Now, look at the KHL.
The NHL does not honour players contracts with European hockey clubs. The KHL honours such agreements.
So, totally different situation.
Because just like in central Europe, the sport in Finland Sweden depends heavily on local rivalries. I read at the jatkoaika.com boards how VEU Feldkirch opted to rather play in the Alps Hockey League instead of EBEL because arch rival EHC Lustenau had to leave EBEL due to financial issues and is playing there. It's better for both to play in the same league where their arch rival is. It is the same more or less in European football. As big as the UCL is, it is an "added bonus" in the calendar, people still want to see e.g. United beat City or Liverpool rather than Ajax or PSG in the midweek. The CHL is treated similarly, it is an added bonus in the hockey calendar. The local rivalries are where fan interest comes and the sponsors as well. Most of the teams sponsors operate on a national level, not international.
Olympic participation is not part of the Transfer Agreement, it is a CBA and NHL club owners and IOC/IIHF affair. Not sure why one would associate the transfer agreement with that. It only guarantees player availability for tournaments the NHL has no issue with and the IIHF Worlds are such a tournament. KHL has blocked players from playing in EHT tournaments in the past when they didn't have a break for them.
About Tashkent, that's what KHL vice-president Vitaliy Prokhorov told: "At the first stage there [in Tashkent] will be a VHL team already next season. After gaining experience the team will move to the KHL. It will happen after the Beijing Olympics." Link: «Если в Ташкент приедут клубы НХЛ — это будет пик!» «Матч ТВ» беседует с Виталием Прохоровым
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