Shouldn't the NHL focus more on non-traditional hockey markets?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Jesus Vitale, Jun 26, 2011.

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  1. Jesus Vitale

    Jesus Vitale Formerly CPZ17

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    they have exhibition and regular season games over in Europe all the time nowadays, but they're usually in countries like Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic.

    but all of those countries are already hockey countries with established leagues and systems that develop a considerable number of NHL players.

    So wouldn't it make a lot more sense to have games that aren't "hockey countries" but have room to grow the sport and the league?

    imo, they should have games in countries such as:
    Hungary
    Poland
    Italy
    Japan
    South Korea
    etc.

    those countries are all either developing hockey countries or ones that have the money, infrastructure and whatnot to support hockey as a sport(which is rather expensive).

    thoughts?
     
  2. Finlandia WOAT

    Finlandia WOAT Bench Constance Garnett

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    I think the idea is that, while the people in the places you listed are hockey fans, you want to turn them into fans of the NHL. Or at the very least, fans of national players who play in the NHL.

    And also, the NHL has played several games in Japan, most recently when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim went with the superstar winger half-Japanesse Paul Kariya.
     
  3. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    This is not going to go over too well. Too many people think that Hockey belongs to Canada and Canadians only and that no one else should care/watch/love/or have hockey outside of Canada. Replay the NHL draft TSN asked all the players drafted by Canadian times "what's it going to be like playing in a hockey market" or simular type quetions.


    starting @3:11






    Yes they should the NBA went global and is becoming the #1 branded league in the world.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  4. wjhl2009fan

    wjhl2009fan Registered User

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    There has to be demand sure some on your list may do well but some may not is it worth the game to go into a market that may no support the games maybe but thats aslo a very big gamble.
     
  5. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Part of it might be the facilities. The largest arena in Poland holds 5500 people. You can't have these games just anywhere just because there is a sheet of ice and two nets.
     
  6. pucka lucka

    pucka lucka Registered User

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    They also want to make money on those out of continent games. You don't grow the game by having one NHL game. If the culture is completely unaware of the sport, the NHL or the Lundar PeeWee All-stars, will have no effect on growing the game.
     
  7. htpwn

    htpwn Registered User

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    Being against the globalization of hockey ≠ Being against having NHL teams in markets that do not care about the sport.
     
  8. puckguy11

    puckguy11 This Space for Rent

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    I think this argument signifies the lessons learned from the Sun Belt Expansion during the 90's. No offense to the Thrasher or Coyote fans, but just because teams CAN be placed in Atlanta and Phoenix doesn't mean they SHOULD.
     
  9. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    An NHL franchise can work in any large city, with good ownership and good management. It's not going to be a turnkey operation. Bad owners, like the Atlanta Spirit Group, hoped they could just put out a shingle and it would work. You've got to hit the pavement and wear out the soles on your shoes. Only in the strongest of markets do bad owners get a free pass, and even some of those were on the ropes fairly recently (Chicago had horrible attendance as they grew tired of Bill Wirtz!).
     
  10. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Hungary & Poland dont have the kinds of arenas', the infrastructure, the money or even the interest in hockey or the NHL to bother with; Italy's had hockey for decades, too numerous to mention players of Italian-Canadian & Italian-American descent (Espositos, Dino Ciccarelli etc) which in a country of roughly 60M is still a fringe sport with the exception of a few mountain communities & way way WAY behind soccer which is a religion over there; while the far east has shown little interest in the sport.

    Finally, I completely disagree with the notion that its the NHL responsibility to grow the game Globally. That should be left to the IIHF & the IOC. The only reason we see NHL games being played in Europe at all is real simple; league insider & heavyweight AEG out of LA has the Arena Management Contracts & business interests in the arenas in which these rediculous pre-season & regular season games are played. Like all things NHL; follow the money, and forget the altruism.
     
  11. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    I've often suspected that the casual fan had no idea about that. It is all about AEG making a lot of cash on the deal. It is really a novelty, in terms of what it is really accomplishing in the "build the game" angle. On par with the outdoor game thing that they are on the verge of overdoing.
     
  12. Mork

    Mork Registered User

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    I'm Canadian, and I would love to see the NHL expand to have a European division. Two teams in Sweden, one each in Finland, Norway, the UK, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic, and more teams in Russia would be terrific.

    I would also love to see the NHL thrive in Glendale and all its Southern US markets as well. That would be much better for the Canadian hockey players coming here as well.

    I am concerned that so few Russians were drafted this weekend. The Russians are the World Junior champions. If the NHL does not capture the best talent its product will deteriorate. It may need to expand to Europe to establish its primacy among the fan base as well as the players. I would be all for that.

    If they don't go there, someone else will fill that market, and that's a situation that's been developing to the NHL's disadvantage for a long time.
     
  13. BrianL*

    BrianL* Guest

    1. We are hockey markets. Deal with it.
    2. The people in Atlanta made it 7, not Bettman.
    3. You are not the most interesting man in the world. :D
     
  14. King Woodballs

    King Woodballs Captain Awesome

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  15. Fluffy Nuts

    Fluffy Nuts Registered User

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    Playing games in Europe is fine. It will grow a fanbase for the NHL to have more people following it. The differences is that they're going to play in places where there's already an established hockey program and try to promote the NHL as a league where those young kids will want to play instead of their national league. The NHL isn't going to go to places where there's 2k seats and really crappy ice surface. They need adequate facilities to play. Asking the NHL to play in several of those countries is like asking the NFL to play on a high school field in New Brunswick.


    That has absolutely nothing to do with what was asked. Playing in a hockey market is one where there's a lot of pressure on the players by the fans and media. It's not like walking out of the arena in flip-flops and not having anybody notice you if you go get a drink from Starbucks. In a hockey market, you'll get recognized and have fans praise you when you're doing well and give you **** if you're not. Even players have openly said it's two completely different situations and some thrive under the pressure while others don't and prefer the anonymity of non-hockey markets. A non-hockey market is one where college sports have more publicity and fans than the NHL.
     
  16. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Ya, thats a cute one alright. All under the cover of the purely altruistic & noble ideals of "bringing & growing the game" to NHL starved European nations. It does nothing more than create a complete inconvenience for the teams involved and does nothing of the kind. Its a cash cow for AEG, the NHL used as a tool (or "Stooge" :naughty:) and platform to the formers global ambitions & designs.
     
  17. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    And the people in Quebec City made it 7 back in the mid 90s also, right? And the people in Winnipeg made it 6? Is that the storyline?
     
  18. Fluffy Nuts

    Fluffy Nuts Registered User

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    Actually no. That had a lot more to do with the economy with the Canadian dollar being worth 60¢US in addition to really old facilities compared to modern arenas across the rest of the league. Plus there's the excessive contracts that were given out back then in a pre-cap era where it would be hard to ice a competitive team when most of the talented players would be headed for the big money.
     
  19. BrianL*

    BrianL* Guest

    I hope it is clear, I didn't say the fans in Atlanta made it 7.

    The people in Atlanta that drove the team out were the previous owners. They made the team unviable, even for prospective local owners that might have stepped up.

    You can't blame Bettman for that.
     
  20. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    If you're ascribing the Thrashers move to the fans of Atlanta, then you clearly haven't been paying attention.

    And if that's not what you believe, then you certainly chose an interesting way to phrase your statement.
     
  21. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    This is either a flame or a troll, or perhaps a flaming troll. Maybe you shouldn't post here if you are looking for a fight.

    Anyhow, how's your "hockey market" faring?
     
  22. SirQuacksAlot

    SirQuacksAlot Groucho Marxist

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    Instead of a "Euro Division" why doesn't the NHL help the hockey loving nations in Europe set up a Euro league? Then the Nhl could send a team and the Euro league could send a team, and they could play for the "Atlantic Cup" or something. It'd be a great way to add international prestige to the sport we love.
     
  23. worstfaceoffmanever

    worstfaceoffmanever These Snacks Are Odd

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    Pay him no heed, he's just jaded by the whole Jim Balsillie debacle. But since you asked, we're actually chugging along quite nicely under ownership that actually gives a damn, something Atlanta never really seemed to have.

    I think a lot of where the NHL decides to play is also dependent upon local competition. Often times, they'll book preseason games against local clubs prior to the Premier to help build up a little hype for the game, and they need to have some reasonable competition in those games, and most of the clubs they choose actually have a genuine chance of beating them. No disrespect to Podhale Nowy Targ, but they'd get circles run around them by most AHL teams, let alone any NHL team. The objective seems to be to cater to existing hockey fans and occasionally branch out into new territory and expand the NHL's brand recognition, sort of like the NFL's international series. Unlike football, though, there are already clubs that are well-established and supported here, which makes competition for the almighty Euro a little stiffer, as if it wasn't tough enough competing against soccer.

    As has been mentioned, infrastructure plays a part in it, as well. A lot of the Mediterranean arenas probably weren't built with ice plants, so they can't maintain a surface (or a good one, anyway). That really limits the league's options as well, as there are probably quite a few buildings in Spain and Italy that would otherwise make great venues for exhibitions but can't maintain a playing surface.

    Helsinki and Stockholm seem to be fixtures in the Premiere series, with the third being a rotating fixture in places like Prague and Berlin, and probably Bern as well. Moscow is a bit iffy considering the political climate between the NHL and KHL, but it could happen. I'd like to see that third series go to one of the EBL countries eventually. I think there's a wealth of untapped potential in Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria that an NHL game or two in either Vienna or Zagreb could really help blow open, especially Croatia. I mean, just look at the outstanding spectator numbers for Medvescak last year. There has to be something behind that.
     
  24. headsigh

    headsigh leave at once!

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    His "hockey market" is just coming off its most successful year and actually won in the playoffs, how about yours?
     
  25. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    The Alternatives

    The alternatives are not very attractive either. The other major North American leagues have tried offshore games - MLB in Japan and the Caribean, NFL in Japan and Europe including NFL Europe, throw in the Toronto and other Canadian flirtations, plus the NBA with its variants.Other than gimmick or novelty type success there is no evidence of potential long term success for any of the North American big 4 sports
     

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