Things teams should do if they want to attract players to their clubs
Many leagues and teams have reduced their budgets this year due to difficult economic times but there are things each team can do that are not expensive that will help them sign and keep players.
1) Offer longterm contracts
2) Have a Team - Player Liasion employee-representative that communicates concerns between the team and players. This person would also assist players with adjusting to their new city and environment. They could offer a booklet in the players language or offer first hand information about banking, taxes, housing vehicles, unique rules-laws of the roads, Internet service, Phone, TV and Cell Phone and lastly an expert on travel for the player, his family and any friends or relatives that want to visit. Information or deals on hotels and restaurants where players can get discounts or a good deal, possibly sponsors that the team would like the players to utilize their services.
3) Teams could have a recruiting page on their website including pictures of the arena, dressing room, off ice conditioning room, apartments or houses the players will live in. See Belfast Giants for a good example.
4) Teams should insure that all apartments meet a certain standard and are cleaned and painted (if needed) prior to the players (and his family) arrival. Apartments should have a washer/dryer, microwave, dishwasher and decent furniture with new linen and towels. Most players that play in top levels of hockey are accustomed to a high standard of living. Apartments in Europe should meet a similar standard if they want their players to be happy and willing to return.
5) Teams could insure that the apartment has Internet and a phone before the player arrives. Quite often this takes weeks and is very frustrating for the players and their families. Teams should negotiate with local Internet and Cell Phone providers to make sure players can exit a contract with providers when the season is done.
6) Offer schooling or language training to the player and his family members.
any other suggestions?
Seems like not too many hockey fans come to this forum or they don't have any different ideas to contribute. I hear these complaints from players all the time. I thought I would pass these suggestions along.
I have one more idea based on complaints I hear from players every year. Teams and Leagues in Europe start their pre-season way too early. It must be expensive to have the players there 8 to 9 months of the year. I know players from NA hate it that they have to leave their homes and families so early to go to a 6 to 7 week pre-season training camp where players often over-train or train wrong. Training for hockey is much different than training for Football-Soccer. Most hockey players work out all summer specifically for hockey and it just doesn't make sense financially or logistically to make players come over so soon. NHL, AHL and ECHL camps are 2-3weeks long. Why so long in Europe? Teams could save a lot of money by starting the end of August instead of the end of July. Just one more thing teams and leagues could improve to intice and keep import players interested in staying in Europe.
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