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02-20-2005, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Switzerland
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Originally Posted by thrashers28
This is for stv and any other Swiss NLA fans: Now that the season is down to one game, what is your opinion of the impact of the NHL lockout players on the quality of the game in the NLA? Did they make the game more exciting to watch, and did their contributions make a major difference in their team's success?
First, you have to understand that teams in Switzerland are limited to four foreign players (compare to three last year, so the league level would have been higher anyway) in their line up, so it's not like in Sweden where a player like Forsberg took the roster spot of its team's worst player, NHLers in Switzerland took the place of players that where already the best on their teams (in Davos, Thornton and Nash replaced Todd Elik and Jonas H÷glund, two players that where among the best forwards in the league). There's not more good players than before, it's just that the best players are better than before.

It still has a positive impact as import players are so important in the NLA that hiring the right or wrong foreigner can be the difference between a team overachieving or struggling (Ambrý and Langnau are the best examples this year), and with so many free agents available, teams could correct their mistakes, unlike during a normal season (for example, James Pollock played poorely for Kloten, so they hired Patrice Brisebois who wasn't that good, then they hired Dave Tanabe who gives full satisfaction). It also could be seen as a bad thing, as we saw many players were hired just to fill a roster spot for an injured player during three or four games.

It also had an influence on the attendance, who are up from 5217 last year to 5449 this season (which is a very big improvement when you consider that ZSC, who usually draw more than 8000 a game, had to play the season in a 3000 seats rink because they are building a new arena, so this year's figure could have been as up as 5900), but it's mostly casual fans coming to see the big name players. The diehard fans (I'm talking about fans of a particular team rather than fans of the game) would rather see players commited to their teams than players who are here to stay in shape.

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