Future watch Hockeyallsvenskan
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10-22-2010, 10:18 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Allsvenskan is like a doc's waiting room. You're not out in the cold without help, but you're not really getting care for the moment either. You're in no-man's land.
The point is, if your sponsors are happy with you playing in HA for all eternity, you could be just fine there. For teams like Leksand, Malmö, Örebro, etc. that all have a pronounced goal of making it up to the SEL at some point, you only have so long before people get tired, give up and move on to some other prospect.
Depending on what happens with the Euro league, I think it is important for Swedish hockey to have its top 10 cities represented in the top league, and possibly a few more teams based on history and geography. Needless to say, that would be more teams in the top league than Sweden can support with quality players. On the other hand, I really feel that too many of our younger players are getting shafted at the expense of, at best, mediocre imports, making paychex they have no business making, considering their production and league they play in. Sure, there should be competition for all spots on a team, but somehow, in the long run, Swedish hockey would fare a lot better from playing a promissing young kid, who is almost as good as the import, but costs 75% of the import (everybody doesn't have to be slated for the NHL to be considerd promissing in my book). Average Swedish Joe is not such a hockey connoisseur that it will be the reason to why he attends the game or stays home. The players' origin on a club in the smaller cities might have a much bigger impact on the fan's decision in terms of supporting the club.
So how does this come together now with HA?
Right now you have relationships between Borås-Frölunda, Sundsvall-Timrå, Färjestad-Skåre (Div 1)... and somewhat Bofors. If the Euro league happens, it will be crucial for those teams and the remaining SEL to get the largest potential markets into the SEL, such as Almtuna, Västerås, Örebro, Växjö, Leksand, etc. to compliment the remaining SEL clubs (AIK? SAIK? SSK? Timrå?). However, it is in everybody's interest that Allsvenskan then becomes a better and more stabile league for talent to grow and develop as the pressure and demand on producing quality players from Sweden for the Euro League will add to what the KHL and the NHL is already creating on Swedish hockey. As such, I do believe that HA will become more of a Jr. league, and maybe the cure for an ailing J-20 Elite, with almost all teams in it having formal or informal ties with teams in the SEL, as I doubt that very few, if any, teams playing in a future HA will have any real interest or motivation to get promoted to the SEL. The resources simply wouldn't be there for them to fare well fincancially in such setting (thinking of teams like Huddinge, Mariestad, Tingsryd, Vita Hästen, and Bofors).
As money would be harder to come by for everybody (Given that the Euro league happens), I could also see the SEL go to a long overdue conference split to cut some overhead, and the HA getting eliminated in the sense that we know it, and restructured as it once used to be in Allsvenskan North and South. What happens with Div 1 then is impossible to say, but since it should be only four Div. 1's today, hopefully they can get to it then?
Bajen Fans, btw, is all cult now because they are beating up on less than beer leaguers and all the fans can get together for Allsång and beer in Johanneshov once a year (Woohoo!!). However, when the competition tightens up a bit in a diluted Div 1D, if not before, Bajen will be right back in the hurt box with lacking support that once sent them tumbeling into the abyss of Swedish hockey. The story is starting to repeat itself on the soccer side of things (board is different; fans are the same). To be fair, AIK might be next; same problem.
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