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07-05-2011, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranger de FLA View Post
If those two countries joined, Swedish and Finnish players would be on the road all the time. Seriously, they would hardly be home if that would be the reasoning for those players to staying. They'd be bouncing from Russia to Italy to Kazahkstan to Slovakia playing ECHL level teams in Europe.

Unless they do an East-West conference and those teams only meet in the Finals or in the playoffs. This way Swedes/Finns play with the nearby St. Petersburg, Riga and other central European places, while the more eastern cities like Kazakhstan, Kazan, etc would play with each other.

Take a look at the map:

That said, I doubt that the Finns and the Swedes join. But I can definitely see the old Warsaw bloc recreated in hockey. Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Soviet Republics, as well as Italy and maybe Austria.

The league would obviously be worse than the NHL, but not so much worse that it would do no harm. The KHL would be the next best thing and I can definitely see a lot of the NHL role players leaving for the KHL.

If you are Wolski and you can be a star for a (potential) Warsaw team in the KHL vs. being the whipping boy for the Rangers, and the Rangers are only offering you $2 while the KHL is offering you $3, what do you do?

Again, people view the KHL as it is today, but what if the flow of players to Russia improves every year to the point where after 10 years, the KHL makes real progress?

Things are not always static. Just because the 3 year old KHL isn't a competitor today, does not mean that it's not improving and that it won't be a competitor in the future.

The NHL needs to have a plan, that's all I have to say. It's like the U.S. military: it has a plan for fighting all sorts of nations that it will not actually have to fight. But you prepare... just in case.

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