Thread: Great Britain: Hockey in Britain
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11-11-2011, 11:37 AM
Dustin Peener
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Originally Posted by bp spec View Post
Thanks for the good and long answer!

So, are you familiar with Swedish hockey in some way? I play here in Sweden( I'm Swedish too) and would like to get a comparison of the English and the Swedish leagues.

I know ECHL and Allsvenskan are quite equal, and I've heard that EIHL is for players with experience from Allsvenskan or the best Div.1 clubs, but what about the EPIHL, can you compare it to the good div1 here in Sweden or what? And what about the English div1 and 2, hows the standard of the game?

I don't expect you to know all about Swedish hockey, but it would be nice for me to know. I surely understands better when you compare to my countries leagues.

Sorry for the many Q's but I want to have more knowledge of British hockey.

I would say the EIHL is about equal to the standard of the Allsvenskan, but that's only due to the amount of imports. The average Swedish player in the Allsvenskan would be better than an average British player in the EIHL. The starting goalie for Team GB Stephen Murphy played in the Allsvenskan in 05/06 and put up decent numbers.

In the EPIHL the Swindon Wildcats have a Swedish import Jonas Hoog, he came from Division 1 and does very well here (53 points in 29 games last season) and is a fan favorite. I would say the standard of the EPIHL is worse than Division 1, but you would have to be a pretty good player in Division 1 to get an import slot on an EPIHL team.

Last season in the English Division 1 South, Oxford City Stars had a Swedish goalie Robin Lindva, who came over from a Division 2 team, and he was by far the best goalie in the league. If he was not an import he would easily have got a starting job in the EPIHL (teams very rarely sign an import goalie in the EPIHL unless they are very very good, because they then have to sacrifice an import skater.) Lindva is now back in Sweden playing in Division 1.

English Division 1 and 2 are considered development leagues, out of the 20 teams in Division 1 (north and south combined) 9 of them are a development team of a club in the EIHL or EPIHL. This means they play in the same rink, so do not get many people watching the games, and players are allowed to be "called up" to the first team. Very few players get paid to play in Division 1, but most of them get given expenses, some teams are pay-to-play. Division 1 South is probably comparable to the Swedish Division 3, I've never seen a North game so couldn't comment on that league.

Division 2 is purely pay-to-play, almost every team is the development team of a team in a higher league. I play for the Basingstoke Buffalo, which is basically the reserve team of the Basingstoke Bison in the EPIHL. The standard is quite poor although you do get some players who used to play in higher leagues but don't anymore because they have work commitments and the higher leagues play too many games, we have a few guys like that on my team. Anything below Division 2 is just recreational or "beer league" hockey.

If you want to know anything else it's useful to have a look around the EliteProspects website at the EIHL and EPIHL league pages and see some of the players we have in those leagues and their stats. Here is a link to the "all star" team the EIHL put together to play the Boston Bruins in the NHL pre-season last year, which Boston won 5-1.

Last edited by Dustin Peener: 11-11-2011 at 11:46 AM.
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