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02-19-2012, 07:52 AM
Uncle Gelart
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
Has Finland really dropped that "far"? Not long ago they were right up there with Sweden, possibly slightly worse.
No. That just seems to be the consensus on Hfboards. IMHO SM-liiga has gotten better in recent years. For example a couple of years ago there were pretty much no swedes or slovaks playing in the SM-liiga, now there are plenty of good EHT-level swedes and a line-full of guys that could play for Slovakia in the World Championships (Juraj Mikus is a lock, Kristian Kudroc probably a lock, Tomas Zaborsky would be a lock without the surgery, Josef Stumpel and Richard Lintner might both get a call if they want to participate, Milan Kytnar has been in the talks...) Also the prospect pool is better than it has been for a decade (Granlunds, Pulkkinen, Vatanen, Armia, Barkov, Salomäki..).

Another notable fact is that the player-movement between SEL and SM-liiga has been towards SM-liiga for a couple of years now. Ville Viitaluoma was the only (!!) player going from SM-liiga to SEL, while more than 20 finnish and foreign players went the other direction (from SEL to SM-liiga).

I'd personally still but SEL and SM-liiga in the same category when it comes to talent level as of right now, but if this development continues it shouldn't take all that long before we start considering SM-liiga a step ahead of the SEL.

BTW: the rankings posted above are terrible. Ozo's ranking gets a special mention. Cze Extraliga and the Austrian Erste bank liga equal? Danish league not better than the leagues in UK and France? The Slovakian league worse than ECHL / France / Italy / UK / Denmark/ Kazakhstan?

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