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02-26-2012, 03:17 PM
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When comparing the Swedish system with the Finnish system, it becomes obvious that Allsvenskan is very hard to judge from a Finnish perspective. The Finnish top league was closed for years, which basically ruined the competitiveness of the top 2nd league teams. It was reopened in 2008-2009. In the last 3 years they've started to recover, but the difference is still there and the system is still a brutal best of 7 between the best of 2nd lvl and last of top lvl.

Now compare that with the Swedish system, where you have 4 teams from Allsvenskan competing with 2 teams from Elitserien.

To me, after following Allsvenskan(I have a paid channel that shows it) it is obvious that Allsvenskan in general is not better than SM-liiga, but I'm fairly certain that the top4 of Allsvenskan could replace the 4 worst teams in SM-liiga and compete at least on the same level.

It has a lot to do with the populations and the way hockey is structured in the countries, even when the overall popularity of the sport is almost at the same level. Sweden has managed to create a system that encourages growth even in the 2nd highest level while Finland has stagnated and only 1-3 teams in the 2nd highest Finnish league could have a chance to compete in top level.

I believe that the Finnish SM-liiga simply has too many teams for the population. Instead of 14 teams it should be reduced to 10 and the relegation should be made similar to the Swedish system so that it would encourage growth for the 2nd level teams. But how would you do this without bankrupting the "worst four" teams or causing a huge fight over who will drop to the lower level?

It's a fact that Finnish hockey is somewhat stagnated. At least the junior program has been improved by miles in recent years.

Last edited by Mara: 02-26-2012 at 03:37 PM.
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