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04-30-2012, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
First, I'd like to point out that I am in no way biased against the KHL. I enjoy the on ice product and think it's clearly the best league in Europe. Second, I have nothing against the fact that they outspend other European (or even NHL) teams, sport teams are there to compte with each other.
But please, could KHL fans stop pretending it's for the good of European hockey? 10 years ago, only the NHL could outspend everyone else, which means that every team in the top European leagues had a chance to sign some of the best players in Europe (players who were often better than a lot of NHLers due to the difference in style of play). Nowadays, with two leagues able to outspend everyone else, including one with a similar playing style, any fan of a Swedish, Finnish, Swiss or Czech team will see most of his team's dominant players leave. In the 90's, my team could have signed players such as Cervenka, Weinhandl or Immonen. Now, it's as unrealistic as wanting them to sign Crosby or Stamkos. I don't blame the KHL for this, because that's the way sport leagues work, but there's no need to pretend that's a good thing for me or anyone who attends NLA, Eliteserien, SM-Liiga or Extraliga games.
I know some will point out that 10 or 15 years ago, the NLA was able to outspend other European leagues and that it wasn't fair either. I agree with that statement, but if my team had signed Roman Cervenka, you can bet I wouldn't be trying to tell Slavia fans it somehow is a good thing for them.
The KHL is a good thing for Russian hockey and Russian hockey fans, it's a good thing for the Latvian and Belarussian national teams, and it could be the same for Ukraine and Kazakhstan, but that's what it should be, nothing more. As someone more interested in foreign leagues than the average European fan (I follow all five of the leagues mention in this post), I want a Champions' League, not a European league.
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