Thread: KHL Expansion
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05-02-2012, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Riga
Country: Latvia
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It's all nice and great but it's Russia... Had the project been started by Swedes or Germans I'd also think like that. If DEL, Elitserien, SM Liiga, Czech League, NLA, Slovaks came together and said- we already have a good product, let's take it to the next level... and created a 14-15 team league in Europe with salary cap like in KHL, attrcted new sponsors, raised ticket prices and built 15 000 + arenas with an intent to fill them to full capacity regularly... I could see the effect in 5-6 years already.

Unfortunately KHL was started by Russians. That means that despite the big money and big plans, technology wise (even if we talk about HD tv coverage and good lighting in arenas) and attendance wise the league's still not the nr.1 in Europe. Level of play is nr.1 in Europe but we all hear stories about bad toilets, problems with contracts, players dying on ice and in air etc. Add to that the fact that teams with less that 5000 arenas are admitted to the league... add to that strange salary cup that exists only on paper.

KHL is a nice idea but can it work? If players like that African American who was supposed to play for Riga this season and whose surname escapes me run away from airport just cause it has dawned upon him that he'll spend a season playing in Russia... Sure Russia's not as bad as it is portrayed to be but a player would be more eager to play in Helsinki, Stockholm and Prague, Berlin, Vienna or whatever than fly around Russia every year (especially a Western person, I would probably want to travel in Russia more as I've seen Europe already)

I laugh at Canadians who say things like ''In KHL most of the teams suffer losses and the league will fold soon!!!" as he/she doesn't even know what they're talking about. In KHL ALL TEAMS suffer losses and the league cannot fold because... well because it isn't like NHL even if it tries to be. I doubt NHL would ever fold if all the clubs of the league would receive investments either directly from municipality or state budgets/companies or after an ''encouragement'' from Mr. Barack Obama or PM Harper... I'm not saying this model of financing teams is bad but it doesn't encourage developement in any of areas, from marketing to team management etc. Progress is visible but slow and, if it goes at the pace it is at the moment, Russian oil will end sooner than KHL will be able to effectively stand against NHL.....

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