Thread: KHL Expansion
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10-14-2012, 03:09 PM
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I believe the relegation system is nonsense and think that the fact that the KHL is using somewhat of a NA NHL business model is the best thing ever.

I like your idealist view of sport competitiveness.
you bring up European soccer leagues, but the truth is that I think that most hockey fans dont want anything close to a Champions League, European-type set up.
The main reason for me personally is that it is not going to change hockey significantly. The European Trophy, labelled as Europe's premium or top preseason tournament(or whatever) is lame. SC Bern has an attendance of less than 3000
You can juggle around a timetable and play a few other clubs for an arbitrary trophy like the champions league but it wouldn't change rosters, mentality, or hockey in general. It would be just a tournament you participate in, or an arbitrary champions league that changes from time to time where you can not really get rivals.

The KHL, like the NHL is a system. Teams are locked in, the level is raised, there are farm teams, MHL, draft, everything. You know what your in for, there are strong franchises, and with the salary cap there is some parity.

A few bottom barrel teams that strive for first pick can be overlooked, as the lowest 5 have the lottery. Your example with LA is inconsequential. Remember New Jersey 2 years ago when they were almost last, near the Islanders? Instead of opting for the high pick they almost got to the play-offs.
Even then, who cares if teams strive for that pick? The ratings for the draft and the coverage that even the draft lottery game has more ratings on primetime TSN than top european hockey events.

These leagues are not just a pure dry sporting organization that hosts hockey teams but an ecosystem which is better off closed.

Look at Sweden, their relegation of top teams from SEL has made club hockey in that country a mess. What about Malmo, that built a huge arena and is shafted in the Allsvenskan for years now.

As a business you find the right markets, know which places can support the top teams, and keep them there. There are natural cycles of competitiveness. Washington could have been relegated before the 2004 lockout. Mess up the franchise, change the league, juggle the fans, for what?
Sure the Hershey Bears or the Toronto Marlies might have been able to be more competitive than the Oilers last year, but so what? From a pure sporting POV, maybe your right, but considering the aforementioned, it would be dumb to relegate the,

A league would be less interesting if there are clubs coming and going, the sense of impermanence is not necessarily a good way of keeping competitiveness up as you believe. There would be no rebuild, just crappy signings just to stay alive and get better results. To win out of stress. And in the end, someone has to lose.

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