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10-15-2012, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Originally Posted by
I wonder if the same would happen in Stockholm or Helsinki.
Probably not to this degree. Slovakia's situation is specific. For those of us who remember the old Czecho-Slovak hockey league from before 1993, the KHL means the return of top quality league hockey to Bratislava. The old Czecho-Slovak league was highly competitive; there were usually 9 Czech & 3 Slovak teams in it. Suddenly, after 1993 and the break-up of Czechoslovakia, only Slovak teams remained in Slovakia's top hockey league, and Slovan (along with Košice, etc.) was therefore the heavy favourite to win the league title every year. And it did win it 8 times in 20 years. But competing in such a league was no longer as much fun as it used to be!
I think it was a big mistake to separate the Czecho-Slovak league after the break-up of Czechoslovakia. The leagues (hockey, football, etc.) should have remained common with the Czechs, while the national teams would be separate, of course. After all, the NHL is a US-Canadian league, while the US and Canada are 2 independent countries.
If the rumours turn out to be true about Sparta Prague joining the KHL next season instead of Lev, it will be interesting to observe the viewers' interest there, because unlike Lev, Sparta is a traditional Czech hockey club with a similar fan-base as Slovan Bratislava. But their games don't draw big crowds now that Sparta plays in the Czech league. However, the impact of the cancellation of the Czecho-Slovak league in 1993 was felt much stronger in Slovakia than in the Czech Republic -- in Slovakia, 9 out of 12 teams from the top hockey league suddenly disappeared... whereas only 3 out of 12 teams disappeared for the Czechs. The hunger for top quality league hockey may therefore today not be as great in the Czech Republic as it has been in Slovakia.
Last edited by Faterson: 10-15-2012 at
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