Euro Hockey Tour turns to European Championship with 16 Teams (from 2014 on)
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02-12-2013, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by
I don't get the idea of a 16 Team European Tournament. There is already WC where usually 14 European teams compete, it sounds like some national teams want to get rid of the US and Canada which doesn't make sense since most teams beat them anyway
It's not replacing the WC, it's in addition to. Asian teams also play in the WC, but they also have the Asian Winter Games (only every 4 years though) and the Challenge Cup of Asia every year, which I suspect the IIHF will slowly be turning into some kind of "Asian Championship" eventually.
Canada and the US could play a yearly "North American Championship" too before the NHL season. Make it a best of 3 or 5 series since there's only two teams. I think that'd be fun too.
It clearly has more money making potential than the pointless EHT which is why it's happening. It may seem redundant since the World Champion is usually European anyway, but it's more about developing the game. "Lesser" nations like France, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, etc will probably be more likely to host Euro Championship games than World Championship games which means more opportunities for fans in these countries to see their national teams, and more games against better competition which results in better development for their programs as well.
Italy v.s. Russia might not be the most interesting matchup, but think about how packed the arena in Milan would be. Or the new arena in Copenhagen for a match against Sweden, or the Bercy in Paris for a match against any top team. Hell, Hungary already packs the arena in Budapest for ANY international match. The WC is usually only hosted by one (or two) of the traditional powers. Having a year-long competition all over Europe will be great for the sport in less traditional areas. It's the same reason club hockey desperately needs a Champions League to take the sport to the next level.
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