Thread: KHL Expansion
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02-14-2013, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Namejs View Post

Right now there's no market for another single decent team in Latvia. Why?

First of all, Dinamo is attracting an overwhelming majority of the hockey fanbase in general. If you want to compete with DR, you have to steal a part of their fanbase.

Now because DR does not adhere to free market principles, the local players are receiving disproportional salaries relative to their skill level and so on, it is impossible to compete with Dinamo, unless some billionaire pops up, who's willing to waste millions in the same manner. But that is not going to happen.

As long as Dinamo exists, a decent Latvian league is a utopia.

That's not to mention another side-effect of the emergence of KHL - top tier Latvian players are no longer willing to compete for a place in the NHL as much as they did before, because the salary they're offered in the KHL is disproportionally high. From their viewpoint, it might become irrational to try to land a basic entry-level contract with an NHL side through the junior leagues/AHL, when they can just get signed by a KHL club. It impedes player development at the elite level.
I'm curious about your constant reference to a "decent Latvian league." What kind of league would you envision? To have something that could be called a league, you would probably have to have at least six teams. So that means that, with a national population of about 1.3 million people, the local talent pool from which six teams would be staffed would be about 200,000 people per team. That's obviously a very small talent pool from which to draw. What kind of salaries do you envision these teams paying? How many of the best Latvian players would go somewhere other than Latvia to play? If most or all of the best talent goes elsewhere, how much would local fans be willing to pay to watch the leftovers play? I am just curious about your vision.

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