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02-14-2013, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by
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.
Well, don't know about that guy but I see it the following way:
The total value of both Latvian football and basketball leagues is around 10 million USD, give or take. Therefore this ''decent'' Latvian hockey league would also consist of about 10 million USD that have to be invested in hockey (say 2 teams each season budget around 2 million USD, others aroud 1 million). Hockey is an expensive sport but I don't believe Liepājas Metalurgs at the moment is operating with bigger numbers than a million bucks in BOL. At the good times R2000 operated with 4 million USD (but then there was also no Latvian league), during the Latvian league time I doubt all 4 professional clubs spent more than 1.5 million USD per season... So such budgets could be plausible.
Of course it's nothing for countries like Norway or Denmark (I mean salary-wise) but in Latvia, if we make the league something like a student U25 league, it could be quite good and competitive and attractive for young hockey players. I do not think we should strive to compete with VHL, Slovakia or even BOL, even if the latter two's level is also gradually declining, but it would be a good league for guys who still can't make KHL or VHL or Slovak league teams but might take more time to mature. By the age of 25 they graduate university and at that time it might be clear if there will be a player or not. Latvia is a small country, travel distances are minimal. Some cooperation could be made with universities, hotels etc. to cut losses. There could even be like 3 veteran players (local Ozo's) but I wouldn't want to see the same case that we see in BOL or some other, as our NA friends would say, semi-pro leagues where there are these ''muzhiki-razboiniki" (or goons, as in the movie) who at 30+ do not contribute anything to hockey game, just sit in the 3rd or 4th line and beat up young prospects using kick-boxing techniques during the game... Like in the video below:
It's one of the best seasons of the pre-Dinamo Latvian league and here a nobody from 3rd or 4th line is savagely beating up a young prospect. Terjohin (the kick-boxing technique wizard) is now playing in Neherlands league, Guntis Galvins whom he is beating is one of Dinamo Riga's defensive leaders...
Some people care very much about the fate of those 3rd/4th line Latvian league level grinders and say they should have an opportunity to earn money in hockey in Latvia, but as I see it- U25 league... If you are very good at U25 but still cannot get a good contract abroad, they you can stay. If you cannot produce then there's always Netherlands, French 3rd league etc. for you if you want to pursue hockey ''career'', and new batch of talents should come in the league.
Therefore I see it as a feeder to VHL, Slovak league, maybe Allsvenkan and such...
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