Thread: KHL Expansion
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03-18-2013, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by hockeyamateur View Post
On my hand I don't think the economy, sponsorship and budget would be any problem at all. Metmag is right there of course.

But what Jussi says are also partly true in my view. A big problem would be the fans and the regular Northern-European. Changes are always looked upon as a bad thing. People are always against it. And the most hardcore fans in the respective league only wants to see his/her team play against X number of Finnish or Swedish teams just like they have always been doing.

But I also believe that most fans would still support their club in a new league + that they would find even more new fans across their own country and city etc.

I believe for KHL to successfully find a team that would be willing to leave either two leagues the best way is to go with already 'radical' clubs. In Sweden you have Malmö Redhawks. Most Swedish people look at this club and think that they are crazy with all of their new plans. A second to best choice would be Leksand, also quite radical and spends money on all kinds of stuff and they want nothing more than to play in the Swedish Elitserien. But they have tried for soon to be 10 years with no success to get there. Leksand would be a good choice. And since Djurgården missed their chance to get up in Elitserien, it could be wise of KHL to contact them with some proposal.

In Finland I would suggest teams from Mestis, or perhaps Espoo Blues in SM-liiga.

I have a difficult time trying to figure out a team in Elitserien that would join KHL any time soon.
There are barely any teams in Mestis capable of coming up with a budget for SM-Liiga level requirements. Kookoo is the only with an arena of plus 5000 (theirs is 6000). There is no way any team in Mestis could join KHL. They would require a foreign backer to fund basically everything. And since Kookoo is the only one with an adequately sized arena, the bigger problem is the fans alarming lack of interest on the team. Hardly anyone remembers when was the last time that arena was sold out since their attendance average isn't even best in Mestis (barely above 2000).

Espoo Blues have just changed ownership and are very tight with their budget. The previous owner Jussi Salonoja (who's still a minority owner) had discussions about it but the biggest obstacles were Russians taking 70% ownership of the club which was a definite no-no and the KHL people doing a no-show when Salonoja travelled to Russia to meet them.

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