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KHL Contraction Part I (Mod Warning - Post #15)

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Old
04-04-2017, 03:08 AM
  #451
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Originally Posted by vorky View Post
I understand you, but it is exactly what I said. The KHL as a league for Russian teams or a league for leading Russian, European and Asian teams? Chernyshenko is for second option, but yes, there are people who would like to see only Russian teams in the KHL.
I haven't said that I want to see Russian teams only.
I think that it's not reasonable to think that the KHL will join all and any of the good teams. It won't happen for a number of reasons (first reason: politics, and this will never change).
At this point, I think the best thing would be to expand the league to 32 teams (not over one year, of course), and maybe remove a couple of Russian ones, but in the west, so that the Russian side, that will always be prominent in the KHL, can keep on going on.

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04-07-2017, 03:53 PM
  #452
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Originally Posted by vorky View Post
Vityaz, Severstal, Lada (?), Neftekhimik, Yugra, Novokuznetsk.
I am strongly against Nizhnekamsk leaving. Maybe they should rebrand (I don't know), but that's it.

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04-15-2017, 07:44 AM
  #453
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The existence of collegiate sport as a replacement for junior level clubs affiliated with pro franchises makes the Americas a bad comparison to Europe, in my opinion. The college game has more of a kinship with the European model due to the sense of affiliation with the team beyond an athlete-versus-spectator/consumer relationship. Minor pro teams in the US cannot match that attachment.

Structurally speaking, there are also many factors against the expansion of hockey as a game that can be gleaned from NA. North American minor league teams are frequently in cities that would not be deemed large and economically viable enough for a major league franchise. This has been changing in the NHL's case as affiliates tend to be relocating closer to their parent squad, but you still see a huge cluster of teams in places like upstate New York for the sole reason that these are traditional hockey hotbeds, even though some of the cities (Utica, Elmira, Binghamton, Glen Falls) are remote and nearly impoverished.

The key exception would be Canada and the junior circuit, which is only because hockey is far and away the number one sport in Canada. And somehow even a system that exploits players on a similar level to NCAA student-athletes can't stay financially sound.

A main issue with hockey specifically is that it's financially prohibitive. Rinks are expensive, equipment is expensive, etc. As a result, I think its growth potential is somewhat limited at the grassroots level. As I mentioned before, the main places where it has stuck in the US are the traditional places (Minnesota, Boston, New York, Michigan, all geographically suited to outdoor hockey and not coincidentally close to Canada) and the places like California where folks are frankly wealthy enough to pay for venues (whether through private investment or the finagling of tax dollars from the local government despite years of evidence that building athletic stadiums does not generate positive economic outcomes for the surrounding area).

So I would not be at all surprised if the sport has difficulty expanding outside of its main power centers regionally (Leningrad, Moscow) and internationally (former Soviet states and Scandinavia). If they can get a hold of the Chinese market that could change, but everyone else has been trying for years so the competition will be fierce.

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04-15-2017, 02:05 PM
  #454
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Originally Posted by AstoriaIceNinja View Post

So I would not be at all surprised if the sport has difficulty expanding outside of its main power centers regionally (Leningrad, Moscow)
Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Novosibirsk or Magnitogorsk are 100x more hockey cities than those two...

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04-16-2017, 01:23 PM
  #455
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Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Novosibirsk or Magnitogorsk are 100x more hockey cities than those two...
Hockey cities in what sense? For the purposes of my answer I will assume you mean participation in the game at the youth level and successful development of players.

Your statement can be completely true but still doesn't affect my point. At the end of the day, Moscow in particular is simply a bigger and wealthier city and thus more capable of supporting a commercially viable club.

Being a "<insert sport here> city" is only part of what contributes to a pro franchise. To use NA as an example, just about every small city in Canada is more of a "hockey city" by the metrics I used above than, say, Nashville is. But they aren't capable of fulfilling the financial component, which is why the NHL isn't chomping at the bit to set up shop in Regina. The sports organization can create grassroots participation and fan interest in the game. It can't create the infrastructure and affluence to support a pro team. Look no further than what I would posit is the NHL's most successful marketing gimmick in recent memory: The Anaheim Ducks, which of course spawned from a Disney movie.

The fact that Moscow has three KHL clubs that I can think of (CSKA, Spartak, and Dynamo) is just evidence of my argument. And since they aren't being floated as names for contraction, they are presumably all close to being financially sound in some fashion. So the fact that Moscow is not as much of a hockey city does not seem to be affecting the bottom line of the clubs there.

NA compensates for the disparities through revenue sharing, which Euro leagues generally don't have to the same degree. This allows a club like Arizona to essentially be dragged along (financially speaking) even if it produces next to nothing for the league as a whole. My feeling is that if the NHL was set up like an European sports league, Toronto, Minnesota, and Boston would probably all have multiple teams. And Quebec City would have a team instead of Arizona.

Like it or not, the league has to follow the money unless they adapt some kind of stricter revenue sharing to accept the fact that some teams will be financial duds. Or they could just say to hell with competitive parity and let a rich club from Moscow or Leningrad buy up all the best talent and win 9 times out of 10 while all the other teams are closer to being financially stable but accepting of their mediocrity. It works for the Bundesliga.

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04-16-2017, 02:15 PM
  #456
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Originally Posted by AstoriaIceNinja View Post
Hockey cities in what sense? For the purposes of my answer I will assume you mean participation in the game at the youth level and successful development of players.

Your statement can be completely true but still doesn't affect my point. At the end of the day, Moscow in particular is simply a bigger and wealthier city and thus more capable of supporting a commercially viable club.

Being a "<insert sport here> city" is only part of what contributes to a pro franchise. To use NA as an example, just about every small city in Canada is more of a "hockey city" by the metrics I used above than, say, Nashville is. But they aren't capable of fulfilling the financial component, which is why the NHL isn't chomping at the bit to set up shop in Regina. The sports organization can create grassroots participation and fan interest in the game. It can't create the infrastructure and affluence to support a pro team. Look no further than what I would posit is the NHL's most successful marketing gimmick in recent memory: The Anaheim Ducks, which of course spawned from a Disney movie.

The fact that Moscow has three KHL clubs that I can think of (CSKA, Spartak, and Dynamo) is just evidence of my argument. And since they aren't being floated as names for contraction, they are presumably all close to being financially sound in some fashion. So the fact that Moscow is not as much of a hockey city does not seem to be affecting the bottom line of the clubs there.

NA compensates for the disparities through revenue sharing, which Euro leagues generally don't have to the same degree. This allows a club like Arizona to essentially be dragged along (financially speaking) even if it produces next to nothing for the league as a whole. My feeling is that if the NHL was set up like an European sports league, Toronto, Minnesota, and Boston would probably all have multiple teams. And Quebec City would have a team instead of Arizona.

Like it or not, the league has to follow the money unless they adapt some kind of stricter revenue sharing to accept the fact that some teams will be financial duds. Or they could just say to hell with competitive parity and let a rich club from Moscow or Leningrad buy up all the best talent and win 9 times out of 10 while all the other teams are closer to being financially stable but accepting of their mediocrity. It works for the Bundesliga.
This has absolutely zero connection to reality.

Moscow has no commercially viable clubs and never had. In fact, Spartak had to miss time in the KHL recently because of poor funding, and Dynamo was merged with HK MVD to avoid the same fate. They aren't candidate for contraction for now, because the sponsors aren't tired of their toys yet, not because they make some great business. KHL teams spend the amount of money they aren't even close to earning yet. Actually, most NHL teams with their large arenas, lunatic ticket prices, fan service and hefty TV deal aren't profitable, and none of these sources is nearly as strong in the KHL. So who will play in the KHL and who won't is decided by the KHL managers.

And no, Moscow isn't a hockey city by any means. You can make whatever excuse you want, but CSKA and Dynamo can't even sell out playoff games, while the social importance of KHL teams in cities like Novosibirsk is immense.

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05-13-2017, 10:55 PM
  #457
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I think the discrepancy between Kuznya the powerhouse academy versus Metallurg Novokuznetsk the bottom feeders is that the kids who attend the schools are offered immediate jobs to high paying clubs, while the Meeker of the Metallurg would offer peanuts. It's like becoming in charge of a Fortune 500 company versus becoming manager of the town McDonald's.

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05-17-2017, 09:12 PM
  #458
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Since KHL wants 24 teams, who will get the ax?

Easy money is on Novokuznetsk.

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05-25-2017, 01:28 PM
  #459
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Kuznya & Zagreb are out of the league.

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05-25-2017, 05:04 PM
  #460
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Yep. Kuznya is gone.
https://www.prohockeyrumors.com/2017...eams-2017.html

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05-25-2017, 05:11 PM
  #461
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Unfortunate. But when you're losing players like Ryan Stoa to Neftekhimik/Spartak, it's just a pretty much hopeless situation.

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05-25-2017, 05:20 PM
  #462
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Hopefully their school keeps producing

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05-26-2017, 03:14 PM
  #463
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Hopefully their school keeps producing
As it has been pointed out, Kuznya hockey school produced so many outstanding talents, but unfortunately, almost none of them actually ended up playing for the KHL in Nk. I don't know what can be done to change that, but in the meantime, the incentive for the hockey school to continue producing great players to go to far off teams dwindles. And there are even now only a handful of really good schools in Russia.

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05-26-2017, 05:30 PM
  #464
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
As it has been pointed out, Kuznya hockey school produced so many outstanding talents, but unfortunately, almost none of them actually ended up playing for the KHL in Nk. I don't know what can be done to change that, but in the meantime, the incentive for the hockey school to continue producing great players to go to far off teams dwindles. And there are even now only a handful of really good schools in Russia.
Again, not to bring up that analogy again, but it seemed like that the option of playing for Kuznya was often considered the worst choice due to payout and recognition versus other locales.

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05-26-2017, 06:47 PM
  #465
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Can it affiliate with someone?

Might not be a bad idea for a bigger franchise to add a resource like that.

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05-27-2017, 03:17 AM
  #466
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Can it affiliate with someone?

Might not be a bad idea for a bigger franchise to add a resource like that.
Yes, it can. It is a role of a VHL team to be affiliated with a KHL team. There is a few KHL teams who have two or more MHL teams (their own & affiliated clubs) - Magnitogorsk as example (Steel Foxes & Orenburg). On youth level, SKA has its own hockey school & two or three other hockey schools from Peterburg who were independent before affiliation with SKA. So yes, there can be a cooperation between clubs on VHL, MHL and kids hockey level.

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05-27-2017, 08:52 AM
  #467
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I hated that press conference so much I seriously stopped to ask myself whether I was ready to be done with the KHL (and perhaps clubs' hockey overall for some time, as I can't watch the NHL as much as I used to, and it's getting hard to cheer for the Caps).

And I'm not saying this as a man from Kuzbass. Excluding Kuznya from the league was a painful move, but a step in right direction. Yes, the hockey school, Bobrovskiy-Orlov-Kaprizov, the only team in the region, but the KHL shouldn't care about things like that. It should focus on developing a better and healthier league, while the FHR should develop the game. In addition, Novokuznetsk will surely find the way to use the dozens of millions of expenses difference.

What I hated most was that the league made it official that it doesn't operate under laws and rules, but (the Russians will understand) po ponyatiyam. Kuznya was one of those few poor teams who followed the regulations all season, didn't have debt issues, and what we see in the end of the season is a bunch of guys behind the closed doors deciding not to change the regulations, not to work on improving the conditions for teams that aren't oil and gas money black holes. No, they invented some criteria never made public and made them effective immediately. The worst things are that stupid contraction schedule (instead of watching the development every season or just setting slear criteria that need to be followed) and the fact that Zinovjev spoke of: it's clear that there's no way back. All due to someone's stupid fetish of 24 teams... or something else. Meanwhile, they will keep pulling Moscow teams by their ears, because they are from Moscow. What, nobody wants to visit a CSKA game? Who cares, they used to use their behind the scenes powers so much they won almost every championship in the Soviet era. Let's give them another billion. Wait, Dynamo owes 2 full salary caps to their players? Not a big deal, let's give them a warning. Hmm, Kunlun and Medvescak can't even play a couple of domestic players? Well, they are the special cases-uhh, so let them ice a KHL team-uhh.

What's the motivation for development? What's the appeal of a league like that? What is the reason for a player to sign with teams in a league like that, aside from the money that keeps getting humbler?

The only silver lining is that the KHL will likely struggle to attract decent foreign clubs, and it means they will be more hesitant to kick other teams out "just because".

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05-27-2017, 09:56 AM
  #468
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Originally Posted by Acallabeth View Post

What I hated most was that the league made it official that it doesn't operate under laws and rules, but (the Russians will understand) po ponyatiyam.
"Under the unwritten", "according to the unwritten"

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05-27-2017, 10:33 AM
  #469
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I understand Acallabethīs words "po ponyatiyam", and I agree, rules should be known before seasonīs start.

I dont want to advocate the KHL, but Chernyshenko said exactly a year ago that there will be a mechanism of rotation of clubs between the KHL and lower leagues (VHL). We, fans, did not know who he meant, but it was a signal towards the clubs. Plus, the clubs were involved in the process of adopting of new strategy - they had to have inside informations what is going on - which started a year ago.

What is really important - now we know whatīs the plan for future and the clubs know it as well. It is for the first time when the league published the plan.

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05-27-2017, 12:01 PM
  #470
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What is really important - now we know whatīs the plan for future
And what's even better is that clubs like Amur and Neftekhimik kind of replied to the news and signed some good foreigner players.
Instead, Lada is on a flatline, kind of we already know who's the next club to get the axe

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05-27-2017, 02:49 PM
  #471
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And what's even better is that clubs like Amur and Neftekhimik kind of replied to the news and signed some good foreigner players.
Instead, Lada is on a flatline, kind of we already know who's the next club to get the axe
Yeah, it will be sad with Lada, because they have one of the most modern/newest arenas in Russia, small but new. On the other hand, VHL needs good infrastructure as well.

I would like to add following things to a discussion. KHL could not say: "We have such a plan of contraction and we will start with the contraction in 2018 or 2019" The league has adopted a new strategy, they simply cannot delay the decisions, that would not bring an effect because the league would loose one or more years. If they decided to keep Kuznya for one more year, they would need to kick 4 teams instead of 3 next season. Would Kuznya survive this contraction? If not, why to keep the team for one more year? Especially if the team was dead last in all aspects of the rating?

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05-28-2017, 12:21 PM
  #472
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I hated that press conference so much I seriously stopped to ask myself whether I was ready to be done with the KHL (and perhaps clubs' hockey overall for some time, as I can't watch the NHL as much as I used to, and it's getting hard to cheer for the Caps).

And I'm not saying this as a man from Kuzbass. Excluding Kuznya from the league was a painful move, but a step in right direction. Yes, the hockey school, Bobrovskiy-Orlov-Kaprizov, the only team in the region, but the KHL shouldn't care about things like that. It should focus on developing a better and healthier league, while the FHR should develop the game. In addition, Novokuznetsk will surely find the way to use the dozens of millions of expenses difference.

What I hated most was that the league made it official that it doesn't operate under laws and rules, but (the Russians will understand) po ponyatiyam. Kuznya was one of those few poor teams who followed the regulations all season, didn't have debt issues, and what we see in the end of the season is a bunch of guys behind the closed doors deciding not to change the regulations, not to work on improving the conditions for teams that aren't oil and gas money black holes. No, they invented some criteria never made public and made them effective immediately. The worst things are that stupid contraction schedule (instead of watching the development every season or just setting slear criteria that need to be followed) and the fact that Zinovjev spoke of: it's clear that there's no way back. All due to someone's stupid fetish of 24 teams... or something else. Meanwhile, they will keep pulling Moscow teams by their ears, because they are from Moscow. What, nobody wants to visit a CSKA game? Who cares, they used to use their behind the scenes powers so much they won almost every championship in the Soviet era. Let's give them another billion. Wait, Dynamo owes 2 full salary caps to their players? Not a big deal, let's give them a warning. Hmm, Kunlun and Medvescak can't even play a couple of domestic players? Well, they are the special cases-uhh, so let them ice a KHL team-uhh.

What's the motivation for development? What's the appeal of a league like that? What is the reason for a player to sign with teams in a league like that, aside from the money that keeps getting humbler?

The only silver lining is that the KHL will likely struggle to attract decent foreign clubs, and it means they will be more hesitant to kick other teams out "just because".
Whatever the level of investment by either the RHF or the KHL in youth hockey in the Moscow urban and suburban complex, it is an abysmal failure, if you look at the grand total of qualified hockey players who are produced there. Of course, St. Petersburg is even far worse, with Barabanov being the only SPb resident to be selected to the NT in years. If you measure it on a per capita or unit, going East to develop hockey players makes far more sense and is more productive.

The NHL strategy for investment in youth hockey in the United States is interesting. There is little or no direct investment in the Northeastern (New England, New York, etc.) and North Central (Minnesota, Michigan, etc) States, where local government communities spend a lot of money in building rinks and training coaches, but in those States where there are NHL teams situated, but no outdoor skating in the winter(Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tampa), they invest relatively heavily. They build rinks and directly supervise the organization of teams and training of coaches. For example, the 40-goal scoring 19-year NHL rookie, Auston Matthews, came from Phoenix, where he never skated outdoors in his life.

I don't believe that the KHL has the financial resources to do what the NHL has done in the Southern United States, but they do have an obligation to themselves and others to do what can be done to promote the development of high-quality young players to fill out their rosters. Its in their short- and long-term interest to make sure that Russia is producing highly qualified players to fill out their rosters.

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05-29-2017, 11:14 PM
  #473
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Instead, Lada is on a flatline, kind of we already know who's the next club to get the axe
Which sucks. I mean, Viktor Kozlov top 10 pick. Tolyatti native. Alexei Emelin also a native. It's not long ago Semin was a 1st rounder and then went and played for Lada. Guryanov more recently.

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05-30-2017, 01:24 PM
  #474
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Which sucks. I mean, Viktor Kozlov top 10 pick. Tolyatti native. Alexei Emelin also a native. It's not long ago Semin was a 1st rounder and then went and played for Lada. Guryanov more recently.
Don't forget Aleksei Kovalev. Lada was one of the top 7 or 8 hockey schools in the '70's, and the results started to show in the '90's. Why they can't organize similar schools in 100 other cities I'll never understand.

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