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Sportsnet.ca's Brophy says Russian stars might be lured to KHL by tax free millions

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01-14-2010, 08:54 AM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
lazy/greedy were mentioned yet??


Can KHL compete with NHL right now? Of course not. Will it at some point down the road? I do not see why not.

They're in two entirely different markets. They might compete for players, maybe, but the audiences and fans will be different. For the KHL to compete with the NHL for non-Russian players it would have to be profitable enough to pay them more than the NHL could (for obvious reasons). Does Russia have a large enough population with enough disposable income, or depth of native talent to set up a ~20 team league with parity and most teams turning a profit and operating with budgets large enough to start poaching NHLers?

The only fans the KHL are going to be competing with the NHL for anytime in the near future are Russian fans. And that's A-okay with me, no reason a Russian guy shouldn't be able to go out and see a live professional hockey game in his city.

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01-14-2010, 08:56 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by I am The Mush View Post
They're in two entirely different markets. They might compete for players, maybe, but the audiences and fans will be different. For the KHL to compete with the NHL for non-Russian players it would have to be profitable enough to pay them more than the NHL could (for obvious reasons). Does Russia have a large enough population with enough disposable income, or depth of native talent to set up a ~20 team league with parity and most teams turning a profit and operating with budgets large enough to start poaching NHLers?

The only fans the KHL are going to be competing with the NHL for anytime in the near future are Russian fans. And that's A-okay with me, no reason a Russian guy shouldn't be able to go out and see a live professional hockey game in his city.
The competition would be in terms of luring talent.

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01-14-2010, 09:15 AM
  #53
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Does not have to be just Russia. League may include Germany, Czech, Slovak, Swede, Finn, Ukraine maybe others. Might not be easy to create a league like that but who knows.. Market is there, demand might is there, fans are definitely there, rinks, players. Then just need someone to put it all together. I think hockey is right behind soccer in Europe.

So yes, technically two leagues may compete for the same talent lets say 30 years from now.

I had no idea Sergei Fedorov is making that much money in KHL. wow

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01-14-2010, 09:20 AM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
Does not have to be just Russia. League may include Germany, Czech, Slovak, Swede, Finn, Ukraine maybe others. Might not be easy to create a league like that but who knows.. Market is there, demand might is there, fans are definitely there, rinks, players. Then just need someone to put it all together. I think hockey is right behind soccer in Europe.

So yes, technically two leagues may compete for the same talent lets say 30 years from now.

I had no idea Sergei Fedorov is making that much money in KHL. wow
The thing is Fedorov is not making that much. I have no idea where that number came from but he signed a 2 year deal worth $4M/yr this past offseason. He is most definitely not making $14 Million.

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01-14-2010, 09:20 AM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
lazy/greedy were mentioned yet??


Can KHL compete with NHL right now? Of course not. Will it at some point down the road? I do not see why not.
It's an interesting situation with the KHL and Russia as currently constructed. For the KHL/Russia to become a stable financial entity there is going to have to be some reforms, and those reforms will likely lead to the end of these crazy contracts. I mean, what happens when Russia ceases to be the Wild West with the oil money and corruption?

Professional hockey absolute can (and does) work in Europe, but we're clearly not where it's truly competitive with the N.A. market.

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Originally Posted by JSaq View Post
That is all I was saying. It's a potential issue down the road.
It's an issue now....but less of an issue for marquee players than for middling guys in the NHL, who can make more money in Europe due to the way teams have squeezed the "middle class" in the NHL. However, even then, we've seen guys jump ship for the KHL and then come back after being over there because they didn't deem the money worth it. (This guy.)

Then there's a situation like what happened with Radulov...I think that's going to represent an outlier, just because the IIHF was rather pissed off that went down. They may not like the NHL, but they do care and are attempting to work with the NHL to meet their goals. The last thing they want is the KHL making those negotiations more difficult (and I'm firmly on board with the fact that the NHL has been getting away with murder when it comes to robbing Europe of talent). Part of the problem with the N.A./Europe talent-swap setup is that sports just operate differently in Europe. The IIHF has FIFA sitting there that governs player transfers on a regular basis, that's something everyone in Europe understands completely...and a system that we don't have for anything here in N.A. If IIHF wants to be viewed as a serious broker, they're going to have to become that FIFA-like authority.

You also have to be a bit more careful with the Europeans "staying home" stuff. Russia is a big place, and it isn't like someone from Sweden is "staying home" if they're off playing somewhere in Russia.

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01-14-2010, 09:23 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
Does not have to be just Russia. League may include Germany, Czech, Slovak, Swede, Finn, Ukraine maybe others. Might not be easy to create a league like that but who knows.. Market is there, demand might is there, fans are definitely there, rinks, players. Then just need someone to put it all together. I think hockey is right behind soccer in Europe.

So yes, technically two leagues may compete for the same talent lets say 30 years from now.

I had no idea Sergei Fedorov is making that much money in KHL. wow
I think the problem is going to be convincing the national leagues to close shop in the interest of a larger league. That's going to mean some of these teams in smaller, less populated areas closing down. I mean...Modo is in a town with a population <30,000. If you were really to create such a league and actually have Sweden involved, Modo would likely get closed down.

I'm not sure I buy Europeans going for such a league given the prevalence of national leagues in so many sports and the strong attachments to the various clubs.

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01-14-2010, 09:25 AM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSaq View Post
The competition would be in terms of luring talent.
Thanks, I missed that, multitasking. Whoops.

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01-14-2010, 09:30 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
It's an interesting situation with the KHL and Russia as currently constructed. For the KHL/Russia to become a stable financial entity there is going to have to be some reforms, and those reforms will likely lead to the end of these crazy contracts. I mean, what happens when Russia ceases to be the Wild West with the oil money and corruption?

Professional hockey absolute can (and does) work in Europe, but we're clearly not where it's truly competitive with the N.A. market.
Jester I do not have all the answers for you. You mentioned corruption? It exists everywhere where money can be made. You mentioned reforms, sure. Nothing is perfect.

Is it impossible to cerate a big league out of little league in Europe and Russia? It takes one man with vision, it won't be perfect for a while but it is very possible.

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01-14-2010, 09:34 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
Jester I do not have all the answers for you. You mentioned corruption? It exists everywhere where money can be made. You mentioned reforms, sure.
It certainly does, but it exists more in some places than others. And where the oil money is in Russia right now...it's a different world.

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Is it impossible to cerate a big league out of little league in Europe and Russia? It takes one man with vision, it won't be perfect for a while but it is very possible.
Well that's just it...it doesn't take one man. It takes a LOT of people agreeing to it. I think it's clear that such a league is really the goal of the folks running the KHL, but I'm not sure I buy the various national leagues in Europe going for it. Isn't the team in Sweden that they're looking at a second division team or something?

I mean, I think a pan-European hockey league makes a ton of sense and could do an excellent job of competing with the NHL. However, that also flies in the face of the way sports have worked in Europe for a really long time.

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01-14-2010, 09:40 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
It certainly does, but it exists more in some places than others. And where the oil money is in Russia right now...it's a different world.
It's not just oil, it's natural gas and other valuable resources. That country is ****ing huge. Anyway, I am not even going to go there with you. If you are bored, you can participate at any intelligent conservative meetings you like and probably get a positive feed back. 990 Bill Bennet there..
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Well that's just it...it doesn't take one man. It takes a LOT of people agreeing to it.
Bettman? Anyway..

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01-14-2010, 09:45 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
It's not just oil, it's natural gas and other valuable resources. That country is ****ing huge. Anyway, I am not even going to go there with you. If you are bored, you can participate at any intelligent conservative meetings you like and probably get positive feed back. 990 Bill Bennet there..
Conservative...ha.

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Bettman? Anyway..
Bettman's nightmare. However, it sounds like the NHL is dumb enough that they may try to invade the European market at some point, which I think is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being it would be a huge disservice to N.A. fans as far as making games come on at bad hours, etc.

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01-14-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Well that's just it...it doesn't take one man. It takes a LOT of people agreeing to it. I think it's clear that such a league is really the goal of the folks running the KHL, but I'm not sure I buy the various national leagues in Europe going for it. Isn't the team in Sweden that they're looking at a second division team or something?

I mean, I think a pan-European hockey league makes a ton of sense and could do an excellent job of competing with the NHL. However, that also flies in the face of the way sports have worked in Europe for a really long time.
I could see all the leagues coming together and creating a European Hockey League. I'm sure all the teams in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia are getting tired of losing top notch talent to the NHL and getting nothing in return. They put together a super league and it could really fly. The only thing that I can see hampering something like that is the egos of the leaders of all the hockey nations involved. I have to admit I always wanted to see a European Super League. In terms of clubs like Modo who have small population bases, there's your minor pro clubs right there. It could really work if they wanted to make it work. I figure it would take about 5 to 10 years to get all the logistics and everything running and all the smaller clubs compensated for not being a part of the big league, but damn, it could really work.

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01-14-2010, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Conservative...ha.
Ok.. whatever it is..

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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Bettman's nightmare. However, it sounds like the NHL is dumb enough that they may try to invade the European market at some point, which I think is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being it would be a huge disservice to N.A. fans as far as making games come on at bad hours, etc.
He might be a nightmare but how many clubs entered the league since he started his work?

200K for Ovechkin or Mlakin or Gaborik or a player like Backstrom or Henrick etc etc etc.. You do not think someone outhtere (and I do not know where) is smart enough to figure it out and put it all together and say, lets make some real money?


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01-14-2010, 09:54 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by BobbyClarkeFan16 View Post
I could see all the leagues coming together and creating a European Hockey League. I'm sure all the teams in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia are getting tired of losing top notch talent to the NHL and getting nothing in return. They put together a super league and it could really fly. The only thing that I can see hampering something like that is the egos of the leaders of all the hockey nations involved. I have to admit I always wanted to see a European Super League. In terms of clubs like Modo who have small population bases, there's your minor pro clubs right there. It could really work if they wanted to make it work. I figure it would take about 5 to 10 years to get all the logistics and everything running and all the smaller clubs compensated for not being a part of the big league, but damn, it could really work.
Right, but do you want to nix one of the more famous European clubs to create it? How many teams from the SEL would have any interest in the creation of such a league (not many)? How many teams in the various other leagues would be interested? What are the contractual obligations of the various teams? What are the laws within the nation?

It absolutely could work, and even the logistical issues are not that hard...it's the politics and people involved. It's the fact that European sports revolve around national leagues and international competition, not so much the concept of transnational leagues.

I think it would be great if such a league existed and the NHL operated in partnership with it more than in competition, and perhaps as the EU develops further it will become more likely. The problem is going to be that you're going to have to trample on a lot of fans personal attachments, and tradition within those countries to create such a league.

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01-14-2010, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaktus View Post
He might be a nightmare but how many clubs entered the league since he started his work?
No, I mean a unified European league.

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200K for Ovechkin or Mlakin or Gaborik or a player like Backstrom or Henrick etc etc etc.. You do not think someone outhtere (and I do not know where) is smart enough to figure it out and put it all together and say, lets make some real money?
Are you talking about the transfer fees here? I agree, they're a joke, and that's where the IIHF needs to do the most for European clubs.

I think there are plenty of folks in Europe that have figured that stuff out (the harder negotiation position of the IIHF the last time around is evidence of this). However, it's closing the gap between the various interests that is really problematic.

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01-14-2010, 10:21 AM
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People need to rein in expectations regarding the KHL/European Super League.

First of all, over 70 percent of NHL players are Canadian/American and I'd say you have at least an additional 6-7 percent that are Swedish.

So that's over 75 percent of current NHLers that I think are either virtually guaranteed to stay or play in the SEL, so already, your pool of talent is cut down a lot. Sure a couple renegades might go to the KHL, but not many.

Second, to be a competitor, as in consistently snatching away NHL talent, KHL payrolls would probably have to be at least 30 mill, if a guy like Fedorov is making 14 mill, other guys are going to want similar amounts to stay and even mediocre NHL players might want at least 5 mill.

Plus, North America is an infinitely more attractive destination than Russia for all the obvious reasons. Outside of Moscow/St. Petersburg and a couple other places, Russia is still a pretty terrible place to live and to stay secure if you're wealthy, you still need to have some kind of way of dealing with criminals, read stories about North Americans trying to open businesses in Russia, once they start getting rich, it's a nightmare.

Then you have a couple of factors, Russian arenas have 10,000 or in most cases less than that, capacity. Furthermore, the Russian middle class is still pretty small, so you're talking much lower ticket prices (the NHL in NA is an upper middle-class sport) and much less attendance. So for total revenues, I'd bet you're talking not more than a twentieth of what the NHL brings in and maybe not even that.

So you have your 30 million dollar payroll plus the usual operating costs and you're not bringing in much money. Russian owners are going to have to be willing to accept tens of millions in losses every year and we're already hearing about salaries not being paid under the current structure.

So I don't see it as very feasible.

As far as the European Super League, you guys are strongly underestimating countries' attachment to their local leagues. There's been talk of a European Super League in soccer for years (going beyond the Champions League) which would probably make a lot of fiscal sense once they figured out that details, but I doubt it's ever going to happen because it would gut the domestic leagues.

The best I could see would be some kind of European tournament (maybe they already have that now?) which you qualify for based on success in the domestic league, just like the Champions League. But is that going to be enough to convince NHLers in Finland and Sweden to play for their hometown teams for their entire careers and never face the level of competition they would in the NHL?

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01-14-2010, 10:37 AM
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Even if the KHL DID land Kovalchuk and Ovechkin, the result would be that Russian prospects in the draft lose value to NHL teams, and NHL teams shy away from them. If the KHL were to fail, the joke would be on those Russian kids looking to play in the NHL.

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01-14-2010, 10:44 AM
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If it was Sweden or even Germany starting a European League, I'd be a little worried. But it is Russia.

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01-14-2010, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyHigh View Post
The best I could see would be some kind of European tournament (maybe they already have that now?) which you qualify for based on success in the domestic league, just like the Champions League. But is that going to be enough to convince NHLers in Finland and Sweden to play for their hometown teams for their entire careers and never face the level of competition they would in the NHL?
There already is a European hockey tourny for the top clubs of the domestic leagues. It's called the Champions Hockey League and was launced a couple years ago; I think it may have been cancelled/postponed for this season, though.

A European Super League would be a threat to the NHL; to play at home or close to home for roughly equivalent pay would be a major draw for Europeans. Plus, the more Euros that stay there, the better the competition becomes. It seems inevitable that such a league will be created down the road, but I'm not sure how soon they'd be able to iron out the wrinkles.

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01-14-2010, 11:41 AM
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There already is a European hockey tourny for the top clubs of the domestic leagues. It's called the Champions Hockey League and was launced a couple years ago; I think it may have been cancelled/postponed for this season, though.

A European Super League would be a threat to the NHL; to play at home or close to home for roughly equivalent pay would be a major draw for Europeans. Plus, the more Euros that stay there, the better the competition becomes. It seems inevitable that such a league will be created down the road, but I'm not sure how soon they'd be able to iron out the wrinkles.
This is a HUGE assumption

Most European/Russian clubs are lucky to get 1/3 of the attendance that the NHL gets at drastically lower prices, you are probably talking 1/10 of the NHL's revenue on attendance, if even that much. I'd guesstimate 1/15-1/20 to be honest with you especially when you consider that the NHL has an 82 game season where each club plays 41 home games and that doesn't even go into playoffs.

So where's the rest of the money going to come from? TV deals won't be nearly as lucrative as soccer's because nobody in Western Europe cares plus if the NHL ever gets its **** together, they'll be making a lot more money on TV.

NHL will also have a huge merchandising advantage, so unless there's a bunch of Finnish/Swedish/Czech businessmen that are willing to lose tens of millions every year to try to stick it to the NHL, the talk of equivalent pay is not very realistic especially when you consider that Sweden/Finland pay higher taxes.

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01-14-2010, 12:04 PM
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This is a HUGE assumption

Most European/Russian clubs are lucky to get 1/3 of the attendance that the NHL gets at drastically lower prices, you are probably talking 1/10 of the NHL's revenue on attendance, if even that much. I'd guesstimate 1/15-1/20 to be honest with you especially when you consider that the NHL has an 82 game season where each club plays 41 home games and that doesn't even go into playoffs.

So where's the rest of the money going to come from? TV deals won't be nearly as lucrative as soccer's because nobody in Western Europe cares plus if the NHL ever gets its **** together, they'll be making a lot more money on TV.

NHL will also have a huge merchandising advantage, so unless there's a bunch of Finnish/Swedish/Czech businessmen that are willing to lose tens of millions every year to try to stick it to the NHL, the talk of equivalent pay is not very realistic especially when you consider that Sweden/Finland pay higher taxes.
It's a huge assumption, if you're talking about starting a league in the near future. I'm not.

For a European Super League to work, they'll have to offer roughly equivalent pay to keep/draw European star players. There are a lot of logistic issues to sort out before a league like this could be competitive with the NHL... it may take 30 years, but I expect to see a European Super League down the road.

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