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OT: KHL expands into the European Union

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07-04-2011, 04:53 PM
  #1
Beacon
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OT: KHL expands into the European Union

This is interesting. Until now, the KHL was a league of former Soviet states. Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if HC Donbas good enough to get promoted from the VHL.

But now, Lev Poprad of Slovakia and Hockey Milano Rossoblu of Italy will be joining in 2011 and 2012, respectively. That makes it 3 EU countries joining: Latvia, Slovakia and Italy.

Of the 14 countries with any kind of a decent hockey program, 13 now have players in the KHL, with only Switzerland missing, probably not for long. A dozen European Union nations are now broadcasting at least some of the KHL games.

It seems like the KHL is trying to become a premier European league. Some say that the SEL or the AHL is the second-best hockey league, but I would say that it's the KHL.

The money is too much for a lot of players to resist, so 200+ non-Russians are in the KHL. As the league expands into the EU, more money will flow and they could potentially become a threat to water-down the NHL.

Maybe the superstars will stay, but if you are Fedotenko getting $1.4 in the NHL and you can get more than that to stay at home, be a more important player on your team and play in a league that is not a tremendous deal weaker, why wouldn't you?

The AHL already got significantly worse because of the rise of the KHL, and I think the next step will be for Russian and other European role players to start moving there as well.

The KHL is not yet good enough to compete with the NHL today, but as the flow of players to the KHL increases, the league will get better and increasingly more attractive not just to the Russians, but to guys like Wolski, Zuccarello, even Stepan who are better off on the larger ice surface.

It doesn't seem like the NHL has a plan to deal with that.

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07-04-2011, 05:42 PM
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gotmonte
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I agreed with you all the way up to Stepan. Kid is a 20 or 21 year old (I forget if his birthday just passed) young man playing for the NY Rangers and quickly becoming a star of sorts. The love affair would be with the City, the lights, the glamour. The FREEDOM without having a King or Queen or Prince or whatever else type of structure.

In America (you know, the place the entire world would love to live in) there really shouldnt be too much issue with the KHL. And Canada? Forget it. You think a Canadian kid wants to leave Canada and play in a entirely different League? They WORSHIP Hockey in Canada.

I think fringe players/role players might be a problem for the NHL to keep but I really just see 36+ year olds jetting off for that last big payday in the KHL or EU League.

Dont stress. Not now atleast. Ill worry about this when we cross that bridge.

But nice article. Well written. I enjoyed the read.

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07-04-2011, 06:03 PM
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There is no need to worry, even with the rise of the KHL, more and more Russian kids are leaving to play in Canadian juniors. I remember a young Russian prospect a while ago (can't remember who) said he would not go back to Russia and described the KHL as "a league for old men."

The expansion of the KHL into Europe in my opinion is good for the development of hockey, with Italy having a team this will only help the development of their players and they will become more competitive in the World Championships.

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07-04-2011, 06:51 PM
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oh wow italy, latvia and slovakia... the nhl better watch out. the only way that the KHL could really threaten the NHL if there was a merger with the SEL or the ELH.

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07-04-2011, 07:09 PM
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Canadian and American kids will always choose the NHL. It's better, it's much closer to home, and other Canadians/Americans are in the league. Not to mention the history.

It would be a shame if less and less Europeans came to the NHL. I'm mostly worried about the SEL. Swedes have really made a name for themselves in hockey, and the SEL is getting better, and more important for them, their junior programs are vastly improving. Probably not going to be a threat any time soon, but maybe one day...

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07-04-2011, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotmonte View Post
I agreed with you all the way up to Stepan. Kid is a 20 or 21 year old (I forget if his birthday just passed) young man playing for the NY Rangers and quickly becoming a star of sorts. The love affair would be with the City, the lights, the glamour. The FREEDOM without having a King or Queen or Prince or whatever else type of structure.

In America (you know, the place the entire world would love to live in) there really shouldnt be too much issue with the KHL. And Canada? Forget it. You think a Canadian kid wants to leave Canada and play in a entirely different League? They WORSHIP Hockey in Canada.

I think fringe players/role players might be a problem for the NHL to keep but I really just see 36+ year olds jetting off for that last big payday in the KHL or EU League.

Dont stress. Not now atleast. Ill worry about this when we cross that bridge.

But nice article. Well written. I enjoyed the read.
Say what? Lol, I think things have changed a little sincethe 17th/18th century, and the years after WWII. There is even color TV in Europe now

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07-04-2011, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
Say what? Lol, I think things have changed a little sincethe 17th/18th century, and the years after WWII. There is even color TV in Europe now
I was going to say something similar but was afraid I would cause offense

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07-04-2011, 07:36 PM
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I was going to say something similar but was afraid I would cause offense
You Brits are way too polite

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07-04-2011, 07:38 PM
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It still won't effect the NHL, I recently read a list of players that changed my mind about the KHL taking over....


2009 - Magnus Paajarvi, Erick Karlsson, Mattias Tedenby, Mikael Granlund, Jiri Tlusty, Zack Kassian, Jacob Josefson, Erik Gudbranson, Jhonas Enroth, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Taylor Hall were all picked in the 4 round KHL draft.

2010 - John Tavares, Phillip Larsson, and Mikael Backlund, were all picked in the draft and already had NHL contracts.

2011 - Joel Armia, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Sean Couturier, were all picked picked in the KHL draft and we all know how that worked out for them.



The NHL is and will continue to draw the top players in the world.



(side note) Mikhail Pashin, the New York Rangers Defensive prospect was the #1 overall pick in that 2009 draft. (mostly because he was a sure shot to play in the KHL, but his dream to is to play hockey in the NHL)

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07-04-2011, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotmonte View Post
I agreed with you all the way up to Stepan. Kid is a 20 or 21 year old (I forget if his birthday just passed) young man playing for the NY Rangers and quickly becoming a star of sorts. The love affair would be with the City, the lights, the glamour. The FREEDOM without having a King or Queen or Prince or whatever else type of structure.

In America (you know, the place the entire world would love to live in) there really shouldnt be too much issue with the KHL. And Canada? Forget it. You think a Canadian kid wants to leave Canada and play in a entirely different League? They WORSHIP Hockey in Canada.

I think fringe players/role players might be a problem for the NHL to keep but I really just see 36+ year olds jetting off for that last big payday in the KHL or EU League.

Dont stress. Not now atleast. Ill worry about this when we cross that bridge.

But nice article. Well written. I enjoyed the read.

I am not saying it would necessarily be Stepan to leave. It would just be a player like that who would benefit from a large ice. I meant to say that it may not just be role players and/or Russians leaving. It may well be an occasional American kid who is offered double the money to be an All-Star in the KHL as opposed to being a second liner in the NHL.

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07-04-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
You Brits are way too polite
Just didn't want to go off topic and start a patriotism war although that said, a thread about the KHL was always going to turn into Russia bashing and America > All

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07-04-2011, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Welshy3413 View Post
Just didn't want to go off topic and start a patriotism war although that said, a thread about the KHL was always going to turn into Russia bashing and America > All
Especially on the 4th of July! USA! USA!

Seriously though, the NHL is and will be the best league in the world. I think if any league was to challenge it, it would be the SEL expanding.

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07-04-2011, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris201 View Post
It still won't effect the NHL, I recently read a list of players that changed my mind about the KHL taking over....


2009 - Magnus Paajarvi, Erick Karlsson, Mattias Tedenby, Mikael Granlund, Jiri Tlusty, Zack Kassian, Jacob Josefson, Erik Gudbranson, Jhonas Enroth, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Taylor Hall were all picked in the 4 round KHL draft.

2010 - John Tavares, Phillip Larsson, and Mikael Backlund, were all picked in the draft and already had NHL contracts.

2011 - Joel Armia, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Sean Couturier, were all picked picked in the KHL draft and we all know how that worked out for them.



The NHL is and will continue to draw the top players in the world.



(side note) Mikhail Pashin, the New York Rangers Defensive prospect was the #1 overall pick in that 2009 draft. (mostly because he was a sure shot to play in the KHL, but his dream to is to play hockey in the NHL)
The KHL draft is basically meaningless, all the teams have their top prospects coming up through their respective junior systems, the draft is just for those not already committed to a team. Due to this, teams just think **** it and draft elite talents like the players you mentioned, even though there's no chance of them coming to play in the KHL, and it's also because they evidently don't bother scouting. The draft is a bit of a joke really, one reason why the KHL will never compare to the NHL

Would also like to add there is massive corruption in the KHL

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07-04-2011, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
Especially on the 4th of July! USA! USA!

Seriously though, the NHL is and will be the best league in the world. I think if any league was to challenge it, it would be the SEL expanding.

Sweden does not have the money that the government of Russia has, nor the Russian population nor Russia's population.

Everyone just look at the present day quality of players, but the KHL is backed by the government of Russia, and private companies might have a hard time competing with a government.

Let's keep in mind that KHL is only 3 years old, and it already made inroads with Europeans, older players, and borderline NHLers. Those may be "tolerable" loses, but you have to assume that the KHL will not stop where it presently is after only 3 seasons.

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07-04-2011, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Welshy3413 View Post
The KHL draft is basically meaningless, all the teams have their top prospects coming up through their respective junior systems, the draft is just for those not already committed to a team. Due to this, teams just think **** it and draft elite talents like the players you mentioned, even though there's no chance of them coming to play in the KHL, and it's also because they evidently don't bother scouting. The draft is a bit of a joke really, one reason why the KHL will never compare to the NHL

Would also like to add there is massive corruption in the KHL

Thats exactly what I'm saying, look where the top players in the world are going.

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07-04-2011, 08:52 PM
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They can gobble up all the fourth- and fifth-tier hockey programs they want. It doesn't improve the level of play and does nothing to improve the KHL's chances for gaining ground on the NHL.

The KHL will never be anything more than a leverage point for European-born players during negotiations, and a place where old/crappy NHLers go to die. There will obviously be exceptions to my generalization, but the league poses absolutely no threat to the NHL or North American hockey in general.

That league has been hemorrhaging money since its inception, and I see nothing to indicate a reversal of fortune.

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07-04-2011, 09:21 PM
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The number of Russian, Czech and Slovakian players in the NHL dropped in half in recent years. They went from about 20% of the league to about 10%. Then there are some borderline NHLers who are North American who went to Russia.

The NHL lost 10-15% of its players. It didn't effect the stars, but the depth has been harmed. As the KHL improves, it may be able to reach into NHL second liners who could get $3 in the NHL (taxable) or $5 in the KHL (not taxable).

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07-04-2011, 09:39 PM
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Well, Slovakian hockey in general has absolutely fallen to pieces in recent years. Their hockey program is in an awful state.

What are the numbers on other nationalities in the NHL? I feel like there's been an increase in Swedes and Finns in recent years. That would account for part of the drop off in numbers of Russians and Czechs. There's also the fact that hockey is still growing in popularity in the States, and our program is growing stronger by the day. And, I'd guess, producing more NHLers.

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07-04-2011, 11:02 PM
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They can take the Dawes', they can take the Prucha's, they can take career AHL players. They can take the Gilroy's while they're at it. The KHL is the NHL's garbage dump.

Where it's at is Canada and US hockey. If you're a dominant hockey player in those two countries, you're known by everybody in the hockey world.

Who's #1 in the KHL? Pretty sure one in a 100 (that's a given, too) hockey fans outside of Russia can tell you without looking it up.

In the KHL, name me the players that were top 10 in scoring, besides Jaromir Jagr who was a product of the NHL.

I don't think money's everything to these players. The glory's not there as it is in the NHL.

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07-04-2011, 11:06 PM
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They can take the Dawes', they can take the Prucha's, they can take career AHL players. They can take the Gilroy's while they're at it. The KHL is the NHL's garbage dump.

Where it's at is Canada and US hockey. If you're a dominant hockey player in those two countries, you're known by everybody in the hockey world.

Who's #1 in the KHL? Pretty sure one in a 100 (that's a given, too) hockey fans outside of Russia can tell you without looking it up.

In the KHL, name me the players that were top 10 in scoring, besides Jaromir Jagr who was a product of the NHL.

I don't think money's everything to these players. The glory's not there as it is in the NHL.
If the KHL can expand into Sweden, Finland, and Germany, I'd be a little worried.

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07-04-2011, 11:07 PM
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If the KHL can expand into Sweden, Finland, and Germany, I'd be a little worried.
Only Sweden and Finland, I will be just a little.

They can have Germany. lol

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07-04-2011, 11:11 PM
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Only Sweden and Finland, I will be just a little.

They can have Germany. lol
With Germany getting in, it could entice Austrian and Swiss players to join too.

And for some reason this country also slipped my mind, but the KHL would love to include a Czech team too. If a Czech team gets in, that could also open the door for a Slovak team.

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07-04-2011, 11:11 PM
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If those two countries joined, Swedish and Finnish players would be on the road all the time. Seriously, they would hardly be home if that would be the reasoning for those players to staying. They'd be bouncing from Russia to Italy to Kazahkstan to Slovakia playing ECHL level teams in Europe.

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07-04-2011, 11:13 PM
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If those two countries joined, Swedish and Finnish players would be on the road all the time. Seriously, they would hardly be home if that would be the reasoning for those players to staying. They'd be bouncing from Russia to Italy to Kazahkstan to Slovakia playing ECHL level teams in Europe.
Players in the NHL currently do that, so I don't see how travel all of a sudden becomes a detriment.

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07-04-2011, 11:14 PM
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With Germany getting in, it could entice Austrian and Swiss players to join too.

And for some reason this country also slipped my mind, but the KHL would love to include a Czech team too. If a Czech team gets in, that could also open the door for a Slovak team.
True. But the doors are open for any player to go to the KHL when they want if it they're not under contract.

I really don't see the KHL as dangerous as some think.

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