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Level of SM-Liiga

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Old
12-10-2011, 11:31 AM
  #1
f1nn
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Level of SM-Liiga

Ok, so I haven't been following the SM-liiga until about 3-4 years ago when I moved back to Finland.. with that in mind, are all the juniors we see lighting it up nowadays just that good for their age or has there been a change in the quality of the league? I love watching all the youngsters play (granlund and barkov the most) but are their stats inflated by a drop in level from perhaps when the younger Koivu was playing there? I didn't have a chance to follow alot of the top finns we have in the NHL at the SM-Liiga level so I would appreciate some insights as to how the level of play has changed and how that could perhaps make our young guns look better/worse?

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12-10-2011, 11:53 AM
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It's not the same it was ten years ago but IMO it's clearly better than 3-4 years ago.

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12-10-2011, 04:10 PM
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It's hard to say what the general level is compared to say, five or six years ago... though people seem to be agreeing that if it's gone somewhere, it's up, not down.

When it comes to a player like Granlund however, the level of play in the league has nothing to do that. He's the real deal, just that good on his own terms.


The emergence of the rest of the fresh ones could be accounted to Granlund as well, though. After seeing what this one young man has done to boost enthusiasm for hockey in general, every other club wants to find their own "granlund", which means giving a lot more rope to any promising rookie. Even more so after a certain GM in a certain northern SM-liiga team amply demonstrated what can happen if you try to mistreat 'em.

So thanks again, Juha Junno. You scored in your own net there, but in doing so, you made ice hockey in all of Finland a tremendous favor.

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12-12-2011, 09:37 PM
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I take the chance to come up with another question in this thread. About Mestis.

What is the level of Mestis compared to SEL-2 (Allsvenskan), SWI-2 (NLB), and the russian 2nd division, for example? At least I know that the quality of Allsvenskan is really good and that some of the Allsvenskan and NLB clubs has got a lot of money and because of that are able to bring in some really good players. But what is the quality of Mestis and how good is the league?

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12-13-2011, 04:03 PM
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I take the chance to come up with another question in this thread. About Mestis.

What is the level of Mestis compared to SEL-2 (Allsvenskan), SWI-2 (NLB), and the russian 2nd division, for example? At least I know that the quality of Allsvenskan is really good and that some of the Allsvenskan and NLB clubs has got a lot of money and because of that are able to bring in some really good players. But what is the quality of Mestis and how good is the league?
Hard to tell the difference in quality between Hockeyallsvenskan and Mestis, since few players move between the leagues. However I think the difference is quite big. SEL and FEL is pretty equal, and we have seen loads of players move from Allsvenskan to Elitserien every year and adapt well, I don't think you see the same pattern in Finland. The gap between SM-liiga and Mestis seems much bigger.

Finns in Hockeyallsvenskan have very often been not very remarkable Sm-liiga players before moving over, not mestis-players. Since salaries are much higher in Hockeyallsvenskan theres bound to be a diffence.

I don't think there was a big gap a few years back, while Elitserien have been slightly losing in quality, Allsvenskan is getting better and better every year. Tv-rights to the games bring in some money, the league has gone from 22 teams to 14 (which increases quality), and the good agegroups from swedish juniorhockey has filled this league with young players.

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12-13-2011, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cheerupmurray View Post
Hard to tell the difference in quality between Hockeyallsvenskan and Mestis, since few players move between the leagues. However I think the difference is quite big. SEL and FEL is pretty equal, and we have seen loads of players move from Allsvenskan to Elitserien every year and adapt well, I don't think you see the same pattern in Finland. The gap between SM-liiga and Mestis seems much bigger.

Finns in Hockeyallsvenskan have very often been not very remarkable Sm-liiga players before moving over, not mestis-players. Since salaries are much higher in Hockeyallsvenskan theres bound to be a diffence.

I don't think there was a big gap a few years back, while Elitserien have been slightly losing in quality, Allsvenskan is getting better and better every year. Tv-rights to the games bring in some money, the league has gone from 22 teams to 14 (which increases quality), and the good agegroups from swedish juniorhockey has filled this league with young players.
Good post. I agree with you. Hockeyallsvenskan is a really good league. Mestis is a bit poor compared to Allsvenskan. It's very important to have a good 2nd division, obviously Allsvenskan is very good at developing talents, there are a lot of big talents coming from Allsvenskan. Also Mestis is getting better at this.
It's developing swedish and finnish hockey, way more than earlier.

Swedish division.1 is good too, I think teams like Vita Hästen, Björklöven and Karlskrona would do OK in Mestis to be honest. Because they got a "pretty big wallet". Just a thought.


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12-14-2011, 02:38 AM
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Good post. I agree with you. Hockeyallsvenskan is a really good league. Mestis is a bit poor compared to Allsvenskan. It's very important to have a good 2nd division, obviously Allsvenskan is very good at developing talents, there are a lot of big talents coming from Allsvenskan. Also Mestis is getting better at this.
It's developing swedish and finnish hockey, way more than earlier.

Swedish division.1 is good too, I think teams like Vita Hästen, Björklöven and Karlskrona would do OK in Mestis to be honest. Because they got a "pretty big wallet". Just a thought.
How did the period when SM-liiga was closed affect Mestis? I can imagine it wasn't good for the league? Is Mestis getting stronger the past few years now that theres a chance to reach SM-liiga from Mestis?

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12-14-2011, 06:18 AM
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How did the period when SM-liiga was closed affect Mestis? I can imagine it wasn't good for the league? Is Mestis getting stronger the past few years now that theres a chance to reach SM-liiga from Mestis?
In truth the chances to reach SM-liiga from Mestis are slim to none. First, there are only a few teams that have the capacity (money, fanbase, arena) to be accepted in the SM-liiga. Those teams are namely Sport, KooKoo and maybe TuTo and Jokipojat. Those teams operate in market areas that could possibly be adequate to the SM-liiga level.

First, a team needs to win the Mestis championship. Then, it will play a best of 7 series against the last place finisher in SM-liiga. If the mestis team wins, SM-liiga will very carefully research wether the team has the means to have an organization that will do well enough financially in the bigger league. SM-liiga has tight standards that the team needs to pass.

And then, finally, the team itself needs to make massive investments to be able to play at the higher level, in some cases they would need to triple their budget, which would still make them the smallest organisation in the league.

Realisticly, KooKoo and Sport are the only teams that could possibly be capable/willing to make such an investement. And both of those teams worked with a higher budget a few years ago. If i remember correctly Sport has halved its player budget in a few years because of financial issues. So right now SM-liiga is a very closed league. Hopefully the level of Mestis grows in the near future, right now I don't know which way it has been going in the last years.

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12-14-2011, 10:24 AM
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What was the masterplan behind closing the league ?

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12-14-2011, 12:41 PM
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What was the masterplan behind closing the league ?
An amazingly short-sighted idea that if there wasn't the threat of relegation in the last places of the standings for a few years the teams would have enough time to somehow get their financial **** together.

Of course, what it lead to was 1 or 2 teams that falled out of the playoff contention in January had an annual firesale of their most expensive players. Then the fans got pissed off and stopped going to games, since the remaining games were truly irrelevant, because the only thing left to play for was to finish 12th or 13th instead of 14th, and their team had given up by selling all the stars. So whatever money the teams gained and saved from selling those high-priced players, they lost when the attendance also took a nosedive.

Pelicans had to be rescued by the league, a fact of which some fans around the league still haven't forgiven for the Pelicans fans, reminding them every opportunity they get.


Last edited by Qurpiz: 12-14-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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