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Champions style league

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Old
11-15-2012, 12:52 AM
  #51
Mory Schneideur*
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I don't know about you guys, but I would watch a Champions League as closely as I do the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I'm really interested in other leagues but it's hard to get info or broadcasts in the US. If the Champions League was done right, the presentation could be spectacular and on par with the playoffs or Winter Classic. Getting to see the history behind the teams and the leagues they represent before & during matches would be great!

Like I said before, even if the NHL teams wouldn't ice their A squads, it would be cool to see a team of 3rd & 4th liners along with prospects representing the team. That within itself would be a fresh view and also lens itself to give fans a preview of young players in the system. Besides that, think how cool it would be of your team's B squad made a run in the Champ's League or even won it all! It would be really exciting!

Why the NHL, KHL & IIHF don't do a Champions League already is mind boggling to me.

Edit: I'm a Devils fan & I would watch the team even if they iced a bunch of scrubs. I'm a fan of the team first & who the team represents, so watching any form of the team would be exciting.

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11-15-2012, 11:29 AM
  #52
Thesensation19
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Originally Posted by garbageteam View Post
I'm fine with IIHF's yearly WHC. I just count them as friendlies like in soccer as the real song and dance is the Olympics, just like the Fifa WC (note I am NOT discrediting any team that does well in it - they deserve the respect and IIHF points, just crowning a champion yearly for a national team is kind of silly). The hockey national teams rarely ever play each other outside of the WHC so it's good to get a sense of where things are at annually. Even with the annual tournament I think national teams in soccer still play more games than hockey.

If that KHL 64 team megaleague ever takes off, we might have a shot for a Champions league tournament. In all honesty the BEST you can realistically hope for is for it to be like the FIFA Club World Cup if you want the NHL involved... they are too stuck in their North American centric world view. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_FIFA_Club_World_Cup

Club World Cup could get one champion from each of the following groups:

NHL
KHL
SM-liiga champion
Extraliga
Elitserien
Play-in spot (Challenged between Swiss, German, Latvian, etc. leagues)


SM-liiga champ would play Elitserien champ, Extraliga champ to play the play-in spot (could be drawn randomly every tournament). Winner of these two games would then challenge one of the NHL or KHL champions depending on a draw. Final to be played between the last standing two teams. Get rid of the third place match.

That's really the only way to happen. You're not gonna get the NHL champions to commit to playing more than one or two games out of season after a grueling 82 game regular season, plus 20+ game postseason.
Friendlies? Thats stupid. I am tired of people dismissing good hockey especially the WC. Professionals and great athletes play in these tournaments and it is a huge value to rate countries on a yearly basis. I love watching it, a friendly is when both teams have nothing to win. In hockey, ESPECIALLY a World Championship, there is always something to win. Maybe if the US cared more about it we would actually have a stronger nation like Canada and Russia.

I do like the idea of every countries previous champion playing a round robin tournament. Each team plays every other team once or twice and then the top 2 standings get to play one final game

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11-15-2012, 11:33 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Johnyrocket View Post
I don't know about you guys, but I would watch a Champions League as closely as I do the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I'm really interested in other leagues but it's hard to get info or broadcasts in the US. If the Champions League was done right, the presentation could be spectacular and on par with the playoffs or Winter Classic. Getting to see the history behind the teams and the leagues they represent before & during matches would be great!

Like I said before, even if the NHL teams wouldn't ice their A squads, it would be cool to see a team of 3rd & 4th liners along with prospects representing the team. That within itself would be a fresh view and also lens itself to give fans a preview of young players in the system. Besides that, think how cool it would be of your team's B squad made a run in the Champ's League or even won it all! It would be really exciting!

Why the NHL, KHL & IIHF don't do a Champions League already is mind boggling to me.

Edit: I'm a Devils fan & I would watch the team even if they iced a bunch of scrubs. I'm a fan of the team first & who the team represents, so watching any form of the team would be exciting.
This is actually a bad thing that the NHL does not even do. They have a hard time devoting time to talk about the match up, the team the history. They do a short stint about previous games, they spread some info that barely catches you attention but look at the NBA NFL and MLB. They detailed time and focus in properly getting exciting info to the viewers.

When ESPN covered KHL games, it was a disaster. They dismissed every block shot as an accident, they acted like they dont hit... but there was plenty i saw. They laughed at every name and they even admitted to not knowing a THING about the KHL or its teams.

Coverage of the sport in America is Horrid. And this on all levels needs to be fixed... This is why ESPN did not win the NHL contract. They wanted us for what we became, not what they saw our potential to be

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11-15-2012, 11:35 AM
  #54
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As a Devils fan... would you watch a Champions League tournament even if the Devils do not participate. Honestly I think the best teams to represent America *(if we use 4 NHL teams, 2 US and 2 Canadian) would have to be any of the following...

1) Detroit- Hockeytown..
2) Boston... North East is truly hockey mecca in USA
3) New York Rangers- Exciting young team that proves that when there good, NHL ratings go up. 94 and 2012.
4) Minnesota Wild- Hockey state
5) LA Kings- NHL champions

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11-15-2012, 11:37 AM
  #55
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A world cup of the worlds hockey champions would be best. As much as I would like to see a Champions League, I think A world Cup would be easier.

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11-15-2012, 11:53 AM
  #56
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This wont make sense until we have at least ten good professional leagues. And they should be pretty evenly matched also if this tournament would make sense.

Now we have NHL -> KHL ---> Elitserien/SM-liiga/NLA/Extraliga/DEL--> Slovakia/Austria--> Etc...

Long story short: Too much parity. NHL is the Champions League of Hockey already, and KHL is the UEFA Cup, if you will.

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11-15-2012, 01:26 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Eidyia View Post
This wont make sense until we have at least ten good professional leagues. And they should be pretty evenly matched also if this tournament would make sense.

Now we have NHL -> KHL ---> Elitserien/SM-liiga/NLA/Extraliga/DEL--> Slovakia/Austria--> Etc...

Long story short: Too much parity. NHL is the Champions League of Hockey already, and KHL is the UEFA Cup, if you will.

This is way toooo close minded. As I said ZSC beat Metallurg AND Chicago. And both played with their best lineup (e.g. Kane played). Minor Teams will always be motivated as hell when playing against NHL / KHL team.
So you could say champions football league is ridiculous since only clubs from England, Germany or Spain and perhaps Italy are even able to win the competition, bad leagues like Switzerland, Belgium, Greece etc. shouldn't be allowed.
But in reality their part of the game, their the ones that make groupstage interesting. They're never underestimating the big clubs which is why they sometimes kick out favourites.

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11-15-2012, 01:37 PM
  #58
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This is way toooo close minded. As I said ZSC beat Metallurg AND Chicago. And both played with their best lineup (e.g. Kane played). Minor Teams will always be motivated as hell when playing against NHL / KHL team.
So you could say champions football league is ridiculous since only clubs from England, Germany or Spain and perhaps Italy are even able to win the competition, bad leagues like Switzerland, Belgium, Greece etc. shouldn't be allowed.
But in reality their part of the game, their the ones that make groupstage interesting. They're never underestimating the big clubs which is why they sometimes kick out favourites.
But in football we've got 20+ pro leagues in Europe alone. And the prize money is something to worth playing for.

I see your point but still those are marketing games for NHL-teams in their pre-season. What did they had to play against Zurich and Metallurg? Not to get injured.

And I prefer European hockey to NHL but I just don't see it happening, at least not as a transatlantic tournament.


Last edited by Eidyia: 11-15-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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11-15-2012, 01:40 PM
  #59
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double post.

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11-15-2012, 01:43 PM
  #60
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In Europe there are at least 7 professional leagues (SM liiga, Eliteserien, NLA, EBEL, Extraliga, DEL, [KHL], Slovakian league). Make it a bit smaller, you don't need endless qualifiers and a main round with 32 teams. Make it like 16 teams and only one qualifying round.

Ofcourse, I won't lie to myself, Chicago didn't play their best hockey but still they are a team that should beat ZSC even in second gear. Metallurg had a motivation, there was a prizemony of 1,6 Mio Dollars, but they lost anyway.


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11-15-2012, 01:55 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by NicoSB View Post
In Europe there are at least 7 professional leagues (SM liiga, Eliteserien, NLA, EBEL, Extraliga, DEL, [KHL], Slovakian league). Make it a bit smaller, you don't need endless qualifiers and a main round with 32 teams. Make it like 16 teams and only one qualifying round.

Ofcourse, I won't lie to myself, Chicago didn't play their best hockey but still if they are a team that should beat ZSC even in second gear. Metallurg had a motivation, there was a prizemony of 1,6 Mio Dollars, but they lost anyway.
And we've had and are still having tournaments between the teams from these leagues. It just seems that the teams and the audience doesn't really care...

That has been the problem with the "Champions League in Hockey" since the 90's, people only care about the local champions.

Only way to make it more valued in the eyes of the teams and the spectators is to make to make it more profitable. Now teams see it as a nuisance (like Euro Cup for bigger teams in European football).

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11-16-2012, 08:51 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Eidyia View Post
This wont make sense until we have at least ten good professional leagues. And they should be pretty evenly matched also if this tournament would make sense.

Now we have NHL -> KHL ---> Elitserien/SM-liiga/NLA/Extraliga/DEL--> Slovakia/Austria--> Etc...

Long story short: Too much parity. NHL is the Champions League of Hockey already, and KHL is the UEFA Cup, if you will.
In a way your right... the NHL is the elite league where 95% of the best players in the world want to play. Its the most watched, most tracked and most exciting hockey there is. The playoffs are the legit version of champions league where every player wishes to be a part of whether they stink or are the best.

But it does not matter,
the NHL says its the best. The fans believe they are truly the best. They have many rights to believe so. But now its time to back it up! The Europeans have grown a lot over the last 10 years and they have to start showing their worth as well.

I want to see some NHL clubs play against some other Europeans in more meaningful games.

If you choose 4 NHL teams and then Europe's best 12 teams... maybe 6 of those teams cannot compete. Maybe. But I believe 6 of those teams could make some crazy upsets

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11-16-2012, 08:54 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Eidyia View Post
This wont make sense until we have at least ten good professional leagues. And they should be pretty evenly matched also if this tournament would make sense.

Now we have NHL -> KHL ---> Elitserien/SM-liiga/NLA/Extraliga/DEL--> Slovakia/Austria--> Etc...

Long story short: Too much parity. NHL is the Champions League of Hockey already, and KHL is the UEFA Cup, if you will.
The Champions league does not have to make sense only if there are 10 good leagues in Europe. The Champions League should be created to inspire other countries to join the hockey world.

Right now you have
NHL
KHL
Sweden
Finland
Czech

Right there you can have a pretty good tournament

Then you can add in more teams from Germany and Slovakia and Austria.

Add in a wildcard team, a French team shocked the world by winning a European tournament last year. I know its not the best Euro tournament but still... a french team.

You can easily make a 16 team league... 4 groups, each group holds an NHL and a KHL team. The other 2 teams are random order of rankings and lottery. I see a vision for this and it is beautiful.

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11-16-2012, 09:05 AM
  #64
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What about Switzerland? :<

But you can have a good tourney with Austria, Slovakia, Germany added, too. They wouldn't get blown away easily.

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11-16-2012, 09:07 AM
  #65
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But in football we've got 20+ pro leagues in Europe alone. And the prize money is something to worth playing for.

I see your point but still those are marketing games for NHL-teams in their pre-season. What did they had to play against Zurich and Metallurg? Not to get injured.

And I prefer European hockey to NHL but I just don't see it happening, at least not as a transatlantic tournament.
Wrong. The Victoria Cup where Zurich beat Chicago and Metallburg lost to the NY Rangers were serious games and not meant for just some marketing scheme.

A IIHF representative from Switzerland believed in making his own championship game. One playoff worthy team from the NHL vs the European Champions from the year before. An amazing game. The Winner would win prize money, each player would win 40,000 franks. It may not be the millions the NHL is use to, but 40,000 franks is ALOT of dough that no player is ready to just give someone.

I am sure it was not your typical NHL stanley cup playoff aggressiveness but it was both an exciting game each team wanted to win. This was not the European tour they do every year that is meant for european marketing. This was a championship they played for. The NHL Stanley Cup winning team of the Blackhawks lost to European champions.


So thats how you get it started... You need investors. You need to promote the NHL and make sure they know they will receive some kind of $$ for playing and more money for winning.

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11-16-2012, 09:16 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by NicoSB View Post
In Europe there are at least 7 professional leagues (SM liiga, Eliteserien, NLA, EBEL, Extraliga, DEL, [KHL], Slovakian league). Make it a bit smaller, you don't need endless qualifiers and a main round with 32 teams. Make it like 16 teams and only one qualifying round.

Ofcourse, I won't lie to myself, Chicago didn't play their best hockey but still they are a team that should beat ZSC even in second gear. Metallurg had a motivation, there was a prizemony of 1,6 Mio Dollars, but they lost anyway.
I am pretty sure that both tournaments involved the winning team and the winning players prize money.

I am watching highlights now of the Chicago game and I watched the NY Ranger game live. There was not one instant that I thought the Rangers or Chicago was Half *** on in the game. They played hockey the way they knew how to play. There was hard fought goals, celebrations from both sides after each goal as though they scored a playoff goal, there were penalties and hits and it was a game for a trophy and prize money.

They played to win, both teams and only one NHL team came out on top. The other lost, but managed to win the Stanley Cup later that year.



The best champions league to start off with would be a 16 team league. 4 NHL teams. 4 KHL teams. 4 Groups with one NHL team in each. Each group plays each other member of the group once... top two teams come out on top and go to bracket.

One game winner. Makes it exciting and allows for more upsets.

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11-16-2012, 09:24 AM
  #67
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I wonder why a Champions League in Europe has always been a problem?

The late 90s to the early 2000s showed a decline in hockey around the world.

Heck, even the NHL showed a crazy drop in ratings.

The Soviet government crashed and so did its beloved sports. Sports in Russia had to start over with no proper organization and no money.

The NHL and the Russian leagues suffered and hockey on a whole dropped. Croatia had no hockey team I ever heard about or could find online. Czech and Slovakia split apart and had to start leagues from basically nothing but in a worse situation than Russia.

There was no FUNDS and no interest in spending money for an expensive sport!

Yet look what has happened in the last 5-10 years.

The NHLs ratings have skyrocketed. The Winter Classic and the new rules brought excitement back to the game (as well as its players). NHL playoffs were on the rise again and records for TV views were broken.

The Russian Super League was reinvented to become the KHL where it finally has some real organization and real investors and real owners. They finally have legitimate owners who can pay proper wages and keep a team in the league. Farm teams for all KHL teams were created and even the 2nd tier league in Russia has gained much support. Its those Russian billionairs who are seeing a time to make money in hockey rather than lose it. And because the KHL promises growth, many teams all over Europe are buying in. Heck! The Croatian team might go play in there and they even inspired the Italian Hockey team of Milan to be promoted and attempt to join the KHL

Hockey in Russian and America have grown and so hockey in the world has grown. Technology has allowed for more efficient and cheaper ways of owning teams and building rinks and facilities. Asia hockey league has grown in the last 10 years to actual noticed numbers. Czech and Slovakia are growing because of it all. Croatia now has a real team that is ranked #12 in popularity in Europe.

And hockey will only grow from here...

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11-16-2012, 09:36 AM
  #68
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What about Switzerland? :<

But you can have a good tourney with Austria, Slovakia, Germany added, too. They wouldn't get blown away easily.
calm yourself... I forgot them. I wasnt dismissing them. Wow, people get uptight. I was just listing anything that popped off my head... There are other leagues too!

And is that sarcasm on the bottom? No, I believe that Austria can send one or two teams that will compete fairly. Germany also has 2-3 teams. Slovakia has about 2-3 as well. And yes the Swiss have about 3-4.

If i created this tournament I would have


3 NHL (At least one playoff team, 1 east and 1 west. 2 Canadians and 1 USA)
3 KHL (Champion, 1 team from the east and 1 team from the west)

2 Swe (Champion, and playoff team)
2 Swiss (Champion and playoff team)
1 Fin (Champion)
1 Czech (Champion)
1 Aus (Champion)
1 Ger (Champion)

Wildcard--- Any other team away from the KHL, in Europe can go through a qualifying tournament to be the last two teams in the Champions league. Wildcard teams that wish to join must be a playoff team in their respective leagues within the top 10 ranked leagues or a runner up/champion in a previous European tournament of this or previous year

4 Groups... Each group hosted by 3 NHL teams and 1 KHL team (Champions)
Each group will have to play each team in that group once. Win, Tie, Loss. The two best record team will then go into a knockout bracket style tournament.

One game knockout to allow for more excitement and better possible upsets.
The bracket will be set up where the winners of each group will take on the 2nd winners of another group depending on record.

There will be a 3rd place game of the two losers in the semi finals. And a Championship game played. The NHL can host both these games.

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11-16-2012, 10:06 AM
  #69
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Ouh sorry, I wasn t offended at all. I knew you wouldn't put Austria over Switzerland on purpose.

However it was no sarcasm. EBEL is as far as I can judge developping well. They are improving from season to season. Germany is ofcourse able to compete with Europe's best teams, although they don't present themself badly at Spengler Cup.

I like your ideas but to be honest I'd rate SM-Liiga higher than NLA
So switch those and I'm in.

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11-16-2012, 01:00 PM
  #70
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Ouh sorry, I wasn t offended at all. I knew you wouldn't put Austria over Switzerland on purpose.

However it was no sarcasm. EBEL is as far as I can judge developping well. They are improving from season to season. Germany is ofcourse able to compete with Europe's best teams, although they don't present themself badly at Spengler Cup.

I like your ideas but to be honest I'd rate SM-Liiga higher than NLA
So switch those and I'm in.
I never hear much about Finnish League. From my research, NLA has larger teams and its the central location of most IIHF neutral events including its home base. So maybe your right but idk... this is something the IIHF will have to discuss.

I really like the idea of a Champions League like the World Cup of clubs.
Where the champions of the top 8 leagues in the world take on each other. Either in bracket form or round robin. The top two teams face each other in a champion max

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11-16-2012, 04:13 PM
  #71
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As a Devils fan... would you watch a Champions League tournament even if the Devils do not participate. Honestly I think the best teams to represent America *(if we use 4 NHL teams, 2 US and 2 Canadian) would have to be any of the following...

1) Detroit- Hockeytown..
2) Boston... North East is truly hockey mecca in USA
3) New York Rangers- Exciting young team that proves that when there good, NHL ratings go up. 94 and 2012.
4) Minnesota Wild- Hockey state
5) LA Kings- NHL champions
No way. The NHL teams chosen should be teams that deserve to be there. I would send 2-4 of the ECF/WCF finalists, and then throw in a Canadian team or two. Even any team that made the playoff would be better than choosing based on markets or other non-factors.

The idea of a champions league is to put the best against the best, not a popularity contest.

If there were a Champions League, I would probably choose LA & NJ (both finalists), then NYR or Phx & the top Canadian team according to playoffs/standings (don't remember who it is).

And of course I would watch if the Devils didn't play. I watch the Winter Classic & SCF like its a religion every year.

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11-16-2012, 04:24 PM
  #72
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This is actually a bad thing that the NHL does not even do. They have a hard time devoting time to talk about the match up, the team the history. They do a short stint about previous games, they spread some info that barely catches you attention but look at the NBA NFL and MLB. They detailed time and focus in properly getting exciting info to the viewers.

When ESPN covered KHL games, it was a disaster. They dismissed every block shot as an accident, they acted like they dont hit... but there was plenty i saw. They laughed at every name and they even admitted to not knowing a THING about the KHL or its teams.

Coverage of the sport in America is Horrid. And this on all levels needs to be fixed... This is why ESPN did not win the NHL contract. They wanted us for what we became, not what they saw our potential to be
It would be awesome if the NHL had NFL-like coverage and hype behind each game. I guess its because too many games and 60 minutes of play vs 11 minutes for NFL.

If the NHL was able to create the Winter Classic out of thin air and less than 5 years later make it look like a timeless tradition, they would be able to do the same with a Champions League and a World Cup. The European teams & leagues have a very rich history with some teams dating back to the early 1900s or 1800s. It would be easy to dig into the history of the clubs, show national and club rivalries, history of the towns & countries, etc. Its all about perspective & marketing and how the NHL in cooperation with other leagues portray it.

I think the main concern is that the NHL would have to accept the fact that the World Cup & Champions League would be nearly on par with the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Participating in such events would only grow the popularity of the sport and the NHL, so there is nothing to lose.

Now as for the logistics and specifics, we could argue how many teams, what prize money and about the structure til we are all blue in the face but there is no point. Its almost a fact that a World Cup and a Champions League is the next logical step for hockey & the NHL, IIHF, KHL and other leagues have to face the facts and just accept it that it will eventually happen.

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11-17-2012, 03:17 PM
  #73
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In a way your right... the NHL is the elite league where 95% of the best players in the world want to play. Its the most watched, most tracked and most exciting hockey there is.
And as long this is the case the transatlantic tournament wont make any sense.

I'm all for the European champions cup where the best from KHL, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Czech...etc face each others. But it has to be better funded and organized than the current Euro Trophy. It's sad that its seen as a practice tournament for most of the teams at the moment.

And it seems that the Russians want to make a continental league of their own so maybe that's the answer then... And if and when they're the only ones with sufficient funds to fund such a league/tournament maybe we should just go with it...

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11-21-2012, 12:55 PM
  #74
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calm yourself... I forgot them. I wasnt dismissing them. Wow, people get uptight. I was just listing anything that popped off my head... There are other leagues too!

And is that sarcasm on the bottom? No, I believe that Austria can send one or two teams that will compete fairly. Germany also has 2-3 teams. Slovakia has about 2-3 as well. And yes the Swiss have about 3-4.

If i created this tournament I would have


3 NHL (At least one playoff team, 1 east and 1 west. 2 Canadians and 1 USA)
3 KHL (Champion, 1 team from the east and 1 team from the west)

2 Swe (Champion, and playoff team)
2 Swiss (Champion and playoff team)
1 Fin (Champion)
1 Czech (Champion)
1 Aus (Champion)
1 Ger (Champion)

Wildcard--- Any other team away from the KHL, in Europe can go through a qualifying tournament to be the last two teams in the Champions league. Wildcard teams that wish to join must be a playoff team in their respective leagues within the top 10 ranked leagues or a runner up/champion in a previous European tournament of this or previous year

4 Groups... Each group hosted by 3 NHL teams and 1 KHL team (Champions)
Each group will have to play each team in that group once. Win, Tie, Loss. The two best record team will then go into a knockout bracket style tournament.

One game knockout to allow for more excitement and better possible upsets.
The bracket will be set up where the winners of each group will take on the 2nd winners of another group depending on record.

There will be a 3rd place game of the two losers in the semi finals. And a Championship game played. The NHL can host both these games.
I like the idea, but it's too many games/teams to be feasible IMO. In an ideal world, sure, but I think it would be a MONUMENTAL leap to convince just the Stanley Cup champion... or hell, if they are too tired to play, even the President's Trophy winner to come and play a meaningful championship game after a minimum of 86 (PT winner) or 98 (SC winner) games played over the season. If you're throwing neither the Cup champion or even the President's Trophy winner in the ring then it's bollocks, you might as well put the Columbus Blue Jackets out there. If you can convince them to play two more games I think it would be a massive victory for hockey globally.

I'm not trying to be North American centric here. This is the reality, the NHL sees itself as the world's best without playing a tournament already. Unless the rest of Europe bends over backwards to accommodate them it is unlikely we would see them as willing participants...or they get a huge cash prize for winning. Europe could of course have a Champions League without the NHL teams as a starting point/first step.

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11-30-2012, 03:06 AM
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stv11
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I moved all the discussion about Medvescak in this new thread:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1299617

Please keep this one on topic.

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