look at the PIM stats in the EIHL and you know why guys like cairns, belak... are playing there...its the heaviest league in europe
andre payette 159 PIM 18 gp
adam calder 129 PIM 19 gp
john craighead 87 PIM 16 gp
mel angelstad 78 PIM 19 gp
I Wouldn't judge the league by the PIM's. The sad fact is that the refs in the UK are crap.
Many legal hits are called, last Sunday Nichol got a game for a collision behind the net when the other player actually ducked to avoid Nichol.
this sort of thing would never be called anywhere but here. so the PIM's are inflated.
that apart the British public who doesn't really know hockey very well, I mean the public is not as educated as public in CR or Finland, really goes for the physical aspect of the game.
Actually its not just the fans, the media hypes the physical aspect of it. when Cairns arrival was announced the Evening Standard, published a 1/2 page colour picture of Cairns fighting.
That kind of publicity Madonna or Beckham cant buy.
Belak, Cairns, and McKenna are only in the UK because they don't have the skills to compete in Sweden/Finland/Switzerland/Czech Republic/Russia, etc...
I would just like to say about this comment:
All three have skills to compete in any league, however, in Europe it is a matter of
foreign player allowance, and economics.
As a rule the Swiss league wouldn't hire a 7 foot defensemen crushing their prized assets.
the people want to see fast and skilled players, bringing in Cairns neutralizing them is not what the teams want and fans want to see.
Besides if f.ex the Swiss league has a limit of 4 foreigners per team, they already had signed
the 4 players for 1 or more season it is not very economical to dump them and get 4 NHL'rs
who may be here for couple of weeks.
Furthermore Russia or Czech Republic and Finland may not be the sort of places guys want to go. Actually a 3 month stint in Kazan, Omsk or Salavat would be a sort educational trip any
person ought to do if one is unhappy about their life.
These places stink and I don't mean metaphorically