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Hockey in Britain part 3

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Old
12-17-2013, 02:58 PM
  #376
Propane Nightmares
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The EIHL is a necessary evil at the moment, it brings in the fans. They really should go back to an import limit of 10 though. The excuse for putting it up to 11 was because "top Brits" had gone abroad, but now they're all back except for O'Connor.

The best thing would be for the league to expand. Add a couple of new teams and there's room for more British players without people crying about import limits being stricter and standard being lower.

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12-17-2013, 04:44 PM
  #377
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I talked with your federation's general secretary Andy French during the Division 1 WC in Hungary last April and I wrote an article about British hockey for one Finnish hockey magazine based on that interview. One thing he pointed out regarding the success of British national team was that the Elite league doesn't stop during international brakes so the national team can't play any exhibition games.

Are there any signs that this could change? He said it's a professional league and that's why they don't want to have brakes when there should be international games.

Then we might avoid these situations with the national teams. Perfect timing

Do you have suitable teams for expanding the league as I've understood that during last few years some teams have folded due to money issues?


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12-17-2013, 04:48 PM
  #378
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The EIHL is a necessary evil at the moment, it brings in the fans. They really should go back to an import limit of 10 though. The excuse for putting it up to 11 was because "top Brits" had gone abroad, but now they're all back except for O'Connor.

The best thing would be for the league to expand. Add a couple of new teams and there's room for more British players without people crying about import limits being stricter and standard being lower.
Well the difference between GB and the rest of Europe is that the junior teams are an extension of the top league. They poor the money into the grassroots so they can develop future players. In GB, EIHL doesn't care about developing players because they know they're going to buy wins via imports. Expansion might help 4 Brits get EIHL roster spots but long term it doesn't help a thing.

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12-17-2013, 04:56 PM
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They are talking about a London team to play in Wembley Arena, but that won't be until at least 2015.

Telford Tigers also have a new sugar daddy owner with big plans who has been pumping cash into the club, so he might want to make the step up in a few years time.

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12-17-2013, 05:03 PM
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Plus the national team playing some exhibition games wouldn't make much of a difference, yes relegation would have been avoided and they might get a few more wins but the reality is GB simply does not have the talent to be able to beat the likes of Austria and Slovenia to get promotion to the top pool.

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12-17-2013, 05:22 PM
  #381
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I heard KHL might not be able to move forward on their European take over plans because they'll be blocked from operating in "X" number of countries at once. I still think a KHL team in London would be the best thing that could happen to GB Ice hockey.

As for EIHL, I don't know how much incentive there is to move up for already established EPIHL teams. I mean teams like Guildford or Manchester aren't going to get bigger followings simply because they're in EIHL. If anything the only change they'll see is that their costs would increase and because they'd be new to EIHL, they'd have to spend a lot of money rebuilding their roster.

I just see EIHL as a big **** block for the growth of hockey in GB. It's thanks to the EIHL that we see the inferiority complex we see among GB hockey fans, players, and team management. You don't grow the game in your country by loading your top league with players who failed in North America and it's a waste of time & money IMO.

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12-17-2013, 07:12 PM
  #382
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Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
The EIHL is a necessary evil at the moment, it brings in the fans. They really should go back to an import limit of 10 though. The excuse for putting it up to 11 was because "top Brits" had gone abroad, but now they're all back except for O'Connor.

The best thing would be for the league to expand. Add a couple of new teams and there's room for more British players without people crying about import limits being stricter and standard being lower.
The best thing to happen would be for Nottingham, Sheffield, Belfast, Braehead and one other (maybe Wembley if they ever come to pass) to move into a Western European League with teams from France, Italy and Holland. The league splits into conferences so the British teams would play each other twice home and away, and play the teams in the other conferences once home and away. Get the very best Brits playing with the best imports in a higher standard competition.

Then the likes of Fife, Hull, etc can drop back into a sustainable level of competition against Guildford, Manchester, etc. They can't compete with the bigger clubs and never will be able to, the whole sport would be better served by them playing at an appropriate level.

Focus on development pathways so the best kids can step from juniors into seniors in the domestic comp and once they've established themselves there then progress to the big league. Better that than sign for an EIHL team when they're not ready for it and sit on the bench learning nothing.

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12-18-2013, 01:15 AM
  #383
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Taking our discussion over from U20 WJC (D1B) discussion thread and the under 20 league system.

Getting more players playing at a young age is still the key in a sport that lets face it, well it isn't a go to sport for parents, it's just not in peoples thinking.

As a starting point, I still think they are missing a trick especially in London, these temporary xmas skating rinks, perfect for a bit of North american style pond hockey, just get use of them to play a few kids games in the day. You might not see any extra numbers straight away but year on year it's getting into peoples interests. Canary wharf, both westfields, tower of london, Somerset house to name a but a few.

The under 20 league idea of an under 20 team in a region servicing different clubs is a good idea. Just the funding side and cooperation between different teams being the stumbling blocks, but not a full obstruction.

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12-18-2013, 01:24 AM
  #384
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Originally Posted by Adam Tilander View Post
I heard KHL might not be able to move forward on their European take over plans because they'll be blocked from operating in "X" number of countries at once. I still think a KHL team in London would be the best thing that could happen to GB Ice hockey.

As for EIHL, I don't know how much incentive there is to move up for already established EPIHL teams. I mean teams like Guildford or Manchester aren't going to get bigger followings simply because they're in EIHL. If anything the only change they'll see is that their costs would increase and because they'd be new to EIHL, they'd have to spend a lot of money rebuilding their roster.

I just see EIHL as a big **** block for the growth of hockey in GB. It's thanks to the EIHL that we see the inferiority complex we see among GB hockey fans, players, and team management. You don't grow the game in your country by loading your top league with players who failed in North America and it's a waste of time & money IMO.
I'll probably be shot down for this, but hey you don't change things with just going by the majority.
The KHL is an option, I think London would be well supported due to at least the high number of Eastern European background who would immediately be interested in a russian driven league.

But I had an idea a while ago, which basically I stole from another sport and then amended. The KHL wants to conquer the whole of Europe, why go for 1 team when we could go for 3. Basically a northern (Scots), West (wales and the black country) and South East. They could even have a blue kit, a red kit and a white kit. The rosters would be made up of basically drafting players from those areas to supplement the roster. Would a team called Cardiff, London, Glasgow/Edin get huge support in the KHL, probably not huge, if people saw basically as countries, probably a lot more.

Just pinched from Holland, Scotland and Ireland playing in our domestic T20 cricket competitions in the past to develop them.

The clay pigeon is up, shoot it down.

Bri

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12-18-2013, 05:50 AM
  #385
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I'll probably be shot down for this, but hey you don't change things with just going by the majority.
The KHL is an option, I think London would be well supported due to at least the high number of Eastern European background who would immediately be interested in a russian driven league.

But I had an idea a while ago, which basically I stole from another sport and then amended. The KHL wants to conquer the whole of Europe, why go for 1 team when we could go for 3. Basically a northern (Scots), West (wales and the black country) and South East. They could even have a blue kit, a red kit and a white kit. The rosters would be made up of basically drafting players from those areas to supplement the roster. Would a team called Cardiff, London, Glasgow/Edin get huge support in the KHL, probably not huge, if people saw basically as countries, probably a lot more.

Just pinched from Holland, Scotland and Ireland playing in our domestic T20 cricket competitions in the past to develop them.

The clay pigeon is up, shoot it down.

Bri
I think you are getting way ahead of yourself. The idea of more than 1 KHL team is a long way away, all the other countries outside Russia in the KHL still only have 1. Lets get 1 first before we get more. London would be the first choice no doubt and if we do get a 2nd one it would be in an already established large hockey market like Nottingham or Belfast.

"Drafting players" what? We've barely got any imports in the EIHL good enough for the KHL let alone local players. For the first few years they would have to do what Zagreb did and fill in with some dual nationals for the time being before guys are ready to step up. At the same time there would be a junior MHL team funded by the KHL, it would be perfect and the top juniors could play for that team.

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12-18-2013, 08:49 AM
  #386
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You build sports from the bottom up. Trying to skip levels and build from the top doesn't work.

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12-18-2013, 09:10 AM
  #387
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Getting a KHL team is not a bad thing though is it

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12-18-2013, 12:24 PM
  #388
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The drafting only refers to getting a few locals in each squad, nothing more. Need to have a few, hate to say it, but token locals to get in touch with the community and garner extra sit on the fence interest.

And getting 3 franchises, that is a 10 to 15 year away plan, but you need a plan, set targets to measure against. Why not set some big targets.

Building from the bottom up. That is true with any sport but I would class hockey as a bit of a paradox. It's an exciting sport with the potential, massive potential to grow. But we all know it's expensive and out of the physche.

We could all sit on here and state was it fundamentally wrong, it's obvious, but we could have the same conversation in 5 years, in 10 years, in 15 years. Nothing would change.
If the sport received limited funding and the lower age groups improved, we still wouldn't be a top tier nation in 10 years or 20 years, it wouldn't attract extra revenue and would still struggle. That's why it's a paradox outside of cricket, football and rugby, they can all generate money, not masses in some areas, but enough of the cake exists for people to pursue. It kind of needs the flagship somewhere at the top to push it, and nationally, well Stevie G has more chance of winning the world cup.

KHL franchise, well hey it's a gimmick, but if you had one, if you used support, if you get interest, you can go out and get investment. People invest in what they think will ultimately make them money. Not normally by profits, but by increase in share value and dividends. If I had money to spare, it would be a hard sell for someone to get me to invest in Ice hockey in britain, if there was a buzz, a KHL franchise, a chance for me to make money, I would invest in the youth, looking for future NHL players to get rich off of. It's the sad way of the world, we aren't going to get lottery funding of any significance so private funding has to be the target.

I honestly think, yeah, why not get everyone's ideas together and get it out there, start trying to garner interest. We could write a 100 page presentation on the future of the sport and plans for it. If 99 pages get ripped up, 1 gets read and it leads to an idea, well then it's worth it.

I look at it as, what would get more people interested, which ultimately will lead to new enrolments of players over generations and new fans. And btw there are some cracking ideas that have been posted on here and cracking comments thrown about.

Brian

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12-18-2013, 12:41 PM
  #389
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Btw just passionate with grand ideas, I understand there are people who do a lot of work with youth levels etc.... and my ideas are in no way meant to take away from the work they do.
Just think post olympics, a whole nation has been opened up to sports which are non football (based on peoples habits and attendances of rugby, handball, basketball at copperbox, hockey, netball etc....) and this might be a limited period for the game to grow on the crest of a wave.

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12-18-2013, 06:59 PM
  #390
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A London team hasn't worked and won't work. This is an area that's failed to sustain the Knights and the Racers and has little local rivalries to speak of. The majority of the league are in Northern England, that's where the fans are.

If you're going with an English KHL representative, you take the Panthers.

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12-18-2013, 07:17 PM
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A London team hasn't worked and won't work. This is an area that's failed to sustain the Knights and the Racers and has little local rivalries to speak of. The majority of the league are in Northern England, that's where the fans are.

If you're going with an English KHL representative, you take the Panthers.
The London teams didn't work because the marketing was terrible and they were playing in locations that were too inaccessible.

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12-19-2013, 02:39 PM
  #392
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If you're going with an English KHL representative, you take the Panthers.
Correct, but I doubt the KHL would consider Nottingham as good a 'sell' from a business/sponsorship standpoint as London. Given how London-centric this country's self-perception is internally it can only be the same or worse from the outside looking in.

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12-19-2013, 04:10 PM
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Correct, but I doubt the KHL would consider Nottingham as good a 'sell' from a business/sponsorship standpoint as London. Given how London-centric this country's self-perception is internally it can only be the same or worse from the outside looking in.
It's definitely worse

Most foreigners have never heard of Nottingham, and would struggle to name a city that isn't London or Manchester unless they like football

London is this countries' entire identity.

It's funny you bring this up, earlier I was reading an article on BBC news about Vince Cable's views on this very topic.


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12-19-2013, 06:00 PM
  #394
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Correct, but I doubt the KHL would consider Nottingham as good a 'sell' from a business/sponsorship standpoint as London. Given how London-centric this country's self-perception is internally it can only be the same or worse from the outside looking in.
That is true that that would be a huge factor. Winnipeg Jets fans know how important corporate sponsorship is

That would also would play a role in recruitment. Like you said, easier to sell London.

Another factor could be the rinks. I don't know if there's a rink outside of London that could support a KHL franchise, is there? I doubt a KHL owner would build a facility in an unproven market.

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12-19-2013, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
It's definitely worse

Most foreigners have never heard of Nottingham, and would struggle to name a city that isn't London or Manchester unless they like football

London is this countries' entire identity.

It's funny you bring this up, earlier I was reading an article on BBC news about Vince Cable's views on this very topic.
London isn't the entire identity. It comprises much of the foreign perception of UK identity (even then, the stereotypes lead further out), but it certainly isn't the countries entire identity.

Why the KHL would wish to invest in a UK franchise i do not know (absurd, to me), but assuming they did, is the market really there? A hockey team playing in a Russian/Eastern European league doesn't scream marketing pennetration. Does it increase player participation? Does it really increase sport pennetration within the media? Does it really bring many new fans to the game? Does it really develop infrastructure of the sport in a way that lends itself to long-term growth? How long would Russian money be available? The KHL has a finite amount of available slots and many possible expansion options, both internally and externally (with a more interesting and logical Asian market next to it). When Sweden, Germany, Asia etc come knocking?

People tend to look at this type of idea in far too simplistic a way. The only market in the KHL similar to the UK is Croatia, but that organisation has a much larger domestic following pre-KHL than anything in the UK.

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12-19-2013, 09:06 PM
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London isn't the entire identity. It comprises much of the foreign perception of UK identity (even then, the stereotypes lead further out), but it certainly isn't the countries entire identity.

Why the KHL would wish to invest in a UK franchise i do not know (absurd, to me), but assuming they did, is the market really there? A hockey team playing in a Russian/Eastern European league doesn't scream marketing pennetration. Does it increase player participation? Does it really increase sport pennetration within the media? Does it really bring many new fans to the game? Does it really develop infrastructure of the sport in a way that lends itself to long-term growth? How long would Russian money be available? The KHL has a finite amount of available slots and many possible expansion options, both internally and externally (with a more interesting and logical Asian market next to it). When Sweden, Germany, Asia etc come knocking?

People tend to look at this type of idea in far too simplistic a way. The only market in the KHL similar to the UK is Croatia, but that organisation has a much larger domestic following pre-KHL than anything in the UK.
What about Milan? You know the team that the KHL partnered with a few years after their team disbanded, helped them get back to the top of Italy, and are helping them prepare to get that team ready to play in the KHL as early as next season (I think it may take 1 more year).

KHL has said numerous times that they want to have teams all over Europe so if an owner steps up with the means, then the KHL will do their part I'm sure.

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12-19-2013, 09:21 PM
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What about Milan? You know the team that the KHL partnered with a few years after their team disbanded, helped them get back to the top of Italy, and are helping them prepare to get that team ready to play in the KHL as early as next season (I think it may take 1 more year).

KHL has said numerous times that they want to have teams all over Europe so if an owner steps up with the means, then the KHL will do their part I'm sure.
I'd have to source it, but i recall reading that the Milan project is somewhat dead regarding the KHL. EBEL talks were ongoing. I may be wrong, however. Of course, i don't see any chance of Milan joining the KHL. It doesn't make sense on any level. The KHL's "foreign policy" is grander than Milan in the long-run. Jokerit joins next year, with rumours regarding Norway, Switzerland and Germany and the probably inevitable Swedish link. It will be interesting to see the demographic of the KHL in the next 10 years, because you'll see changes (and reduction probably) with the internal franchises (Sochi will happen for example).

Milan isn't happening and the UK realistically won't either.

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12-19-2013, 10:01 PM
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I'd have to source it, but i recall reading that the Milan project is somewhat dead regarding the KHL. EBEL talks were ongoing. I may be wrong, however. Of course, i don't see any chance of Milan joining the KHL. It doesn't make sense on any level. The KHL's "foreign policy" is grander than Milan in the long-run. Jokerit joins next year, with rumours regarding Norway, Switzerland and Germany and the probably inevitable Swedish link. It will be interesting to see the demographic of the KHL in the next 10 years, because you'll see changes (and reduction probably) with the internal franchises (Sochi will happen for example).

Milan isn't happening and the UK realistically won't either.
Looked for articles and I couldn't find anything saying KHL in Milan is dead. Worst I could find was it was a delayed and the article was from the end of the 2011-12 season.

Looks like they still plan on doing it, they just want to make sure the team is going to be ready.

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12-20-2013, 01:38 AM
  #399
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Looked for articles and I couldn't find anything saying KHL in Milan is dead. Worst I could find was it was a delayed and the article was from the end of the 2011-12 season.

Looks like they still plan on doing it, they just want to make sure the team is going to be ready.
Read the KHL expansion thread on the KHL sub-forum. I recall reading information there regarding Milan quite recently.

I think it is patently clear though with recent developments and rumours of other teams combined with a lack of significant news on the Milan front that the project isn't likely at all. Bigger fish to fry.

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12-20-2013, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
London isn't the entire identity. It comprises much of the foreign perception of UK identity (even then, the stereotypes lead further out), but it certainly isn't the countries entire identity.

Why the KHL would wish to invest in a UK franchise i do not know (absurd, to me), but assuming they did, is the market really there? A hockey team playing in a Russian/Eastern European league doesn't scream marketing pennetration. Does it increase player participation? Does it really increase sport pennetration within the media? Does it really bring many new fans to the game? Does it really develop infrastructure of the sport in a way that lends itself to long-term growth? How long would Russian money be available? The KHL has a finite amount of available slots and many possible expansion options, both internally and externally (with a more interesting and logical Asian market next to it). When Sweden, Germany, Asia etc come knocking?

People tend to look at this type of idea in far too simplistic a way. The only market in the KHL similar to the UK is Croatia, but that organisation has a much larger domestic following pre-KHL than anything in the UK.
That's what I meant, nearly all foreign preconceptions about the UK are based on London. Yes I'm exaggerating but there is a lot of truth to it, it's all political talk so I had best not get into it, if you're interested you can read the BBC news article about Vince Cable on Heathrow expansion, in a nutshell the country has become incredibly London-centric.

If it's done properly I would say yes to all of those things. I don't see how you can possibly be negative about this. Of course grass roots development needs to be improved but that can be done at the same time, we don't need to put all our eggs in the same basket. Everyone seems to think that the ideas suggested are mutually exclusive, they are not, it is all part of the big overall plan. KHL team + MHL team, U20 league, restructure of the rest of the juniors into 3 divisions, lower EIHL import numbers, better training for coaches, more preparation for the national teams. If any combination of these things happened, improvement would be achieved. We have accepted we will never be world beaters, the number of rinks being built is under the control of local authorities, not the hockey community, we need to fully utilise what we have and make the best out of it, and quite frankly we are not even close to that. I'd love to hear some of your ideas that don't involve "build more rinks", you say grass roots needs to be improved but how? You don't know the ins and outs of the junior system, how are we going to do it?

That's not true. The Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers get better attendances than several of the Russian teams plus Donbass and Barys.


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