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Clash of (hockey) cultures - NA vs. Europe

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06-26-2013, 12:24 PM
  #1
SoundAndFury
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Clash of (hockey) cultures - NA vs. Europe

NHL versus KHL. CHL versus MHL. Puck possession versus dump-and-chase. Finesse versus brute. Good heart-and-soul Canadian boys against lazy money-grabbing Russians.

No cries of ones who feel being trolled in this thread will reach my ears because this thread is supposed to be filled with trolling and flaming. I hate that but I just know that's the way it's gonna be.

So let it (t)roll and flame and burn so that everyone who decides to write a post here would think about it twice and ask himself if he's brave enough.

___________

All the pump and circumstance aside, let's face it, discussions on the KHL board called for a thread like this. I was going to create it month ago but that never happened. Not much changed during that time so here it is.

"Wasting talent in the CHL thread" will be closed because it was basically about the same thing and discussions over there would get far from the actual Russian kids in the CHL most of the time.


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06-26-2013, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Anecdotally, some teams might be able to devise a systematic and effective breakout, but the fact is that the dump and chase style is the only option available on the small ice. Teams have no choice but to dump the puck in at the red line and then forecheck like crazy, because there is too little room to execute the kind of flowing offensive build that you see from skilled teams on the big ice. No one has declared a correlation between big ice and the volume of goals - if anything, you are likely to get higher scores with the puck pinballing around on the small ice.

Personally, I find that kind of grinding hockey to be really boring, like a scrum in Rugby. I didn't watch an appreciable amount of the Stanley Cup for that reason. To each his own, but I think the KHL would be making a huge mistake by striving to be a second-rate version of the NHL. I hope the KHL tries to develop its own traditions consistent with cultural factors unique to that region.
Im generally in agreement with you.. There are even NA guys who are pushing for bigger ice (Lindros and co.) and eventually may have their way in time when concussion studies deliver concise evidence. If both sides could meat in the middle we would have a perfect solution I think.

Yes some teams have mastered the skill game on the small ice, but few teams if any that are left can play the style of the 97-98 DRW. The hockey is ugly.


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06-26-2013, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by malkinfan View Post
Im generally in agreement with you.. There are even NA guys who are pushing for bigger ice (Lindros and co.) and eventually may have their way in time when concussion studies deliver concise evidence. If both sides could meat in the middle we would have a perfect solution I think.

Yes some teams have mastered the skill game on the small ice, but few teams if any that are left can play the style of the 97-98 DRW. The hockey is ugly.
That's a part of the game that the NHL can keep.

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06-26-2013, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by malkinfan View Post
Yes some teams have mastered the skill game on the small ice, but few teams if any that are left can play the style of the 97-98 DRW. The hockey is ugly.
I'm one of those who support the idea that it's not the ice size entirely dictating the style of play. Look who is teaching KHL a lesson for past two seasons? More teams will eventually look upon Dynamo's hockey and start to figure out how to become just as effective.

If you look close enough, even the forecheck of NHL teams widely regarded as easy on the eye by Euro fans, are putting in tremendous amount of pure effort in their attacking moves. The game simply is too competitive to get along with free flowing moves we see in the Europe.

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06-26-2013, 09:20 PM
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Clash of (hockey) cultures - NA vs. Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Anecdotally, some teams might be able to devise a systematic and effective breakout, but the fact is that the dump and chase style is the only option available on the small ice. Teams have no choice but to dump the puck in at the red line and then forecheck like crazy, because there is too little room to execute the kind of flowing offensive build that you see from skilled teams on the big ice. No one has declared a correlation between big ice and the volume of goals - if anything, you are likely to get higher scores with the puck pinballing around on the small ice.

Personally, I find that kind of grinding hockey to be really boring, like a scrum in Rugby. I didn't watch an appreciable amount of the Stanley Cup for that reason. To each his own, but I think the KHL would be making a huge mistake by striving to be a second-rate version of the NHL. I hope the KHL tries to develop its own traditions consistent with cultural factors unique to that region.
Long off topic comment: Actually it's become evident in recent years that teams in Europe are copying the collapsing defensive styles from NA which has meant that they'll just let the offensive team cycle the puck in the corners because they're not going to score from there. Most European top teams are trying some forms of puck possession though Switzerland went for the NA approach that Sweden tried to go for the past few years (and still do in their junior teams). No team however can keep that sort of style for the whole 50-60 game regular season + playoffs let alone an international tournament. Defensively practically all the teams have some form of a trap set up, at least at their own blue line, making dump ins the only entry option or turning back for a another break out attempt. The latter can lead to some really uneventful games with minimal hitting or real scoring opportunities from the fans point of view (not the coaches obviously). Dumping in may sound "easy" but some teams execute it really poorly (timing of the forecheckers) while the opponents are also well prepared for it. The next step in hockey evolution is probably finding more efficient ways to enter the offensive zone, since controlled break outs seem to be becoming the norm in top level hockey.

And just for comparison's sake, last year's SC finals weren't exactly the most entertaining ones but that's what you get when the best defensive teams are in them. The only entertainment was basically watching the Kings break out effortlessly from under the Devil's forecheck/pressure with short passing. Apart from games 2 and 3, this year's finals were much more entertaining.

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06-27-2013, 03:04 AM
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Long off topic comment: Actually it's become evident in recent years that teams in Europe are copying the collapsing defensive styles from NA which has meant that they'll just let the offensive team cycle the puck in the corners because they're not going to score from there. Most European top teams are trying some forms of puck possession though Switzerland went for the NA approach that Sweden tried to go for the past few years (and still do in their junior teams). No team however can keep that sort of style for the whole 50-60 game regular season + playoffs let alone an international tournament. Defensively practically all the teams have some form of a trap set up, at least at their own blue line, making dump ins the only entry option or turning back for a another break out attempt. The latter can lead to some really uneventful games with minimal hitting or real scoring opportunities from the fans point of view (not the coaches obviously). Dumping in may sound "easy" but some teams execute it really poorly (timing of the forecheckers) while the opponents are also well prepared for it. The next step in hockey evolution is probably finding more efficient ways to enter the offensive zone, since controlled break outs seem to be becoming the norm in top level hockey.

And just for comparison's sake, last year's SC finals weren't exactly the most entertaining ones but that's what you get when the best defensive teams are in them. The only entertainment was basically watching the Kings break out effortlessly from under the Devil's forecheck/pressure with short passing. Apart from games 2 and 3, this year's finals were much more entertaining.
Only because the players became less skilled. I doubt the Russian Five would have any trouble to break through any trap. But the skillset in passing and puck possession doesn't allow today's players to disrupt the defence with quick, long and what's most important clever passes. As for NA players, they basically get taught the "wrong" way. You can't expect a NA player to play that "soviet-style" game to which cross-ice and back passes are essential parts after he got told all the time that back passes are dangerous, because they can result in a bad turnover(which is of course to some extent true, especially on small ice). It results in what I see all the time in the NHL. A NA player would never see an own player in a favorable position for a back pass or a cross ice pass and would just try to move the puck up ice by any means, whether it's dumping or keeping posession himself, never making a glance back or sideways, just relying on his teammates to move up ice as well to start a board battle or cycle or a quick shot-rebound sequence. European players brought some of european hockey with them and they execute those european plays more often, but with NA linemates and the coaching systems they often have to stick to the pure NA style anyway. They are the most important differences between the NA system and european hockey. Results in NA players being taught more about board play, crashing the net and shooting and thus being in average better at that and european players being taught more about passing, vision and puck possession. Regarding the current situation I think it's going back to the roots of european hockey that could help a lot. There is no such trapping or other defensive minded system that can't be cracked by fast, well coordinated passing, even on small ice. But the players need to be up there with their skill to play that game and a lot of european players are now posessed with the NHL and stereotype their training to develop their physical game.

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06-27-2013, 08:05 AM
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Only because the players became less skilled. I doubt the Russian Five would have any trouble to break through any trap. But the skillset in passing and puck possession doesn't allow today's players to disrupt the defence with quick, long and what's most important clever passes. As for NA players, they basically get taught the "wrong" way. You can't expect a NA player to play that "soviet-style" game to which cross-ice and back passes are essential parts after he got told all the time that back passes are dangerous, because they can result in a bad turnover(which is of course to some extent true, especially on small ice). It results in what I see all the time in the NHL. A NA player would never see an own player in a favorable position for a back pass or a cross ice pass and would just try to move the puck up ice by any means, whether it's dumping or keeping posession himself, never making a glance back or sideways, just relying on his teammates to move up ice as well to start a board battle or cycle or a quick shot-rebound sequence. European players brought some of european hockey with them and they execute those european plays more often, but with NA linemates and the coaching systems they often have to stick to the pure NA style anyway. They are the most important differences between the NA system and european hockey. Results in NA players being taught more about board play, crashing the net and shooting and thus being in average better at that and european players being taught more about passing, vision and puck possession. Regarding the current situation I think it's going back to the roots of european hockey that could help a lot. There is no such trapping or other defensive minded system that can't be cracked by fast, well coordinated passing, even on small ice. But the players need to be up there with their skill to play that game and a lot of european players are now posessed with the NHL and stereotype their training to develop their physical game.
On the contrary, defensemen are way more skilled today. Also the coaches are very conservative and want to avoid risks (turn overs) by banning too risky passes. Bylsma like style simply wouldn't fly with most coaches (and rightly so).

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06-27-2013, 03:17 PM
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On the contrary, defensemen are way more skilled today. Also the coaches are very conservative and want to avoid risks (turn overs) by banning too risky passes. Bylsma like style simply wouldn't fly with most coaches (and rightly so).
I just can't see it. D-men are also products of the current coaching styles and systems. Nobody ever teaches them how to a part of a passing game. They may be bigger, faster, better hitters or shot blockers, but they have less capability of being part of a coordinated attack, let alone to be the masterminds of it.

P.S. Bylsma style is definitely no measuring stick. But even the NHL playoffs showed that Hitch-Sutter-and-even-Julien styles don't work good enough to convert it into a cup.

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07-12-2013, 02:42 PM
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Sorry to interject here....just seeing the Kovi reaction from the KHL board. But Euros don't come to the NHL for better salaries. That may be a reason but it is not the reason. They come because the NHL is the best league in the world and they want to be a part of that. Players can actually get more money in the KHL than they could in the NHL, with the tax-free business and whatnot. But the lore of the NHL is what causes guys to come over.

Overall I don't really have any ill-will towards Kovi. Feel bad for Devils fans though. If the report that his back is really messed up is true than it's actually a really good gesture by him to retire instead of taking the Devils money and not performing up to par. Now in Russia he can be with family and play a style of game that takes less of a toll on his body. Oh yeah, and make a lot more money.
That's what they tell you. But do you actually realize KHL clubs(the ones wth deep pockets) have half the salary budget of the NHL clubs? And do you actually realize the KHL is the only league somewhat comparable to the NHL in salaries? There are more countries and leagues in Europe. And there are wild rumors about amounts of money paid in the KHL which are all not true. A player like Kovalchuk may expect a pay raise in the KHL because of the political league interests, but that's it. The vast majority of players would earn more in the NHL if they'd get a roster spot there. Or do you really think Metallurg Novokuznetsk and the likes are capable of paying any player a NHL comparable salary?

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07-12-2013, 03:21 PM
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Everything you have said he is nonsense based on your lack of knowledge of the KHL.

First off if the development of Russian players depends on a foreign league then we are doomed already. Second the the NHL does nothing but hurt hockey world wide by sapping all the best players and giving nothing back. Unlike the KHL, it is doing nothing to spread hockey world wide. The KHL is made up of 9 countries so I don't understand why you are calling it a "purely Russian".

Your last paragraph is the most hilarious thing you have written yet. The owners of SKA alone could buy every club in The NHL and run them all into the ground if they wanted to. If you think the NHL wants a bidding war with people for whom money means nothing you are sadly mistaken.
Hold on a second here, the ones with the real wealth are the government owned corporations and they sponsor teams. However in the NHL you have owners who have private companies like Shell worth 150 billion, General Electric again 150 billion ish. +Also take a look at this http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...0yrWLcwF1JbqQg its an interesting read about the KHL and its growth.

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07-12-2013, 03:38 PM
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Hold on a second here, the ones with the real wealth are the government owned corporations and they sponsor teams. However in the NHL you have owners who have private companies like Shell worth 150 billion, General Electric again 150 billion ish. +Also take a look at this http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...0yrWLcwF1JbqQg its an interesting read about the KHL and its growth.

Citing that article doesn't do much for your credibility. Any worldly person can see it's garbage journalism with an agenda; full of sensationalism, exaggerations and innuendos.

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07-12-2013, 08:30 PM
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That's what they tell you. But do you actually realize KHL clubs(the ones wth deep pockets) have half the salary budget of the NHL clubs? And do you actually realize the KHL is the only league somewhat comparable to the NHL in salaries? There are more countries and leagues in Europe. And there are wild rumors about amounts of money paid in the KHL which are all not true. A player like Kovalchuk may expect a pay raise in the KHL because of the political league interests, but that's it. The vast majority of players would earn more in the NHL if they'd get a roster spot there. Or do you really think Metallurg Novokuznetsk and the likes are capable of paying any player a NHL comparable salary?
Good points, but I think for the average player, the amount of money they can make is negligible. Again, for an average player, not a guy like Kovalchuk. Also taxes can get stiff in America too. I heard today that Kovalchuk was just keeping half his actual salary after taxes and escrow. Not sure of the validity but the point stands, taxes can decrease a player's earnings big time.

So then why would they leave their home and family and go to a foreign land, where they know few people, to make a little bit more money then before? Only reason I think of is that NHL trumps all.

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07-13-2013, 03:30 AM
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All that hate for the KHL among the NHL fans and for SKA among the KHL / Russian NHL fans to witness...

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07-14-2013, 01:52 PM
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Good points, but I think for the average player, the amount of money they can make is negligible. Again, for an average player, not a guy like Kovalchuk. Also taxes can get stiff in America too. I heard today that Kovalchuk was just keeping half his actual salary after taxes and escrow. Not sure of the validity but the point stands, taxes can decrease a player's earnings big time.

So then why would they leave their home and family and go to a foreign land, where they know few people, to make a little bit more money then before? Only reason I think of is that NHL trumps all.
Your points are valid for established players. And it works exactly as you pisture it for them. No settled KHL regular would leave for NA for just a little more money. If they go, the go for the NHL challenge. The thing is most players going to NA are young and have not at all the security of a job in the KHL. It's totally different for them. They do see NA as an opportunity to earn more money if(and that's what most of them don't really think through) they make the NHL(don't forget once they become NHL players even for a short period of time or without the breakout success, they have the option to return to the KHL(see Burmistrov for proof) for a big contract). Agents play their malicious role at times too, convinicing young players and their parents to go to NA, picturing it like the "way to earn big money fast"(see Prokhorkin case for proof), but never prapring the players for the long road to the NHL.

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08-22-2013, 12:47 PM
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@talent
LOL You can not be serious.

@NHLvsKHL
It is NHL´s best interest to play against KHL clubs, it is about money, tv deals, money, money and money.
I don't think Europe will ever be a big revenue stream for the NHL compared to North America, and the opposite is true for the KHL. If it was going to be it would have happened a long time ago. The money the NHL would make from games vs the KHL would be very very small in the big picture.

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08-22-2013, 12:50 PM
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Neither league has any real interest in interleague play right now, so its not going to happen for several more years. Once they start playing, what happens if the KHL representative(s) does well? That would start to increase the pressure for an annual playoff. The NHL would be reluctant to take that risk, and at the present time, the KHL is not fully ready to challenge the NHL's best. Although, the KHL could field an individual team loaded with talent based on the financial power of the owner. But I think interleague competition is at least 5 years away, maybe more.
One day if there is another league at a similar level to the NHL then I would be all for interleague play. The KHL might get there one day, they are certainly moving in the right direction.

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08-22-2013, 01:11 PM
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I dont want to join your ideological row. Advantage of inter-league competition is it can attract fans of rival clubs and not only fans of playing teams. Im sure winners of cups would win attention

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08-22-2013, 02:18 PM
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One day if there is another league at a similar level to the NHL then I would be all for interleague play. The KHL might get there one day, they are certainly moving in the right direction.
Things are moving in that direction. Hockey in Canada and the US is totally maxed out, and the NHL is completely dependent upon Europe to staff 30 teams at a reasonable level of quality. Kovalchuk's move is the first in the direction of eventually keeping most of the top Russian players at home. With teams in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Finland, it will at a minimum jack up bidding rates for European players through the ceiling. The NHL might have to cut back the pay of North American players in order to sign the top Europeans.

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08-22-2013, 03:03 PM
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Things are moving in that direction. Hockey in Canada and the US is totally maxed out, and the NHL is completely dependent upon Europe to staff 30 teams at a reasonable level of quality. Kovalchuk's move is the first in the direction of eventually keeping most of the top Russian players at home. With teams in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Finland, it will at a minimum jack up bidding rates for European players through the ceiling. The NHL might have to cut back the pay of North American players in order to sign the top Europeans.
I don't see it that way. Kovalchuk's case was unique due to his contract and the financial state of his NHL team(or rather owner).

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08-22-2013, 03:15 PM
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I don't see it that way. Kovalchuk's case was unique due to his contract and the financial state of his NHL team(or rather owner).
It gives players of similar stature cover. He was the first Russian NHL star still in the prime of his career to move to the KHL. It makes it much easier for others to do the same thing. I believe that it will happen - maybe slowly, but this starts the ball rolling. Most of the big Russian NHL stars (e.g., Bure, Fedorov, Fetisov, Mogilniy, Yashin, etc.) who had a chance to settle in NA decided to return to Russia. If the money is right, the Ovechkins and Malkins will seriously weigh the KHL.

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08-22-2013, 03:17 PM
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I think I've mentioned three or four times already that I'm talking about games on the samll ice. It takes time and dedication to adjust to the large ice which are two things most locked out NHLers don't have.
A KHL team can beat a NHL on the small ice. Now try to prove me wrong.

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08-22-2013, 03:25 PM
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Things are moving in that direction. Hockey in Canada and the US is totally maxed out, and the NHL is completely dependent upon Europe to staff 30 teams at a reasonable level of quality. Kovalchuk's move is the first in the direction of eventually keeping most of the top Russian players at home. With teams in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Finland, it will at a minimum jack up bidding rates for European players through the ceiling. The NHL might have to cut back the pay of North American players in order to sign the top Europeans.
Yes, but how many posters here can understand/accept this?

I read somewhere that salary cap will increase in NHL from current 64M USD to 70M USD?? That means more and more problems for poor NHL clubs, more debts. NHL owners are not used to spend money like that (KHL´s are, they have no problem with it).

KHL will have 2 bigs euro clubs - Lev/Jokerit. I am not sure, but Gazprom has ads at Lev´s site this summer.. sponsoring club? We will find out later. I can imagine both clubs to have budget around 40-50M euro within a few years (less than decade), all depends on KHL´s strategy. Donbass, Slovan, Medvescak and maybe others can follow them (IF KHL wants). That means that value of Euros playing NHL will increase (like now Russians), so NHL clubs will have more and more problems to keep them. Players are not idiots, when they find out that they can earn more in KHL, they will jump... not all, not tommorow...

I have just read Tanev signed 1-y deal with Canucks. Why only 1y for 1,5M USD? Why not 4-5 yrs?? And it is not only Tanev, there are many short-therm contracts now, what is good for KHL.

NHL will have biggest problem if Sweden stops producing elite talent in current amount. Sweden is nothing special, their hockey program can not be so succesfull for decades... that is not possible. Nowadays, best young euro players coming to Sweden, because they see Sweden as ideal place for development. What if the kids choose some MHL club in (lets say) Salzburg instead in future?? Yes, MHL is not so popular in Europe, because MHL has many unsolved problem "at home" (Russia), but when league solves all russian problems, then can expand to Europe, to create (lets say) 20 clubs euro division. My goal is, what if young euro players plays in MHL instead of Sweden in future? What if swedish players moving to MHL as well? Who knows? Maybe this wont happen? I dont know, but I can imagine THIS as big problem for NHL...

EDIT:

As I see, Jussi believes propaganda about Kovy LOL


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08-22-2013, 04:16 PM
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A KHL team can beat a NHL on the small ice. Now try to prove me wrong.
Uhmm... You're supposed to prove your claim first.

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08-22-2013, 04:44 PM
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It gives players of similar stature cover. He was the first Russian NHL star still in the prime of his career to move to the KHL. It makes it much easier for others to do the same thing. I believe that it will happen - maybe slowly, but this starts the ball rolling. Most of the big Russian NHL stars (e.g., Bure, Fedorov, Fetisov, Mogilniy, Yashin, etc.) who had a chance to settle in NA decided to return to Russia. If the money is right, the Ovechkins and Malkins will seriously weigh the KHL.
Kovy had Devils permission. It's not sure at all players would be given such in the future. Without, it they would net get permission to play.

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08-22-2013, 08:18 PM
  #25
Mr Kanadensisk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Things are moving in that direction. Hockey in Canada and the US is totally maxed out, and the NHL is completely dependent upon Europe to staff 30 teams at a reasonable level of quality. Kovalchuk's move is the first in the direction of eventually keeping most of the top Russian players at home. With teams in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Finland, it will at a minimum jack up bidding rates for European players through the ceiling. The NHL might have to cut back the pay of North American players in order to sign the top Europeans.
I agree that per capita hockey participation is more or less maxed out in Canada, but it is not even close to being maxed out in the US.

Right now in terms of participation roughly 70% of the people playing hockey are in North America and 30% in Europe. Even if all Europeans stayed and played professionally in Europe, and the NHL remained at 30 teams, logic dictates that a similar European league could only have up to 13 teams and maintain the same or better average skill level.

One thing we don't know yet is if most of the NHL players from Europe went back to Europe how much this would effect the NHL's revenue. I actually don't think it would make much of a difference in terms of revenue, so in theory there would be more money for North American players, not less.

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