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The KHL Discuss the Continental Hockey League (Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga).

KHL Contraction Part I (Mod Warning - Post #15)

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Old
04-04-2017, 03:08 AM
  #451
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vorky View Post
I understand you, but it is exactly what I said. The KHL as a league for Russian teams or a league for leading Russian, European and Asian teams? Chernyshenko is for second option, but yes, there are people who would like to see only Russian teams in the KHL.
I haven't said that I want to see Russian teams only.
I think that it's not reasonable to think that the KHL will join all and any of the good teams. It won't happen for a number of reasons (first reason: politics, and this will never change).
At this point, I think the best thing would be to expand the league to 32 teams (not over one year, of course), and maybe remove a couple of Russian ones, but in the west, so that the Russian side, that will always be prominent in the KHL, can keep on going on.

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04-07-2017, 03:53 PM
  #452
Milos Krasic
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Originally Posted by vorky View Post
Vityaz, Severstal, Lada (?), Neftekhimik, Yugra, Novokuznetsk.
I am strongly against Nizhnekamsk leaving. Maybe they should rebrand (I don't know), but that's it.

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04-15-2017, 07:44 AM
  #453
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The existence of collegiate sport as a replacement for junior level clubs affiliated with pro franchises makes the Americas a bad comparison to Europe, in my opinion. The college game has more of a kinship with the European model due to the sense of affiliation with the team beyond an athlete-versus-spectator/consumer relationship. Minor pro teams in the US cannot match that attachment.

Structurally speaking, there are also many factors against the expansion of hockey as a game that can be gleaned from NA. North American minor league teams are frequently in cities that would not be deemed large and economically viable enough for a major league franchise. This has been changing in the NHL's case as affiliates tend to be relocating closer to their parent squad, but you still see a huge cluster of teams in places like upstate New York for the sole reason that these are traditional hockey hotbeds, even though some of the cities (Utica, Elmira, Binghamton, Glen Falls) are remote and nearly impoverished.

The key exception would be Canada and the junior circuit, which is only because hockey is far and away the number one sport in Canada. And somehow even a system that exploits players on a similar level to NCAA student-athletes can't stay financially sound.

A main issue with hockey specifically is that it's financially prohibitive. Rinks are expensive, equipment is expensive, etc. As a result, I think its growth potential is somewhat limited at the grassroots level. As I mentioned before, the main places where it has stuck in the US are the traditional places (Minnesota, Boston, New York, Michigan, all geographically suited to outdoor hockey and not coincidentally close to Canada) and the places like California where folks are frankly wealthy enough to pay for venues (whether through private investment or the finagling of tax dollars from the local government despite years of evidence that building athletic stadiums does not generate positive economic outcomes for the surrounding area).

So I would not be at all surprised if the sport has difficulty expanding outside of its main power centers regionally (Leningrad, Moscow) and internationally (former Soviet states and Scandinavia). If they can get a hold of the Chinese market that could change, but everyone else has been trying for years so the competition will be fierce.

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04-15-2017, 02:05 PM
  #454
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstoriaIceNinja View Post

So I would not be at all surprised if the sport has difficulty expanding outside of its main power centers regionally (Leningrad, Moscow)
Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Novosibirsk or Magnitogorsk are 100x more hockey cities than those two...

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04-16-2017, 01:23 PM
  #455
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Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Novosibirsk or Magnitogorsk are 100x more hockey cities than those two...
Hockey cities in what sense? For the purposes of my answer I will assume you mean participation in the game at the youth level and successful development of players.

Your statement can be completely true but still doesn't affect my point. At the end of the day, Moscow in particular is simply a bigger and wealthier city and thus more capable of supporting a commercially viable club.

Being a "<insert sport here> city" is only part of what contributes to a pro franchise. To use NA as an example, just about every small city in Canada is more of a "hockey city" by the metrics I used above than, say, Nashville is. But they aren't capable of fulfilling the financial component, which is why the NHL isn't chomping at the bit to set up shop in Regina. The sports organization can create grassroots participation and fan interest in the game. It can't create the infrastructure and affluence to support a pro team. Look no further than what I would posit is the NHL's most successful marketing gimmick in recent memory: The Anaheim Ducks, which of course spawned from a Disney movie.

The fact that Moscow has three KHL clubs that I can think of (CSKA, Spartak, and Dynamo) is just evidence of my argument. And since they aren't being floated as names for contraction, they are presumably all close to being financially sound in some fashion. So the fact that Moscow is not as much of a hockey city does not seem to be affecting the bottom line of the clubs there.

NA compensates for the disparities through revenue sharing, which Euro leagues generally don't have to the same degree. This allows a club like Arizona to essentially be dragged along (financially speaking) even if it produces next to nothing for the league as a whole. My feeling is that if the NHL was set up like an European sports league, Toronto, Minnesota, and Boston would probably all have multiple teams. And Quebec City would have a team instead of Arizona.

Like it or not, the league has to follow the money unless they adapt some kind of stricter revenue sharing to accept the fact that some teams will be financial duds. Or they could just say to hell with competitive parity and let a rich club from Moscow or Leningrad buy up all the best talent and win 9 times out of 10 while all the other teams are closer to being financially stable but accepting of their mediocrity. It works for the Bundesliga.

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04-16-2017, 02:15 PM
  #456
Acallabeth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstoriaIceNinja View Post
Hockey cities in what sense? For the purposes of my answer I will assume you mean participation in the game at the youth level and successful development of players.

Your statement can be completely true but still doesn't affect my point. At the end of the day, Moscow in particular is simply a bigger and wealthier city and thus more capable of supporting a commercially viable club.

Being a "<insert sport here> city" is only part of what contributes to a pro franchise. To use NA as an example, just about every small city in Canada is more of a "hockey city" by the metrics I used above than, say, Nashville is. But they aren't capable of fulfilling the financial component, which is why the NHL isn't chomping at the bit to set up shop in Regina. The sports organization can create grassroots participation and fan interest in the game. It can't create the infrastructure and affluence to support a pro team. Look no further than what I would posit is the NHL's most successful marketing gimmick in recent memory: The Anaheim Ducks, which of course spawned from a Disney movie.

The fact that Moscow has three KHL clubs that I can think of (CSKA, Spartak, and Dynamo) is just evidence of my argument. And since they aren't being floated as names for contraction, they are presumably all close to being financially sound in some fashion. So the fact that Moscow is not as much of a hockey city does not seem to be affecting the bottom line of the clubs there.

NA compensates for the disparities through revenue sharing, which Euro leagues generally don't have to the same degree. This allows a club like Arizona to essentially be dragged along (financially speaking) even if it produces next to nothing for the league as a whole. My feeling is that if the NHL was set up like an European sports league, Toronto, Minnesota, and Boston would probably all have multiple teams. And Quebec City would have a team instead of Arizona.

Like it or not, the league has to follow the money unless they adapt some kind of stricter revenue sharing to accept the fact that some teams will be financial duds. Or they could just say to hell with competitive parity and let a rich club from Moscow or Leningrad buy up all the best talent and win 9 times out of 10 while all the other teams are closer to being financially stable but accepting of their mediocrity. It works for the Bundesliga.
This has absolutely zero connection to reality.

Moscow has no commercially viable clubs and never had. In fact, Spartak had to miss time in the KHL recently because of poor funding, and Dynamo was merged with HK MVD to avoid the same fate. They aren't candidate for contraction for now, because the sponsors aren't tired of their toys yet, not because they make some great business. KHL teams spend the amount of money they aren't even close to earning yet. Actually, most NHL teams with their large arenas, lunatic ticket prices, fan service and hefty TV deal aren't profitable, and none of these sources is nearly as strong in the KHL. So who will play in the KHL and who won't is decided by the KHL managers.

And no, Moscow isn't a hockey city by any means. You can make whatever excuse you want, but CSKA and Dynamo can't even sell out playoff games, while the social importance of KHL teams in cities like Novosibirsk is immense.

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