To Belizarius and Evilo (and any other France-residing poster), how would you say the popularity of hockey has evolved in France in the past 15 years? Is the game getting greater exposure, less, or stable? If it has grown, is it driven by a greater interest in the NHL, or is it primarily led by the domestic league?
I moved out of France in 1994, and at the time, I remember that some French media picked up the story of the Rangers winning the Cup - I also remember that they covered the ensuing riot in Vancouver (being a Canucks fan, it wasn't the best of news for me). I also remember that a new hockey-dedicated magazine came out at the time (Hockey Magazine? I think that was the name). Is that magazine still around?
When I was about to move to Canada, I was getting the impression at the time that the game was starting to become more visible. Philippe Bozon was in the NHL at the time, but he was never anything more than a fringe player. Has the rise of Cristobal Huet as a starting goaltender in the NHL helped any in making the game any more visible?
Here in the US Stephane Da Costa is off to a fast start as a freshman playing for Merrimack in the NCAA while Charles Bertrand is playing well in A juniors in Finland. Is this a sign of things to come for players from France and are there other prospects who are gaining attention?
Morgan Nicolas of the Dieppe Jr A Commandos (Moncton NB) played with the France U-18 team and had a try-out with the U-20 team. Any word on the U-20 team?
Morgan is from St-Pierre et Miquelon and is attending Universite de Moncton while playing Jr A.
while Charles Bertrand is playing well in A juniors in Finland. I
Lukko's headcoach Rauli Urama says that Bertrand probably isn't ready to play SM-liiga games at this season. So i think he keeps playing in a-junior sm-liiga. But next season he probably can play in sm-liiga. Due to himself how many games, but then we really see how good this guy is. Potential he has lots of.
Where do you guys see the French hockey 5 years from now? Is it starting to grow at all?
From what i saw last season in Ligue Magnus, it's kinda poor. Young guys are not trusted, best teams are full of foreigners. Hockey is a minor sport in France. If a young french players wants to evolve and hope one day play in Sel or else or maybe NHL, they have to leave and go developp in another country, i heard about a good french prospect who left in Slovakia. I think the best model is the Swiss League, their young guys are killer ---> Nino Niederater first round draft this year.
International results are misleading due to some double nationality players ... (Quebec) and others.
As stv11 says ... mostly villages in the mountains.
The level of the Hockey league is low ... with logical consequences on the popularity.
They made a big try some years ago in the Olympic games in Albertville, France.
But the effect was short lived and the popularity came back to the level it was prior the games. Governmental funding followed the same route. Private funding is extremely low (sponsoring).
On TV, it is not popular because you don't see the puck and rules are complicated (acording to the poeple). Then commentators are doing a very poor job in this area as a result the sport never gained traction.
Soccer is Undisputed king with rugby pointing in the second rank ... basket ... and others.
France has very few places where you have natural ice or snow !! only the mountains (Alps, and Pirénées).
I am not aware of any special thing they are doing to promote it presently.
I remember few year ago when FRANCE2 (frenchnational tv) said that hockey could never be big on TV because the audience couldn't saw the puck We should told this guy that millions of canadians and americans watch hockey games on tv every day !
Since this is a thread for France Hockey, I'll ask here.
I always wondered what hockey's like in France? How popular is it? I know it's nowhere near soccer (or football), but is it recognized as a major sport in France?
Actually hockey in France is not very popular especially because medias just snub our sport. And as the press has an important role in its evolution it doesn't really help.
I won't be able to explain that... maybe because it's considered as a "violent" sport or maybe because "we don't see the puck" or maybe the both. Or maybe because they suck
The french TV channels prefer to broadcast the 3rd soccer division whereas everyone don't care and even soccer fans, rather than the hockey league...
So the most part of the population believe that's a very minor sport. But in reality and like the president of the french ice hockey federation said recently if we look at the crowds in the rinks we can say that it has now exceeded basket & hand which are just behind the soccer here.
The federation is still young and i think hockey is in it way for the next years to take a little bit more range in France.
However the soccer and the rugby are still far ahead of all the other sports.
About the french league (Ligue Magnus) the level has increased those last years. But there are a gap between the top teams and the others. The best team on the paper is Rouen which had some really nice players.
Looking at its results we can say they have about the level to play in the bottom of the NLA standing. This is a good progression for the french hockey