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Asia League Ice Hockey 2013 season

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Old
09-08-2013, 07:51 PM
  #1
Hirusan
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Asia League Ice Hockey 2013 season

Hi everyone. I live in northern Japan and I live about an hour away from Hachinohe, home to the Tohoku Freeblades. They were league champions last season and just started their defense for 2013-2014. Sadly, they dropped the first two games of the season against the Cranes. There are currently three Canadian players on the team. The coach is also Canadian.

The level is somewhere between ECHL and AHL. At least from what I can ascertain. The level really depends on the team. The team from China is not so hot.

Here is the link to the league:

http://www.alhockey.com/

and the team:

http://www.freeblades.jp/

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Old
09-11-2013, 01:31 AM
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Vicente
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Hi Hirusan, I followed the league a little bit in the past years as one of our guys at eurohockey.com has an accreditation for Anyang Halla.

I would say the Chinese team is definately not at a pro level compared to North America, more like a weak junior team. But the other teams have definately a mix of ECHL and AHL level players. For example we had Go Tanaka playing in Germany (ESV Kaufbeuren, 2. Bundesliga) and he was one of the league's stars. From what I've seen he is also one of the stars in Asia League. And 2. Bundesliga in Germany is also a mix of AHL and ECHL level.

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Old
09-12-2013, 01:54 AM
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Sucrologist
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These Free Blades have pretty interesting jersey, I like grey in any sports. But there is nothing about blades on the logo except S, could've had not just lettering, an actual blades logo would be better IMO

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09-13-2013, 12:40 AM
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JoeCool16
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Yeah I'd be interested to hear what the story is on the Chinese team. They've been around for awhile and you can practically count their wins on one hand (I haven't checked recently, maybe you can!) and yet they have hundreds of losses. Why can't they be at all competitive? I've never seen anything like that before.

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09-14-2013, 02:02 PM
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Knighthammer
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I remember finding a youtube channel who uploads highlights so I've followed the league a bit since then. Ric Jackman was in the league for a few years but I believe he left.

Watching Anyang Halla highlights are always good for a chuckle. No idea what the commentators are saying but they sound like complete homers

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Old
09-16-2013, 09:54 PM
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Hirusan
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Well, they dropped their first three games against the paper cranes. Another strong team. They were close games, and the blades were ahead in them until the third. I was at the first two games but the third was on a weekday.

I like the way they have the game grouped up in series like they do in baseball.

I also picked up a Freeblades jersey. It was 8800 yen, or about $90. It's good quality as well.

I will update here if anything interesting in the league happens.

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Old
09-24-2013, 10:56 AM
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vdB
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I'm from Canada, and my friend plays for the Cranes. It's hard to follow the league over here so any interesting updates would be appreciated!

Anywhere I can stream games?

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Old
09-25-2013, 11:46 AM
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Ivan94
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match of cranes will start in 17h. hier are livescores

http://en.liveresult.ru/hockey/match.../?do=showmatch


that could be a livestream or just livescores

http://tv-en-directo.com/43840/

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Old
09-25-2013, 01:28 PM
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vdB
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Thanks!

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10-03-2013, 06:48 PM
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Hutz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCool16 View Post
Yeah I'd be interested to hear what the story is on the Chinese team. They've been around for awhile and you can practically count their wins on one hand (I haven't checked recently, maybe you can!) and yet they have hundreds of losses. Why can't they be at all competitive? I've never seen anything like that before.
It's about the local talent. The Asia League has an import cap, so most of the players are domestic - ex. the Korean teams have mostly Korean players, Japanese mostly Japanese. The bottom line is China's local talent isn't up to par with the other two. I remember they relaxed the import requirement for the Chinese team and yet they still haven't been competitive.

So, I guess the big question is why is China's hockey development so far behind. I don't know China well and there's a whole thread for that so I'll leave that for others to answer. I do know that in Korea there's a push to improve Korean hockey in preparation for the 2018 Olympics and I think hockey has long had a decent sized underground following in Japan. Remember the NHL played some exhibition games there in the 90s - they must have seen something there.

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Old
10-11-2013, 04:25 AM
  #11
robwangjing
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I would have to agree with Hirusan. The level is perhaps similar to ECHL or a little weaker, at least the Korean and Japanese teams. The Chinese team is not at that level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HabsFan1909 View Post
What is the pay like?
I don't know the true answer to this question, but my guess would be that imports get a similar salary to what they would have had in EBEL or DEL. So if you can find out what salary some imports had in Europe I think it would be similar, especially in the top clubs such as Nippon and Oji.

In the Chinese team they more or less play for free.

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Old
10-11-2013, 09:07 AM
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Propane Nightmares
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Sorry but there is no way the Asia league is as good as the ECHL, it's clearly worse

Yes the imports they have are high end ECHL or low end AHL players but there aren't so many of them, and maybe most of the guys on the Japan and Korea national team would be good enough for the ECHL but the rest of the players no. An ECHL team's depth would kill an Asia League time.

The Asia League is very comparable to European leagues like the EIHL and Italian, and everyone says those are below ECHL. Coventry Blaze had a Korean national team player Woo-Sang Park and he was average at best in the EIHL

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Old
10-11-2013, 08:20 PM
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robwangjing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
Sorry but there is no way the Asia league is as good as the ECHL, it's clearly worse
It's basically what I said(meant), I just did not choose so harsh words.

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Old
10-12-2013, 06:44 AM
  #14
Propane Nightmares
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robwangjing View Post
It's basically what I said(meant), I just did not choose so harsh words.
The first line of a Japanese or Korean team would match up against the first line of an ECHL team, but the rest of the roster would be weaker

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Old
10-12-2013, 06:17 PM
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Pajicz
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As there seems to be some guys here that know and follow Asian League much better than I do, I'd appreciate if you could give some insight on the performance of Korean players... I've tried to follow them on their long route to 2018 Olympic tournament, but it's not the easiest task.

Team Korea in 2018 Olympics - HFBoards

Especially I'd like to know who are the best Korean defensemen and goalies, because their performance can't always be directly read from statistics.

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Old
10-23-2013, 10:19 AM
  #16
SeattleSharksFan
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Question for anyone who follows the Asia League:

I plan to be in Tokyo next March, and noticed that the schedule had a couple of days (March 1-2) where all four Japanese Asia League clubs are playing in Tokyo. Are these at the Dydo Arena in Nishi-Tokyo? The schedule on the league site isn't very clear about that. I will definitely be attending these games and am trying to factor that into my trip. Also, for this league in general is it necessary to buy tickets in advance, or is it ok to just show up at the box office on gameday? From the various YouTube videos I've watched it seems like the latter would be the case, but I'd like to double-check for the neutral site games.

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Old
02-15-2014, 11:10 AM
  #17
offkilter
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I'm hosting a panel at an anime convention on the Asia League Ice Hockey next month. How hard is it to get sovenirs for the Japanese teams? I could use something like a puck or program to display.


Last edited by offkilter: 02-15-2014 at 11:14 AM. Reason: forgot to add some information
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