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Europe Expansion Coming


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http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=249235&lid...os=topStory_nhl

The Globe and Mail reports that the National Hockey League is aiming to have teams based in Europe within the next 10 years.

"As time goes on, you'll see us making increasing movement into Europe," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the newspaper. "Certainly, it's a possibility that within 10 years time we will be playing games there."

The league has already experimented with games overseas with exhibition games in Europe in the early 1990s and regular season games in Japan prior to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano. The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings played in London, England last year, while four more teams - the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins - will play in Europe next month.

Daly added that while further exposure in Europe was a possibility, there are no guarantees of it happening. "I think it's a long way between here and there," he told the Globe and Mail. "And I think all the pieces have to continue to line up in order for that to happen. So, certainly, we would hope that would be the case. But I can't say with any degree of certainty at this point."

NHL expansion into Europe has been talked about for years and has has been hot debate among the league's executives.

"(European) cities do a good job for international hockey tournaments, but can those cities afford NHL prices for 42 regular-season games plus playoffs?" Carolina Hurricanes general manager Kim Rutherford told the Globe. "I don't know the answer, but if they can, then at some point there will be expansion in Europe. But first we have to expand a couple more teams back into Canada, get back into Winnipeg and put another team in Ontario before we see expansion to Europe."

National Hockey League Players' Association executive director Paul Kelly said he was open to the idea of European expansion, with the proviso that the NHL's North American franchises were stabilized.

"Once we reach that point, I do think we should at least explore the process of perhaps one day having a division of NHL teams based in Europe," he told the Globe.

Please get these people out of office now.

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It's an absolutely horrible idea. The logistics will make it impossible to have much if any regular season between Europe and North America. They'd basically have to make a "European Conference" with enough teams to be similar to other conferences (at the very least, a European division). This means at the absolute least 6 new teams, further diluting the NHL talent.

Plus I fear that the European teams will be so seperated it doesn't feel like the same league, but yet they take a lot of the star players from North America. We'll have trouble bringing Europeans over here if they can be in the NHL there.

While I'm all for having some NHL vs. Europe competitions or whatever, this is getting ridiculous. Man I'm glad Montreal isn't one of the teams who has to get fatigued and jetlagged just to play a couple of games over in Europe this year. And introducing NHL teams in Europe: horrible, horrible idea.

It's not that Europe is a bad market, but the NHL is going to have to bring back the Concord if they want to make it logistically possible without making it seem like a completely seperate league.

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...And how do they expect the players to play games versus the Euro teams? Jet lagged to hell in back to back days? Are they insane? Unless the two sides never meet and we just have an entirely new expansion league that will never play against the NA teams and work entirely on its own (though I find that redundant since they already have their own leagues there), I don't see how this will work.

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Instead of expansion, they should move the Florida, Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix franchises to Europe. Then we might actually have a chance at a healthy league with the majority of teams making a profit instead of our current pyramid structure where the Canadian teams toil so hockey players can win Cups in tropical climates.

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It's an absolutely horrible idea. The logistics will make it impossible to have much if any regular season between Europe and North America. They'd basically have to make a "European Conference" with enough teams to be similar to other conferences (at the very least, a European division). This means at the absolute least 6 new teams, further diluting the NHL talent.

Plus I fear that the European teams will be so seperated it doesn't feel like the same league, but yet they take a lot of the star players from North America. We'll have trouble bringing Europeans over here if they can be in the NHL there.

While I'm all for having some NHL vs. Europe competitions or whatever, this is getting ridiculous. Man I'm glad Montreal isn't one of the teams who has to get fatigued and jetlagged just to play a couple of games over in Europe this year. And introducing NHL teams in Europe: horrible, horrible idea.

It's not that Europe is a bad market, but the NHL is going to have to bring back the Concord if they want to make it logistically possible without making it seem like a completely seperate league.

In agreement with you here, Graeme. Nice post.

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1) TSN needs better supervision of its interns -- talk about overstating it... the NHL is not 'aiming' at having European teams in 10 years...

2) I don't think Bill Daly really thinks there will be European teams in 10 years either -- he mitigates everything he says with 'possibility' and 'no guarantees', etc.... I think the whole point of this story is to send a message to the KHL -- it's a 'if there's going to be a European version of the NHL, we'll be running it, not the KHL' message...

3) it's simply not economically feasible in the foreseeable future to have the frequent travel to/from European-based teams... and a non-interlocking schedule for a European-based division/conference would be little different than a modified Victoria Cup -- which has the reek of 'exhibition' series written all over it...

don't get too excited about this item, it was probably just a slow news day...

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1) TSN needs better supervision of its interns -- talk about overstating it... the NHL is not 'aiming' at having European teams in 10 years...

2) I don't think Bill Daly really thinks there will be European teams in 10 years either -- he mitigates everything he says with 'possibility' and 'no guarantees', etc.... I think the whole point of this story is to send a message to the KHL -- it's a 'if there's going to be a European version of the NHL, we'll be running it, not the KHL' message...

3) it's simply not economically feasible in the foreseeable future to have the frequent travel to/from European-based teams... and a non-interlocking schedule for a European-based division/conference would be little different than a modified Victoria Cup -- which has the reek of 'exhibition' series written all over it...

don't get too excited about this item, it was probably just a slow news day...

People love to talk about the possibility of a 'Worldwide NHL', but the truth is that financially and logistically it just doesn't make sense. There is a reason there are no real sports leagues encompassing both North America and Europe.

I think the NHL has plans to expand in Europe, but this will be done through television, merchandising, and a few odd games as they're doing now. Maybe even an 'NHL Europe' which will likely be an inferior league such as 'NFL Europe' was, moreso to compete with the existing European leagues. Seeing teams that are part of the actual NHL in Europe just doesn't make sense probably ever, certainly not in the next 10 years.

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GOOD POST GRAEME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is CANADA and we need more teams in't from the USA or europe.

HAMILTON AND DOWN EAST have been crying for a team for years!!!!

let's give our kids a chance!!!! forget the europene hockey players they

will come if the money is right. NOW IF ONLY WE CAN CHANGE BETTMENS

BOARD ROOM MIND$$$ . THERE IS ONLY ONE LEAGUE AND THAT IS THE

N.H.L. LONG LIVE THE STANLEY CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!

BRING HOME THE CUP, GO!!!!!! HABS!!!! GO!!!!!

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There is a reason there are no real sports leagues encompassing both North America and Europe.

Yes, the reason is that up until now, no sports league has been in a position to make it happen. However, the times they are a-changing. Both the NBA and the NFL have tentative plans to expand into Europe within the next two decades.

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Yes, the reason is that up until now, no sports league has been in a position to make it happen. However, the times they are a-changing. Both the NBA and the NFL have tentative plans to expand into Europe within the next two decades.
but how do you figure any league is "in a position" to do it now?... the logistical problems can be overcome for a special/annual event but it's quite a different matter to do it on a regular basis... and financially speaking, there's probably never been a worse time simply because of record fuel prices... the times may be a-changing, but I'm not sure they are a-changing to make it more likely...

the NFL may talk the talk, but they have even less possibility of succeeding than the NHL -- NFL Europe has shown football isn't popular in Europe except in Germany...

the NBA has probably the best chance of succeeding... basketball is popular in many countries -- though not in Germany for some reason -- and the NBA's stars are known world-wide... logistically and financially speaking, things are easier with smaller travelling groups with much less equipment, and the ability to play more games in a shorter time-frame than hockey...

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Yes, the reason is that up until now, no sports league has been in a position to make it happen. However, the times they are a-changing. Both the NBA and the NFL have tentative plans to expand into Europe within the next two decades.

The NBA said in 2003 that it would have teams in Europe within a decade and it's no closer to happening. It's a pipe dream and just not going to happen.

Times may be a changing, but one thing that hasn't is the logistics. In terms of a jet that could minimize travel times, times haven't changed since the 70s. In fact they've gotten worse: the one jet that maybe could have made the logistics possible, the Concorde, is out of service. Now we are back to the 550mph jets that have existed for decades, which isn't something you want to put your players through multiple times throughotu the season.

But even if players are okay with 24 hours worth of plane rides to play a few games against the European teams, or even if we invent a jet that can let teams travel anywhere in less than 3 hours, that doesn't change the jetlagged issue. Somehow I don't think we'll see the best hockey when one of the teams hasn't slept in 24 hours.

Now on top of logistical issues, I don't think it makes very much financial sense. The current North American teams won't be moving to Europe, so we need to expand again, by at least 6 teams to form a division, futher dilluting talent. But also, if there are NHL teams in Europe, North American teams could have a tough time getting European players to cross teh ocean, or vice versa. We'll probably see an increase in draft holdouts, more difficulty getting UFAs and overall it will just hurt the quality of the existing teams.

I think the talk of moving teams to Europe is more a way to pump up the merchandising and television efforts in Europe than actually being a sound business plan.

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Why hasn't the MLB thought of expanding to Japan yet? Is that not a great potential market for baseball? I guess Bud Selig and company must be too realistic ignorant to realize it.

But in all honesty, expanding the NHL to Europe is just an awful idea. What I might enjoy seeing someday is the top European team challenging the Stanley Cup champions to some sort of a mini-tourney to determine the true world champion, sort of like the old days between the NHL and PCHL. Probably has its fair share of flaws, though.

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Somone have already pointed out what this is all about...KHL. Simple as that!

KHL have already invited teams from Sweden, Finland and Germany I belive (all said no this far). Now a couple of German owners is quite hot for the idea... KHL is draining the SEL among other leagues for quality players for a ridiculous amont of money and now they have actually bought two officials from Sweden (last week i think). Clearly KHL have an agenda to be a Russian/European counterpart to NHL and NHL is affraid to let KHL get to big, meaning far less euoros in NHL. This cant be accepted by NHL wich have 30! teams in place and is far weeker as a league compared to say in 1990. Bettman´s expansion politic is the source for all this, NHL cant sustain a extremly high level (on all teams) without the euros. The emergence of oil and gas barons in russia is the backbone of KHL some think there is to few of them to make their visions come true but the fact is that more and more are comming into sports and Hockey is one prime target for these magnats. Cant it be done...maybe maybe not, but this is the sole reason for the statement from NHL.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Why hasn't the MLB thought of expanding to Japan yet? Is that not a great potential market for baseball? I guess Bud Selig and company must be too realistic ignorant to realize it.

But in all honesty, expanding the NHL to Europe is just an awful idea. What I might enjoy seeing someday is the top European team challenging the Stanley Cup champions to some sort of a mini-tourney to determine the true world champion, sort of like the old days between the NHL and PCHL. Probably has its fair share of flaws, though.

i maybe too young for this or just can't figure out the short form but what was the pchl

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