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NFL CANADA


Time for the NHL to expand to Europe?
Mon, October 6, 2008

With the NHL beginning the season in Europe for another year, do you think it is time for the NHL to explore the possibility of expanding the league across the Atlantic Ocean?

Is it in the NHL's interest to grow the game globally? Or should the league fix their problem franchises first before looking elsewhere to expand?

Have your say in our forum.


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24 Comments

No.

Ok for exhibitions, tournaments, and maybe season openers.

Reason - Economics.

The crash and burn of the US economy is going to take time to recover and the Canadian economy is very affected by the policies leaving certain NHL teams open to severe financial repercussions.

The NHL enjoyed prosperity through having a very high dollar to dollar ratio in the North American economy since the lockout, and this part of the financial windfall might be changed.

Considering the precarious financial state of several NHL teams, the league should mind it's business at home.
Andy V., 2008-10-04 08:29:14

Having travelled back and forth across the "big pond" myself quite a few times, I can tell you that the jet lag will ruin the play of aboput 75% of the league. Just ask the Sens, Pens, Rangers, and Lightning if they would want to repeat their European vacations 3 or 4 times a year.

Unless the schedule gets cut back to 50 games a year to allow for proper recovery time betweens hops overseas, it would never work.

The NHL gave the Ducks and Kings 3 days last year after opening in London. This year there's a 5 day rest. Will it be enough? Yes for some...no for some. You can't predict how people react to the time change, interruption in schedules, etc. I've seen some people who are very good shape take weeks to re-adjust, and others it seems to have no effect what-so-ever.

If the NHL is so stuck on capturing the European market, why not just have the European champion play against the Stanley Cup champs. But then again this would necessitate shortening the schedule so that we are not watching hockey well into July.

When all is said and done, what is wrong with the Olympics and the World Championship remaining the NHL's exposure to the international hockey world?
F.A.H. Kinwright, 2008-10-03 12:26:00

I think there are upsides and downsides to have European teams in the NHL.

Positives:

-more canadians will find jobs either here or in Europe.

-We are all looking for the best product on the ice

-A European league may be the answer with divisional cross overs in playoffs.

-This may sort out the Russian problem if they want to be involved and I'm sure they would

-By expanding some teams in the US should become stronger with the added popularity of the game

Negatives:

-Added costs in travel

-Play off travel fatigue

-Game broadcasts at off hours- fans will still watch

Overall the league would benefit


Dave, 2008-10-03 07:14:16

I think it's a bad idea. Travel within the 3 north american time zones is already bad enough. Imagine the problems with a minimum of a 5 hour time difference, travel expenses, jet lag, game broadcasts, and bouncing playoff games betweem NA and European cities.
Tom, 2008-10-02 13:07:45

The logistics and travel might be the killer for this idea. But I've often thought about this as an alternative for cities that can't field enough fans to support their own team. What if there were a team in say Helsinki, but they played half their games in Winnipeg to cut down on travel. Then there'd be around 20 up to 29 games in Europe, so each NHL team only has to travel once and the schedule is free for a few days around this date so they don't get too tired. Then the remaining home games for the Helsinki team could be played in a neutral site like Winnipeg, giving them access to NHL hockey while they should be able to fill the stadium for a partial season.

The downside is that the players on this team have no real home life and travel costs would be high, so I guess it wouldn't work well. Plus you might get all the Koivus and Jokinens wanting to be traded to this team.
Rick W., 2008-10-01 17:06:24

ABSOLUTELY NOT! The game is already established in Europe, there is no need to expand there. The NHL has already weakened the Euro leagues as all their top talent come here to play, so why kill those leagues any further (not to mention the NHL already has too many teams as is)? The game needs those leagues to be viable in order for the game to be truly international.

Instead, they should organize an annual exhibition tournament involving all the league champions from there, and the Stanley Cup finalists --- sort of like soccer's UEFA Champions League.


Ben TO, 2008-10-01 09:57:53

No freakin way! This is just another idiotic idea from Bettman. That fool doesn't understand hockey, cares nothing for it's roots and is so narrow-minded he doesn't understand that expanding into such places as Nashville and Phoenix does nothing for the game and means nothing to Americans. The bread is buttered in the Great White North. From NHL.com "In 2007-08, the six Canada-based teams once again sold every possible ticket." Nashville avg attendance 14,910; Columbus 14,823; Phoenix 14,820; NYI 13,640.

The ABSOLUTELY first consideration should be to move those 4 teams to Quebec city, Halifax, Winnepeg and Hamilton. And move the Panthers to Regina, or Saskatoon. Then Canada can support the NHL with 11 teams instead of 6.

By the way, border cities such as Buffalo and Detroit seem to have a disproportionate number of Ontario license plates in their parking lots. Just another nugget for you to chew on.
S.T. Collisse, 2008-09-30 13:02:34

Wacky idea. Forget about it. Didn't anyone learn anything from the failed experiment called "NFL EUROPE"?
Vince in Ottawa, 2008-09-30 01:35:00

Not expand, but I would move the entire South East to Europe.
striker, 2008-09-29 20:26:11

Perhaps the NHL should look after it's apathetic American Markets and it's grassroots, the Canadian cities like Halifax QC, and Winnipeg, before such a bold move overseas.
rk, 2008-09-29 19:29:38

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