Anonymous
Anonymous asked in SportsHockey · 1 decade ago

How can the NHL forge closer relations to fans and teams in Europe?

Last year, Los Angeles and Anaheim kicked off the 2007-08 NHL season by playing two regular-season games at the new O2 Arena in London, England. This year, there was an explosion of overseas activity kick-started by the Victoria Cup, a new IIHF-driven tournament featuring an NHL team (New York Rangers) and the European club champions (Mettalurg Magnitigorsk, from Russia) in a one-game showdown. Indeed, NHL presence in Europe to start the 2008-09 season was unprecedented. The Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning played two NHL games in Prague, and Pittsburgh and Ottawa also played two NHL games in Sweden.

It’s clear the NHL wants to capture the attention of the huge European fan base, but it’s also clear the league isn’t yet exactly sure how to go about it. Any suggestions?

Update:

Yahoo! Canada Answers Staff Note: Andrew Podnieks has written over 50 books about hockey. His latest, from HarperCollins, is Hockey Facts & Stats

Update 2:

Find out more about Andrew's latest book here: http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/9781554683024/Co...

160 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    No dice. There are enough failing teams across the Confederacy that should not be there to start with..The NHL would not have any reason to expand into europe if they were turning a healthy profit. By reloacating teams like Phoneix, Florida, and Nashville to markets that are FAR more profitable like Winnipeg, Hamilton, or Quebec the NHL could become a much more prosperous leauge. If theres that much of an interest in the NHL expanding into Europe..have some sort of a game between the top NHL team and the Top European leauge team mid way through the season or something. The costs of expanding "and traveling teams across the Atlantic" all the time into europe is something the NHL can not afford not to mention the fact theres enough teams as it is..exceding 30 teams would be to much. Not to mention the strain that jet lag would have on the players bring down their skill in the game. We would also have to deal with the reality of the time zone differences..Does this mean we'll have to be up at 7am just to watch a game in Europe? I say no to Europe under the conditions the NHL is under at the present time.

  • 1 decade ago

    My suggestion-Don't. Point #1-There are already issues for teams travelling coast to coast and complaints of fatigue late in the season. The only way really solidify fan base is have a team there, and it doesn't make sense from a travel aspect

    Point 2- Focus on viable markets in North America and fix the ones that are problems, either move the team or contract the league and reduce the amount of teams. Hamilton,Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg are all all areas that would support a team-I'm sure Phoenix is supporting the former Jets, ah, No! Nashville, another bust. Both Florida teams are struggling. Atlanta not doing to good. And you want to go to Europe?

    Point 3- Medical standards, could they be an issue- Look what happened in Russia a couple weeks ago. I'm not saying this is the case all through Europe, but to what extent to rinks have the required medical staff, and equipment on site. Sure, go to a professional football (soccer) pitch in Europe and it's likely loaded up. The hockey rinks?

    Point 4- Officiating- We've seen the difference in the officiating in the NHL and "tournaments". Will the NHL refs travel there for games. Will their union approve it.

    Many other minor issues, but these are major

    Cheers

  • 1 decade ago

    Plain and simple, no. I think everyone else has covered the logistics issues. What I do like is the idea of having NHL teams competing in something similar to the UEFA Champions League. Take the conference champions from the NHL and put them up against the two finalists from Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. You have two teams from the eight best leagues in the world. Have the teams play a single round-robin, then the top eight face off in single eliminations to determine the world club champions.

    The only thing I say is don't associate it with the NHL brand. Likewise with a European league as well...they have their own leagues over there and on a good night, can kick the crap outta quite a few NHL teams.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Why should we?

    With the price of oil, not to mention the political and environmental impacts that our excessive use of oil has created, it doesn't make sense to have teams in Europe and trans-Atlantic road trips.

    The game was fine when the team furthest west were the Blackhawks. Expansion has been satisfactory at best. Teams in hockey-mad places as Quebec and Manitoba had their teams taken away during a temporary economic slump combined with a low Canadian dollar. A hand full of teams, mostly in the American south are struggling to stay afloat while their fans are indifferent to the team, the NHL and hockey.

    If the NHL wants to expand they should first look at Canada. Our economy hasn't been as badly effected by the thieves on Wall Street as the rest of the world. Our dollar has lowered but is still competitive. Our country is swimming in natural resources especially in the west.

    I think it would be silly to have an NHL team anywhere other than in North America. Europe can have their own leagues as we have had in our history. Money will always bring the greatest players to the greatest league and right now that money is here in the NHL.

    I would eliminate the all-star game and maybe have a week long tournament against European teams. That's as far as I would welcome the inclusion of Europe.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Personally I think this is a joke. The whole idea of the NHL is North American based. As a huge fan of hockey in Canada I wish the hockey pundits would realize this is a mistake to bring Europe into the equation. Has anyone asked the players what they think? How about the travel time - 6-8 hours each way on a plane....ya that's cheap. Why can't we have more teams in hockey loving Canada? We had teams in Winnipeg and Quebec, why not bring them back and let people in our own backyard enjoy this great game. Players have the choice to play in the NHL or in Europe. Let's keep it that way and let the players decide where they want to play and not have them travelling half way around the world to play a couple hockey games. Tickets are already priced very high and this would only add to them due to high travel costs.

    Source(s): Just my own personal opinion as a hockey fan.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think the NHL should stay in North America , the way it is now

    There is already too many teams in the NHL , thus the quality of the players is diminishing , other than a couple super stars per team .

    If the NHL expanded to Europe , wouldn't the top Swedes, Russians Finns & Czech's all go back to support their Home Team , leaving the NHL Teams without players like the Sedins , Alfredsson , Malkin & Ovechkin etc... Then there is the factor of longer plane flights causing players even more jet lag & thus their game playing would suffer . Plus I like the Stanley Cup to stay here ! Now if they developed a separate NHL in Europe that would be OK , but is that not they call their Elite League .

    Source(s): My personal opinion ! , and CBS Sports - CBC Hockey web site .
  • 1 decade ago

    Listen - Europe is Europe and North America is North America. The NHL is entirely a North American entity. It's a stupid idea to try to somehow have teams from there play here, and it's impossible on any meaningful level. You want to have intercontinental competition? The best way you're going to see the best of the world play against each other is probably through the Olympics.

    STOP THINKING ABOUT EUROPEAN FANS (AND REVENUE!) NOW AND START THINKING ABOUT NORTH AMERICAN FANS! The NHL should focus on North America. If somebody in the NHL wants to make an NHL-style league in Europe, then let them go to Europe and start from scratch. If the NHL can not sustain itself in North America, then I think it's pretty obvious that the people who are running the NHL do not know what they are doing at all. You can only run a sport like a business so far, guys, before it stops being a sport.

  • 1 decade ago

    No to Europe. The NHL already has the attention of the huge European market and many other markets too. This just boils down to the usual, money. The North American game is looking European enough these days, do we really ahve to move it there ? This is our game if ya want to play it come here to do so. I could think of a couple of Canadian cities where the NHL could go without having to "capture" anything. The NHL should be looking in it's own back yard to make the game better and "capture" our attention not in another part of the world. Gotta follow the money trail eh boys ?

    Source(s): me
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the NHL expanded to Europe it would be a huge success. Hockey does not work in most of the US. PLacing teams in Nashville and Pheonix is just a waste of time. Why is the NHL trying so hard to force hockey on to Americans who are not interested when there is a whole continent full of people that worship the sport. The one main concern would be the travel times, so my proposal is to split the season into 2 halves, one being a continous road trip over seas and the other a home stand so the team does not have to fly back and forth all the time. It could even be split further into quarters? I am sure one day the NHL will wake up and there will be NHL teams in europe, I personally can't wait as I am sick of watching games that have areanas only half full, it's pathetic. Leave americans with their football and baseball, Hockey is made for Canadians, Europeans.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have two possible ideas...

    1. An AHL like league is created in Europe and each NHL team needs to take care of some cost. They also can have some of their players developing in the league. It could be like a Premier league for hockey with teams all over Europe.

    2. Have a league in Europe that is equivalent to the NHL with maybe each European team travelling to North America for a number of games. This would be more travel heavy for the European teams. Then at the end of the year, the European conference would have a playoffs and the top team could join the Stanley cup playoffs in N.A.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.