Every so often, some of us at Crimespree Hockey will partake in a “roundtable debate” on hot hockey topics. This edition will discuss the NHL Premiere games in Europe.
The 2010 NHL Premiere features Carolina vs. Minnesota in Helsinki, Columbus vs. San Jose in Stockholm and Phoenix vs. Boston in Prague.
Dan: I can get the reason they want to do this, because they want to expand promotion of the league.
Rob: But they call this “beneficial”, but the Olympics is a “waste of time”.
Dan: The Olympics is a HUUUUGE deal across the globe though. The problem with this, is A) nobody over there really cares about our teams, and I understand they want to change that, marketability.
Rob: The DEL fans (watching Sharks vs. Adler Mannheim) were the only ones excited. They didn’t shut up.
Dan: But, it makes things unfair for the 4 (or 6) teams that go over. Look at Carolina, who goes over and doesn’t have a home game until the end of October.
Michelle: It’s definitely a disadvantage for the teams that go over because they are going to be worn out from travelling.
Rob: They should just pick a country, and have 4 games a WEEK before the season starts.
Dan: Kinda like they did in ’07 with the Kings and Ducks in London.
Gabbi: And switch it up every year?
Amanda: I think every team should get to do it just once, and then end the whole thing.
Joey: I have no problem with playing some games in Europe but I wouldn’t expand like they have this year. 6 teams, 3 cities/countries are too many. If anything, let’s just limit to one pair of teams playing in one country per year, two pairs/cities at the most.
Dan: With the global economy the way it is, the people over there aren’t going to shell out for teams they don’t have a rooting interest for.
Rob: Then if they have it in the US or canada, have it in places there is no NHL hockey.
Dan: I mean if you want to market the game, you need to send good teams. No offense, but no Columbus or Phoenix. San Jose I can buy.
Rob: Columbus went because of the Swedish players (Huselius, Stralman, Pahlsson).
Dan: It makes sense, I figured they’d do something like that, Rob.
Joey: Maybe do something where like one year, I think the Leafs spent three weeks in Europe, practically had training camp and a full schedule of preseason games playing all over Europe. We can expose Europe to the NHL product without an expense to these team’s season ticket holders.
Dan: Like what the Islanders wanted to do in China this summer, at least the training camp part.
Rob: How about when our teams take on the KHL? Now the KHL is laughing at us (after Carolina lost to SKA St. Petersburg).
Dan: We definitely have no reason to face the KHL, there’s more risk than reward. When you play these other leagues, if you lose/look bad, it looks bad for us as a league.
Gabbi: It shows our ineptitude.
Rob: Especially against the KHL in the battle of who is the “superior league”.
Dan: And it’ll hurt in the long run when guys might be like hey, KHL can hang with NHL teams. I’ll just play closer to home.
Gabbi: For alot more money.
Rob: Well, some have already done that, but some want the Cup.
Dan: The one good thing that comes out of this is that maybe kids will watch these NHL teams, and grow up with the goal to play for one someday, and come home for one of these games.
Rob: But, the negative, when we lose over there they’ll say “Why should I play for them? We are just as good.”
Joe: The one thing I do like is watching hockey on a Friday at noon. It beats the hell out of watching “The Doctors”.
So it’s been decided. We think that if the NHL in Europe for preseason can be a good idea, if it is for longer periods of time, and only with one pair of teams. It’s a bad idea to have the teams go to Europe to play 2-4 games, only to start the season on the road somewhere else in North America.
Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts!