NHL in Czech Republic

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ostravak
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NHL in Czech Republic

Postby ostravak » 01-Apr-09 3:18

When the NHL expands into Europe, Czech Republic should get the first ever NHL team. Canada has the most NHL players, USA has second most, and Czech Republic is third. These are the top 3 hockey player producing nations. Prague os the obvious choice for the first NHL team.
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Polednikova
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Postby Polednikova » 02-Apr-09 7:53

Sorry. Don't get that. Why should we want/have an NHL team? :?
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Postby GlennInFlorida » 02-Apr-09 13:01

The only thing the NHL could bring to Prague would be outrageously expensive (by Czech standards) ticket prices.
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Postby Dannae » 02-Apr-09 18:29

There is a huge difference between traditional and NHL ice-hockey. The simple fact that CR has many NHL players does not support any establishment of NHL in Europe.

I am not a big ice-hockey fan but from what I understood NHL is based on professional players and is more rough - unlike in Europe. I happened many times when NHL player played in Europe - he was penalized more often because of the play style. That's what I seem to remember.

One question: why do not NHL teams participate in World Championships or Olympics?

P.S. Sorry, the North American continent is big but it is not the whole world. It kinda eggravates me when the Superbowl winners say "We are the champions of the world." althought they are not.
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Postby McCracken » 02-Apr-09 19:21

Dannae wrote: One question: why do not NHL teams participate in World Championships or Olympics?


Probably because the World Championships and Olympics are competitions for national teams and not club teams. They are also run by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and the NHL is not affiliated to the IIHF.

However, many NHL players DO play for their national teams in both of these competitions, although the World Championships almost always clashes with the latter stages of the NHL Stanley Cup play-offs and players may not be released to take part in the Worlds (nor, I suspect would they want to play in the Worlds if still involved in the Stanley Cup, which is still seen as the ultimate hockey trophy by most players, even above the World Championships or Olympics!).

The NHL usually has a break during the Olympics so that the best players can play for their country in the games.

I was lucky enough to pay an unexpected (and busy) hockey visit to friends in the CR the other week and got to see a 2Liga play-off game in Sumperk, an Extraliga play-off game at Sparta and the national U17 (Dorost) final in Trinec (Trinec vs Slavia) as well as a couple of U10 and U12 matches in a junior tournament in Olomouc. I have to say that the U17 match in Trinec was one of the best games I have seen this season (including NHL and Extraliga!!).

Just realised that this post is the "Gretzky" - #99 :)
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Postby Dannae » 02-Apr-09 19:27

McCracken wrote:
Dannae wrote: One question: why do not NHL teams participate in World Championships or Olympics?

...
(nor, I suspect would they want to play in the Worlds if still involved in the Stanley Cup, which is still seen as the ultimate hockey trophy by most players, even above the World Championships or Olympics!).
...


That is exactly what I had in mind when I mentioned Superbowl. From my (still and I guess forever) European point of view it sound creepy though. Oh well, what we can do :roll:.

Bwt: is not your first name Kathy? Just curious ...
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Postby McCracken » 02-Apr-09 22:08

I guess that is where ice hockey differs from American Football (NFL) and Baseball (MLB) in that the Stanley Cup winners are not usually referred to as the "world champions", whereas the winners of the Superbowl and World Series quite often are spoken of as "world champions".

Oh, definitely not Kathy, by the way :)
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ostravak
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Postby ostravak » 02-Apr-09 22:27

Polednikova wrote:Sorry. Don't get that. Why should we want/have an NHL team? :?


You might not have a choice. The thought here in North America is that it will happen. It's just a matter of time. Europe is a huge market that the NHL wants to exploit in the future. Judging from the fans' response from the few NHL games played in Europe already, the fans do want it to happen.
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Postby McCracken » 03-Apr-09 11:59

That was probably because the chance to see genuine NHL teams playing in Europe is a novelty.

However, I don't think that a "watered down" regular season european version would have the same appeal.

Look what happened when they tried to expand NFL into europe. That was a pale imitation of the real thing AND there was no competition for an audience.

There are already good hockey leagues right across Europe (with the Czech Republic being amongst the best :) ). Many of them already have players from North America/Canada who are not good enough to play over there any more and that is almost certainly the type of player you would find in a European NHL expansion league. I can't see that a second rate NHL venture would succeed. The NHL is having a hard enough time selling itself in North America (its fine in Canada as it is their #1 sport). Hockey comes a poor 4th to Baseball, NFL and Basketball in the USA. Even in countries where hockey is popular in Europe, I am pretty sure it is a very poor relation to soccer.

I am sure that there will be more "special event" NHL games here in Europe such as we have already seen but, as Glenn in Florida has already speculated, I don't think that Europe is ready to regularly pay the kind of prices demanded by the NHL in order to watch a hockey game - especially when a very good product is already available at reasonable prices. Going to the Olympics in Turin in 2006 (from London) was better value than the NHL game in London in 2007!!
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ostravak
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Postby ostravak » 04-Apr-09 0:23

Those are all good points. But you just know that the NHL will try to expand into Europe anyway-no matter what people say or think. It's that kind of arrogance that brought NHL teams to southern United States. Do people in Nashville or Phoenix really care about hockey? I don't think so, but, they got the teams anyway. Stupid. They should expand into Canada, give Hamilton a team. Or even Toronto. They could have 2 NHL teams no problem. People there truly love hockey. As long as Americans are running the NHL, stupid decisions will be made.

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