Thursday, September 12, 2013

Champions League hockey a good idea...but will never work

From where I sit it looks like the NHL is aiming at at a bridge too far...

On the surface it sounds like a great idea. Top clubs from the top leagues facing off, just like the UEFA Champions League. But let's take a closer look at how European football clubs function. A game a week, 2 if they're in Cup play outside their own league. There are 25 or so players on the team, a maximum of 14 can play in any game (11 starters, 3 subs). Add to that reserve and junior squads, that's around 50 players. There are 23 allowed on an NHL roster...20 of them dress, and all 20 could end up seeing game action. I certainly wouldn't want my favourite team sending the best players over to Europe. Imagine the outrage from Kings fans if Jonathan Quick went down with an ACL injury in a game against Eisbaren Berlin. Or Alex Ovechkin got run from behind by some thug from the Notingham Panthers. It could be fun to see the Penguins play Skellefta AIK. But there would be other teams too. How many North American hockey fans will tune in for HC Assat Pori v Asiago Hockey AC? Would the Blackhawks send their top team? Doubt it. Probably a good chunk of the Rockford IceHogs with a few Toledo Walleye thrown in. Jonathan Toews? More like Brandon Pirri. It's a great idea on paper, but in a truly practical's just doesn't work.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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