Posted by Håkan Ljung on 8th October 2003 at 19:59 GMT
Posted from 22.214.171.124 (md4690bb0.utfors.se)
Hello all of you icehockey lovers,
Miikka recently asked a second question under the title "The best European League". How can we create a well working equivalent to footballs Champions League again?
IIHF are planning to reintroduce the old European Cup. It was replaced by EHL (European Hockey League) during the 1990:ies. The European Cup used to be our Champions League for icehockey in Europe for 70 years or so. IIHF is planing to launch it beside the Continental Cup. The latter is primially ment to be for the smaller hockey nations in Europe.
My own view in this is, it was a misstake to replace an allready valid Cup and then began to call it something else. History does matter. The Stanley Cup in NHL (wich is an intrigueated league prize) is from the early 1890:ies.
I think we all need to get to know each other for a longer period of time. Fans, medias, clubs need to create a tradition together and a sence of belonging. Jokerit Helsinki is quite unknown in Central Europe and opposite. British hockey does not know Djurgården Stockholm and so forth.
Together with our different cultures and sporting standpoints makes this to a very complicated matter. Some countries has a lot of good players without a home market. Some has market but very few native players. But I think there is a way out from here. But it will requires some time, patience and mutual respect for everyone involved.
Therefore I would like to see the very same teams who take part in this Cup for a number years. We could divide hockey Europe into different groups with 6 teams in each group. Here we can help and inspire each other to improve variuos things. One could start out with pre-season tournaments within one group to begin with. After a while one could then establish a Cup beside the nationbound league activities on on-going season. From here we maybe have an embryo of an permanent all European league.
Honestly, how can we ever possibly think we one day will have a post-national hockey league in Europe without knowing each other before that?