Posted by Håkan Ljung on 9th October 2003 at 21:32 GMT
Posted from 184.108.40.206 (md469057f.utfors.se)
In reply to Re: How to create a European Hockey League? posted by Graham Goodman on 9th October 2003 at 12:52 GMT:
Hello Graham and other hockey lovers,
I did not mean to critisise anyone for anything really. I mean how many who watch games in our different domestic leagues knows what happens in different countries leagues? I am sure there are things Swedish fans should know about British clubs and your hockey history. Absoloutely. I just forgot to add, "how many Djurgården fans knows about British clubs"? Both you and I and visitors on this site has a particular interest in the European perspective. I dont think we are so many fans who attends games who have this interest.
Europe is Europe. If you cross a border you are in a totally different culture. I mean we are isolated in our different nations still. That means our icehockey traditions and the mentality behind our sports culture is different. It´s both fun and interesting. But if we would have an equivalent to North Americas NHL - a fixed European league in other words this would be very difficult to achieve. Then we need to be more similar. This is what my suggestion is about. I hope we will have that type of post-national league one day - a real European league. Before that we have to have Champions league in icehockey. My idea concept does not mean we could not run other Cups in Europe as before.
It´s a fact and not a view of mine that IIHF wish to reintroduce the European Cup beside the Continental Cup. From what I know about the Continental Cup is it has improved the level of hockey in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain and it still does. I am only happy for that. What one could maybe critize is that you should have more organized training in these countries off-season in the clubs. In Sweden, Finland, Russia and the former Czechoslovakia icehockey players are employed by the clubs for the whole year with only 4 weeks of holiday. Only 7 months long season employments is not good at all and the players are often left by themselfs. There is no excuse even if the players are working summertime with civil jobs. The clubs should have a coach present and work with the players all the year around. This is something all minor countries must begin to look at very soon. Then you would improve even more.
Since you allready written your suggestion down, you can deliver this Champions League concept of yours to an official in charge at your federation; UK icehockey in Nottingham. I did the same with mine to a official at Swedish Icehockey Federation who are one person of many from other countries trying to find a solution for tournaments for club teams in Europe. Britain have one member from UK icehockey in Nottingham in this project too.
It was fantastic to have seen David Longstaff in Djurgården. They wanted to sign a longer 3 year contract with him with a higher salary, but he wanted his eldest son to go in first class in school in England. So David went back home. Last season he played in National Liga B in Switzerland. He is far better than that. They are only allowed to have 4 foreigners in each A Liga team. David seems to be a genuine guy. Money goes last. I like him very much as a player.
It amazes me how well orientaded you seem to be in Swedish icehockey and European hockey in general. I really do hope I will have the oportunity to meet you in Stockholm at Sweden Hockey Games.