There is a lot of interest in hockey in Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia.  However, there would be domestic resistance to establishing NHL teams in those countries because they already have strong leagues.  There might also be resistance from within the NHL itself because those existing leagues provide plenty of players to the NHL.

A European division might be set up in Germany and the U.K where there is interest for hockey but their domestic leagues are weak. Having the NHL come in could be seen as positive step to grow interest in the game.  London, Berlin and other cities in those countries are large enough and wealthy enough to support NHL teams.

The main problem I see with a European division is the time differences. An evening game in Europe would be seen on TV in the afternoon in eastern North America and in the morning in the west. This might be OK on the weekends but few North American fans could watch during the week. The way is solve that problem is to have the European league that operate separately but at the end of the season compete for the Stanley Cup.

 


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09/25/2012 17:18

THX for info

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