NHL Needs to Stay Put

This is in response to Pierre LeBrun’s article on Sportsnet.ca regarding the NHL expanding into Europe.

The biggest point that he failed to address is that if there are teams in Russia, Finland, Sweden, etc., why would any European player sign with one of the existing teams in North America? It would be much easier to play in their home countries and not have to learn a new language and adjust to a completely different lifestyle.

And same goes for the Canadian and American born players, especially the veterans. There’s no chance that they would sign a deal to play in Europe. Even if they get traded they can always pull the old-Alonzo-Mourning-trick and retire, come out of retirement and sign back in North America.

LeBrun says the travel wouldn’t be too bad. Just send each team over there for an extended road trip, because there’s no difference between a trip from Montreal to Los Angeles then there is from Montreal to Europe.

Well that’s all fine and dandy for the teams in the Northeast and Atlantic divisions, but what happens when teams in the Pacific and Northwest have to go over there and the travel time doubles? And I won’t even get into the time-zone and jet lag issues.

So what happens in the playoffs then, Pierre? If your predicted scheduling format works out, then we would need three conferences. Do the winners of each conference play a round robin? It simply wouldn’t work.

Even if they did find a way to have two teams in the finals, what would happen if those two teams were Anaheim And Stockholm? The travel would be ridiculous and there’s no chance they could continue with playing every second day as they have been for years in the playoffs.

Franchises in Europe are completely unnecessary. We have the best hockey in the world over here, and players know that. That’s why there are European players playing in the CHL and the AHL, and thats why European children dream of coming over here to hoist hockey’s holy grail.

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