ukcanuck wrote: It just seems to me that of the big four only Hockey is a truly global sport and thats not really being taken advantage of. I know basketball is a global game and Baseball a bit too, but there isnt the same level of international competition like in hockey.
Just thinking outside the box but if this keeps up and Bettman keeps this culture of lockouts and downward pressure of salaries and contract over the long term, he's risking the relevance of the NHL as a force in the sport.
I guess for Canada that would probably mean that Toronto Montreal and Vancouver could manage to avoid relegation and the rest of the country would have to make do with the American league but the A would be a much better league than now and like in the UK it doesnt matter what league your home town team is in the fans are just a rabid... maybe a little too rabid
the payoff would be games and series between cities like
Pure free markets the best players go to the best teams, water finds its own level, perhaps that would bring the game and health of the sport up to a more equal footing?
There's an embryo for that somewhere in this: http://www.europeantrophy.com/teams.php
A league/tournament that hopes to emulate the success of Champions League soccer and where 7 Czech, 7 Finnish, 7 Swedish, 4 German, 4 Swiss, 2 Austrian and 1 Slovak team square off for a trophy.
Originally it was called the Nordic Trophy and only had twelve teams; six Swedish, six Finnish, but it has been expanding over the last few years and I think they have the ambition to grow even more.
It's been rumoured that there are plans to make this a permanent league, and then perhaps have joint playoffs with the KHL. Not sure that will ever happen though.
This is not a bad idea though, because there are lots of great players from Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, but there is more money to be made in Germany and Switzerland. By merging these markets you could start to get some economies of scale and be able to present a better product.