Sweden Again? No Thanks.

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Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:40 pm

http://www.faceoff-factor.com/nhl/2112/ ... -no-thanks

I ripped the idea of playing in Europe again on a two page rampage.

For those of you that asked for it, here it is.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby KG on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:44 pm

NHL should implement a certain amount of years service credited for any team that goes to Europe...Just like jury duty, 6 years of service if you serve...Pens should be exempt for a long time...
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Sarcastic on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:53 pm

Well written, Jesse. Agree on both points about the Pens and Lightning/Stamkos. Both seemed uncelebrated and both already somehow feel forgotten. I didn't know what would come out of these, but now it seems like it was a bad idea.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:14 pm

I've been on the other side of the argument and this weekend hasn't changed anything. This wasn't about making a big splash to the start of the season in the US. It was about expanding a global presence in a league where a significant number of players come from outside North America. From everything I read, the fans there had a great time and the players had a great time going there. It's not always about us.

I'm also not going to hop aboard the crusade against the ice conditions. One, that's the nature of working with an ice surface. In another thread I saw someone using the old, MLB and NFL don't have problems with their field surfaces (which isn't true anyway), so it's inexcusable that the NHL does. Ice is different than grass. They have problems getting consistently good ice in many of the US markets as well, a lot of times for reasons beyond control (e.g. humidity). Besides, ice is bad for both teams so it's not a disadvantage either way. I'm digressing a bit because I have a beef about those complaints in general.

I definitely don't want to hear about how this is wrecking or will wreck the beginning part of the season for the Pens. It's an excuse that doesn't fly. They chose to do it willingly. They have an entire week off and then they spend a stretch at home. People try to pigeon hole the teams that go overseas and say those trips cause them to have bad starts. LA just sucked last year. Anaheim started the season without their two best players and had several other key injuries on top of that. I even read someone saying that the trip to Japan in 2000 screwed that season up for the Pens and only Mario saved it... or maybe it was that the team had crap D and goaltending and it took Mario to give them enough offense to overcome that. If the Pens do get off to a rough start, I'm going to go ahead and say that it has more to do with injury losses and the growing pains of building new chemistry than a trip to Sweden for a week.

I just don't buy into these arguments against going overseas. There's nothing they can possibly do that's going to make the opening of the NHL season seem like a big thing in the US. That's because hockey is a niche sport in the US. That's not going to change until hockey manages to have more mass appeal rather than just regional appeal. Of course, attempts to make the NHL pervade throughout the US are constantly criticized so I don't know what the answer is. For me, the bottom line is that the NHL has a opportunity to explore revenue streams in Europe and doing so does nothing to interfere with attempts to broaden the appeal of the game in the US.

This is a long winded reply and not all of it is necessarily in response to the article in question but this is one group of issues that gets me going.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:18 pm

If you're going to have games overseas, don't make them for points. It's as simple as that for me.

Opening weekend in the NHL went by unnoticed. People on the Flyers/Islanders boards didn't even know regulation games had begun yet.

The NHL could have had a mid-week splash that would have at least made one segment on ESPN.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby KG on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:19 pm

I keep hearing that 14,000 tickets were sold, I saw a ton of empty seats in prime locations...
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Pitts on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:29 pm

KG wrote:I keep hearing that 14,000 tickets were sold, I saw a ton of empty seats in prime locations...

Those were Gonchar's reserved seats for his family and friends.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Eismann on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:29 pm

Henry Hank wrote:I'm also not going to hop aboard the crusade against the ice conditions. One, that's the nature of working with an ice surface. In another thread I saw someone using the old, MLB and NFL don't have problems with their field surfaces (which isn't true anyway), so it's inexcusable that the NHL does. Ice is different than grass. They have problems getting consistently good ice in many of the US markets as well, a lot of times for reasons beyond control (e.g. humidity). Besides, ice is bad for both teams so it's not a disadvantage either way.


In nearly every NHL period of nearly every NHL game, the NHL has bad (not iffy or mediocre or ok) playing surfaces. They sometimes change the outcomes of games, injure players, and affect the quality of the product that people are consuming. Sure, you can find instances in the other major sports where the field causes problems, but look around. Artificial ("Astro") turf is disappearing. The Steelers/MIA soak festival was a complete anomaly. Seems like other leagues are fixing their field issues.

I'm tired of the freaking playing surface having the negative effects it does. Maybe the solutions are chemical (ice-specific), or architectural (better cooling in the buildings). My point is that something needs to be done.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Pitts on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:31 pm

Eismann wrote:I'm tired of the freaking playing surface having the negative effects it does. Maybe the solutions are chemical (ice-specific), or architectural (better cooling in the buildings). My point is that something needs to be done.

You can not be naive enough to think that the NHL is not aware of or trying to remedy this.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Eismann on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:35 pm

Pitts wrote:
Eismann wrote:I'm tired of the freaking playing surface having the negative effects it does. Maybe the solutions are chemical (ice-specific), or architectural (better cooling in the buildings). My point is that something needs to be done.

You can not be naive enough to think that the NHL is not aware of or trying to remedy this.


Perhaps they are. Do you know?

You cannot be naive enough to think that people who are unhappy about something on the introwebz won't express a burning desire to fix the freaking problem.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Sarcastic on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:44 pm

I'd like to know two things:

1) what were these trips supposed to accomplish
2) did they succeed in whatever it was

I'm just totally indifferent to this, personally. Just two normal games that did feel more like exhibition games. The winter classic was awesome, I thought. Great atmosphere; very exciting. What exactly did this do for our league and what did it do for the Swedes? They already love hockey over there and have a good league.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:45 pm

Opening weekend in the NHL went by unnoticed. People on the Flyers/Islanders boards didn't even know regulation games had begun yet.


Those aren't the people the games were meant for. I can guarantee it didn't go unnoticed in Sweden and the Czech Republic.

In nearly every NHL period of nearly every NHL game, the NHL has bad (not iffy or mediocre or ok) playing surfaces. They sometimes change the outcomes of games, injure players, and affect the quality of the product that people are consuming. Sure, you can find instances in the other major sports where the field causes problems, but look around. Artificial ("Astro") turf is disappearing. The Steelers/MIA soak festival was a complete anomaly. Seems like other leagues are fixing their field issues.


Again, grass is not ice. Artificially recreating and maintaining an ice surface in non-freezing conditions is far, far, far, far, far different than keeping up a grass field. I'm not using that as an outright excuse but there are far more hurdles to go over when you're working with ice, even with technological today. Obviously they still haven't been able to perfect it.
Last edited by Henry Hank on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Pitts on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:47 pm

Eismann wrote:Perhaps they are. Do you know?

Yes they are and yes I know.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby booboo on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:51 pm

One thing worth noting Jesse is that NHL must be cognizant of the creation and development of KHL.
I think Betman must have thought of using Euro "premiere" (what a cocky pitch btw) as an opportunity
to make a statement in the area geographically close to the KHL's region of influence. One could
also think of this as a reward for those national federations of ice hockey who choose to cooperate
with NHL w.r.t. say player transfers.

But all in all, I think that the teams who made the trip should be given extra points in the standings
in return for the extra effort. This effort is excessive and it is not properly justified or rewarded.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:56 pm

booboo, I understand your premise, but I think people in Sweden are more concerned with Karpat, Frolunda, and Modo vs. the KHL. They have their own league over there, which is very popular.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:58 pm

Henry Hank wrote:
Opening weekend in the NHL went by unnoticed. People on the Flyers/Islanders boards didn't even know regulation games had begun yet.


Those aren't the people the games were meant for. I can guarantee it didn't go unnoticed in Sweden and the Czech Republic.


So now NHL games aren't meant for NHL fans?

As for it not going unnoticed in Sweden, didn't seem to me like those in attendance were overly excited about what was happening.

The MLB has a lot of Japanese players and fans. I don't see Selig packing his bags and sending teams over there?
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:02 pm

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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:09 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20040401&content_id=675480&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/opening_s ... /index.jsp


Got me there. Shows how much I follow baseball.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Why So Serious? on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:16 pm

What I don't understand is that the NHL can barely sustain/promote itself in the American market. And for some odd reason, Gary Bettman is bent on taking the game overseas and promoting it over there. How bout we worry about making sure the game gets to a wider audience in America before taking it overseas. I just don't understand.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby newarenanow on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:18 pm

Why So Serious? wrote:What I don't understand is that the NHL can barely sustain/promote itself in the American market. And for some odd reason, Gary Bettman is bent on taking the game overseas and promoting it over there. How bout we worry about making sure the game gets to a wider audience in America before taking it overseas. I just don't understand.


I'm with you here. I'd work on the US audience first.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Why So Serious? on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:22 pm

newarenanow wrote:
Why So Serious? wrote:What I don't understand is that the NHL can barely sustain/promote itself in the American market. And for some odd reason, Gary Bettman is bent on taking the game overseas and promoting it over there. How bout we worry about making sure the game gets to a wider audience in America before taking it overseas. I just don't understand.


I'm with you here. I'd work on the US audience first.


Yes. And it certainly doesn't help when your main hockey station (Versus) puts more importance into Rodeo and golf, rather than hockey. And it certainly doesn't help that ESPN doesn't give a rat's a** about hockey, because there are so many sports fans who will watch what ESPN tells them to watch, and that doesn't include hockey.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:25 pm

Why So Serious? wrote:What I don't understand is that the NHL can barely sustain/promote itself in the American market. And for some odd reason, Gary Bettman is bent on taking the game overseas and promoting it over there. How bout we worry about making sure the game gets to a wider audience in America before taking it overseas. I just don't understand.


I was on the fence before, but the relative indifference shown at the games over there turned me off of the idea of playing overseas. Not that it is hurting them from expanding the audience here. I just think maybe having 2 exhibition games in the US, going over there, having 2 more exhibition games, then coming back here for a final exhibition game or two would be better. That way, the same result occurs in Europe, but the players are back here and back on schedule in time for the season to start.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Jesse on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:27 pm

Versus thought the games were so pertinent that they didn't even bother sending announcers to the game. They were in a comfy studio back in NA watching the game on TV, and announcing that way.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby booboo on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 pm

Jesse wrote:booboo, I understand your premise, but I think people in Sweden are more concerned with Karpat, Frolunda, and Modo vs. the KHL. They have their own league over there, which is very popular.


I'd let Swedes address that.
But the way I saw it in Europe, people in hockey were looking up to NHL and they were always
keen to see their formerly local stars in action in their current club jerseys.

Still, I agree with your main line of critique.
And I definitely agree with others on this forum who hold NHL accountable
for screwing up its promotion on the US market.
Last edited by booboo on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Why So Serious? on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:28 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:
Why So Serious? wrote:What I don't understand is that the NHL can barely sustain/promote itself in the American market. And for some odd reason, Gary Bettman is bent on taking the game overseas and promoting it over there. How bout we worry about making sure the game gets to a wider audience in America before taking it overseas. I just don't understand.


I was on the fence before, but the relative indifference shown at the games over there turned me off of the idea of playing overseas. Not that it is hurting them from expanding the audience here. I just think maybe having 2 exhibition games in the US, going over there, having 2 more exhibition games, then coming back here for a final exhibition game or two would be better. That way, the same result occurs in Europe, but the players are back here and back on schedule in time for the season to start.


I certainly wouldn't mind it that much if they did pre-season games overseas. But to have meaningful regular season games over there just isn't right. I was in the same boat as you prior to the Sweden trip. I was kind of indifferent, but everything about The Globe Arena completely turned me off. It was a joke of a place to play in. And the fans could care less about the result, as long as their boy Daniel Alfredsson was on the ice.
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