Fair Play

I recently ripped Scott Burnside for glossing over any legitimate points on the feasibility of putting franchises in Europe.

In all fairness I should rip Al Strachan of Fox Sports. In his latest article he pretty much glosses over all the counterpoints to my position:
Assuming interest continues to grow, some time down the road, an entire conference will start its season in Europe.

There's no doubt that NHL franchises in Europe would strengthen the league. The interest is already there and fans would love to turn out to see their national heroes. Granted, there are problems, but most of them could be overcome.

I know people are daydreaming a little, but the devil is in the details, and if you're going to make a case for, or against, teams in Europe these things need to be talked about. Granted he did go over the problems with playoffs so he didn't gloss over everything. But in the list of obstacles to overcome playoff travel is probably #20 on the list. (Especially because a 2-3-2 series format could be used to solve it. Not ideal, but reasonable and plausible).

For a good analysis on the problems with permanently locating teams in Europe, see Faux Rumors latest blog post


  1. Rather than outright expansion, why not an affiliation? Something like setting up a Euro-NHL, and as part of the NHL preseason they could have a couple NHL teams head over to Europe and a couple European teams head over here for a special tournament.

  2. Well that could work, however I think The NHL would be reluctant to make it anything other than another minor league system.

    I wouldn't mind seeing something similar to the Champions Cup like the Euro soccer leagues do though, in the near term especially

  3. 1) The tournament idea is something we believe is much more feasible in the shorter term than an NHL-Europe
    2) That of course has its own set of obstacles, but they are far fewer and less daunting. We could foresee that as a possibility in the next 20 or so years, especially if BIG Money would be involved!
    3) Thanks for the plug