Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Chase For The Victoria Cup?

The basic question in response to the idea of an NHL team taking on a Euro league champion in hockey for something called the Victoria Cup is: Would you watch?

IIHL head Rene Fasso says an unidentified NHL team will participate in the inaugural tournament, along with the European cup champion and one other European team, and eventually, the IIHL would like the Stanley Cup champ to take on the Euro champ every year. A few things they will likely have to reconcile:

1) the rink rules they'll be playing under -- I know little about the Euro leagues, I presume they play under international rink dimensions and rules, so this would probably look more like Olympic/international hockey matches than the NHL. Based on your viewing experience, this is either a plus or a minus (I like bigger rinks). Also, less checking.

2) The NHL's long season -- by the time you would have a Stanley Cup champion, they'd have gone through a grueling schedule that's longer than the European leagues, and it's safe to think that you wouldn't exactly be getting a high level of play from that NHL team.

3) Injury concerns -- much like the ones that marred last year's baseball tournament, and the ones that always come up for NBA players participating in the Olympics.

The whole concept could work or fall on its ass spectacularly. It would probably work better if you do it every other year, and split that up on those two years when the Winter Olympics aren't being held.

1 comment:

Sanchez said...

I think the idea is definately a good one. Every sport benefits from international competition and exposure.

But I have to admit I would be unlikely to watch it. It is Hockey afterall. Perhaps that's too harsh...

Alright, I *might* watch it then.