by PuckStopsHere on 10/23/08 at 01:55 PM ET
The international hockey world is getting further fractured. The summer has been the story of the fight between the NHL (North American hockey) and the KHL (Russian Hockey). The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) has tried to play as a mediator to the conflict with limited success. The remaining European hockey playing countries of Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are combining forces with a united organization called Hockey Europe. They hope it can be a third major hockey organization that holds significant political power.
They are concerned about losing players to the NHL and KHL without sufficient transfer fees and with the KHL plans to expand into Western Europe in the future. Hockey Europe should make sure that concerns of these hockey playing nations will be heard.
It represents a further splintering of the hockey world. It might lead to a major hockey league forming down the road that will attempt to challenge the KHL and NHL. This might lead to a further dilution of NHL talent as some players with NHL ability opt to play in the European leagues or a stronger combined league.
Here is the New York Times blog slap shots writing about the formation of Hockey Europe.
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