Puckarinen Hits A Post
Entries with the tag: sm-liiga
Fighting’s been a hot topic in many hockey markets recently. The KHL has had its share of it with the Vityaz team creating havoc on and off the ice, and not for the first time - and dare I predict - not for the last. The Wikipedia tells me that Vityaz “is a Russian term for a valiant warrior or knight [and] usually given to a man who owns a horse and proves himself in battle”. Now the KHL is looking to take the horses away from some of the Vityaz players, making them take a walk from the league.
In the Finnish SM-liiga, Helsinki IFK and Lahti Pelicans broke the league record in penalty minutes in a game when fights broke out in three separate occasions within eight seconds (of time on the game clock), including 16 players. The league disciplinary committee handed out suspensions to 14 players and both head coaches, Petri Matikainen (HIFK) and Kai Suikkanen (Pelicans).
Between the actual incident and the suspensions, the hockey fight debate was already in full swing.
It’s the NHL week in Europe, that time of the year when the National Hockey League big machine rolls into Europe and gives hockey fans a taste of the big league/s.
This year, the NHL Premiere, and the training camps that precede the regular season openers, sees NHL teams play in Helsinki, Hamburg, Mannheim, Berlin, Bratislava, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Zug, and Prague. That’s four teams playing 11 games in Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
And with the flags waving, and the people cheering, the obvious question is: could it be done all the time? Is there room for the Helsinki Fins or the Stockholm Swede? Or, more importantly, would the marketplace support an NHL team?