For a midweek it is getting pretty interesting both in the UK and over the pond in the offices of the NHL. Firstly as I write this there is the small matter of a game in Sheffield between Sheffield and the Cardiff Devils. If Cardiff can maintain their remarkable winning streak the Elite League title could be down to two contenders but more on that later. There is also rumours filtering out the NHL offices regarding two of its showcase events, Premier Europe and the Winter Classic. However I would like to start with something that I have noticed lately and I am not happy about.
This would be the seemingly growing number and frequency of players leaving Elite League clubs at very little notice. Already this week 2 vipers have left their club and another Capital left Murrayfield. Of the 11 imports that started the season for the Edinburgh Capitals only 3 remain. We are all used to players changing in mid-season but for me this season has seen an increase. Put simple this is wrong. Every player has a contract to play for a club and they should honour this. The two-week notice rule is there to protect players from being axed at the whim of a coach but far too many players are taking advantage of this to leave clubs. I can understand that players in Britain are not being paid the greatest amount of money and that clubs in Britain are financially insecure but by leaving a club those players are creating a financial problem and the league has just announced both Newcastle and Edinbugh will be able to finish the season.
I am not sure want can be done to stop this without hindering a coaches right to change his team but something needs to be done. Leagues, owners, federations whoever it takes need to get together to sort this problem out and the players that have left clubs need to hang their heads in shame.
Ok so rant over and better news. News maybe a little strong but the NHL is already talking about next season. It seems likely that the NHL will again open the season in Europe and that teams are being consulted on who will make the trip whilst there is no news yet on venues. Having been in Prague for the Bruins – Coyotes games. It is a fantastic event but the NHL does have to make it more accessible to local fans especially over the two games. In Prague the ticket prices for the cheapest seats were around 7 times that of the home team HC Slavia Prague’s regular season games. Nonetheless I am looking forward to seeing who and where the games will be.
The other big NHL event under the rumour spot light these last few days is the Winter Classic. With the 2011 Heritage Classic yet to come and its American cousin’s 2011 version only 2 weeks old the NHL is rumoured to be thinking seriously about a Winter Classic in the sun belt. As I have mentioned before it could be time for Dallas or Phoenix to maybe host a game and maybe set a new attendance record.
But anyway back to the Elite League and Cardiff resoundly beat Sheffield 7-1 to make it look like a 2 horse race. However if Cardiff continue to play how they have it wont be a two-horse race for long. The top flight league title will be going back to Cardiff for the first time since 1997.