Huh, well that definitely wouldn't have been my first guess. The US market would've been my first.
"We feel the future in China is extremely bright," said Chris Collins, a former NHL scout and broadcaster from California who has been appointed the general manager of the China Sharks.Yeah, we'll just have to wait and see about that. I have serious doubts. Personally, I think the powers that be should concentrate their efforts on reviving the professional game in this country before worrying about introducing and growing it in another.
"Is it going to be easy? Certainly not. But we're helping them to build from the ground floor up. If we do this right, it will be a path for the rest of the NHL to come to China."
The NHL has visions of glory in the lucrative Chinese market, which Collins says is "breathtaking" in its size. The NBA is already reaping $50-million (U.S.) in annual revenue from China, primarily from the sale of NBA merchandise at 50,000 outlets across the country, making it the NBA's biggest market outside the United States.
The NHL, by contrast, doesn't even have a single souvenir hawker at the China Sharks' games. "Our entire business plan only started a few weeks ago," Collins said. "But the marketplace is wide open. The game has nowhere to go but up."