Russian tycoon eyes league to rival NHL
Another professional hockey league could be on the horizon.I'm skeptical, but hey, stranger things have happened. If (big IF)a European league does manage to get off the ground it could create profound changes in how hockey is played, marketed and viewed globally. We're looking at changes possibly much more profound than those of the last great NHL rival league insurrection...
And it could be a league that would give the world's top hockey players an alternative to the National Hockey League.
A media report on Saturday said that Russian energy tycoon Alex Medvedev is planning to develop a rival league based in Europe.
The Toronto Star indicates Medvedev has hired former NHL Players Association director Bob Goodenow and Stanley Cup winner Igor Larionov to work towards developing the league.
The story also suggests the operators would like to have the new league up and running by fall of 2008. As well, according to the report, Medvedev has already contacted prospective broadcasters and sponsors.
The start-up of a new league would not be surprising, considering the continued exodus of Europe's best hockey players to the North America and the NHL.
Friction between Russia's ice hockey federation and the NHL has been growing.
I wish this rival league, actually, I wish any rival league all the best in their efforts to challenge the NHL. The competition, I think, would do the sport tremendous good.