Monday, April 23, 2007

Super League planned for Europe

The move to increase the awareness of European hockey has begun, with plans announced last week that a new Champions League will begin play in 2008-09.

Up for grabs will be a prize pool of 15 million dollars, with the European winner collecting close to 1 million of it.

There is also a hope that there will be NHL participation in late September, as an NHL club team would travel to Europe to take part in challenge matches with the top European finishers.

The details were outlined by Rene Fassel on Friday , with round robin qualifiers and such planned to set the participant pool for the Super League, while participation of the NHL was left as a rather far off possibility, it was stated that discussions were continuing for North American Club team participation.

It's doubtful that a Stanley Cup champion squad would be designated as the travel team, for one thing with NHL free agency and such each end of season brings many changes to even a Stanley Cup roster and more importantly the NHL may not wish to run the risk of it's Stanley Cup champion suffering an unexpected defeat.

However, the idea of a European super league is a long sought project for hockey. Perhaps just another step to an eventual European Division for the NHL, which would offer more options for marketing and provide a new twist to the game.

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