Are the lunatics running the asylum?

Major changes to the Elite League have been announced this evening. To see the full release please follow this link.

I will look at each point in turn, I will leave the most controversial until last.

1) Imports increased from 10 to 11
Good. Very happy with that. With several Brits pursuing careers abroad and some dropping to the EPL it seems the only sensible option. There are still some quality British players in the EIHL but as supply decreases, demand increases and with that comes higher wage demands.
Some have come out vehemently against and increase in in imports claiming it stifles British development. I will be blunt here, the EPL is there to develop British talent, the Elite league is there to take the best there is. Also, if some British players changed their wage demands then perhaps clubs could afford them.

2) Challenge Cup changed to two round robin groups of five and quarter finals included
I’m pleased that greater importance and emphasis is being placed on the Challenge Cup, however it seems a bit pointless playing 8 group games just to eliminate one team in each group. It should be round robin, then semi-finals. 8 teams qualifying out of 10 seems a bit of overkill to me.

3) Play-offs remain as is. Re-seeding will occur at each stage
Sensible, no complaints here.

4) The EIHL will be split into two conferences next season
WHAT?!? Have they taken leave of their senses? Way to devalue the league competition. What were they thinking?
The press release suggests that it will be regional conferences. If that’s the case then the assumption is that it will be Belfast & the Scottish teams in one conference with the rest in the other. As each team will play teams in their own conference 8 times (4 home, 4 away) while playing teams in the other conference four times (2 home, 2 away) you may as well give Belfast the title at the start of the season.
That well known bastion of accurate rumours, British Ice Hockey, suggests that the conferences will be split as the Scottish teams and Hull, with the rest being in the second conference. Again that is crazy and would make Braehead hot favourites for the league. I propose that we have a conference of 10 and another of 0!
This decision smacks of money making. It seems a decision taken so that Panthers & Sheffield can play each other umpteen times a season. Fair enough having a conference if there were 16 teams in the league but we don’t and I just can’t see how it will work.

I await the announcement of the conferences with much fear and trepidation.


4 Responses to “Are the lunatics running the asylum?”

  1. 1 darylslin May 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Spot on…. it appears from everywhere apart from EIHL Towers that we all agree it’s ridiculous.

  2. 2 bluelinerhockeyblog May 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    1) does the fact a few british players have left really make it diluted on talent? if so where do those replacement british players come from if every team is allowed an extra import? Perhaps other clubs could afford british talent if Nottingham et al stopped paying over the odds (and the ‘salary cap’) for them.

    2) yeah it is overkill especially as challenge cup groups have been based on regions like the conferences will be. 10 games between a side in your own conference a year plus playoffs and quarters, semis and finals. unless going to double games up with the league.

    3) hallelujah

    4) conferences would mean less travelling, more away fans, more money. got to be worth a bash and paves way for expansion. But Hull will suffer from it. Either travel 250 miles to nearest conference rival or will be playing 4 of the top 5 from last season regularly. going to be growing pains but give it a go.

  3. 3 raddays May 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    The EIHL at least should be saying 2 or 4 more teams are joining the league to make up the worthwhile conference setup aswell. But that’s not going to happen in the next few years.

    I hope they recall this statement and say it’s an idea for the future and not 12/13 season. They will kill the fan base off, if they are not careful !

    EIHL, I hope you are reading the forums for feedback on your money driven plans.

    Are the lower teams struggling that much ?

  4. 4 James May 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “Perhaps other clubs could afford british talent if Nottingham et al stopped paying over the odds (and the ‘salary cap’) for them.”

    bluelinerhockeyblog – What are “the odds” for British players? In a restricted market (such as one with an import limit) the going rate for players that are valuable, in part, as a result of their passport changes things. Would the likes of Weaver, Clarke, Meyers etc be paid as much if there was no import limit? Don’t hate the teams for the high cost of the better British players, hate the import limits that artificially inflate their worth.

    As for the ‘salary cap’, which one is that then? The one that it has repeatedly been mentioned, across many different ice hockey blogs, forums and websites, doers not exist? If one did exist though how would it be controlled? Teams are non-franchise, meaning they are independent businesses over which the league has no right of review, ‘the league’ itself is run by owners (turkeys wouldn’t vote for Christmas) and of course what is to stop players wives/partners taking up extremely well paid niff-naff support roles within the teams, as apparently was rife in previous British leagues with wage caps?

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