National Ice Hockey Leagues ranked.

kid_a

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what would be the rankings of the hockey league's from across the world if the iihf did a sort of uefa coefficient thing?

here's my stab-
1. NHL (US & Canada)
2. KHL (Russia +)
3. Elitserien (Sweden)
4. National League A (Switzerland)
5. SM-Liga (Finland)
6. DEL (Germany)
7. AHL (US & Canada)
8. Extraliga (Czech Republic)
9. Can.HL (US & Canada)
10. Extraliga (Slovakia)
 

PalaceGun

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I've seen enough of the Swiss and German leagues to know the AHL is much better than those leagues.
 

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Bradesmaen

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I would have the Finnish league ahead of the Swiss league too. Czech league would be ahead of the Swiss and Germans.
 

melbournemartin

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I would have AHL 3rd behind NHL and KHL
I've seen enough of the Swiss and German leagues to know the AHL is much better than those leagues.
Sorry but I think you'll find that the AHL is well behind the top European leagues. Hockey does exist outside North America and Russia.

Taking Switzerland for example (as I know them well), they came second in the world championships last year with two NHL players, 1 AHL player and the rest coming from the Swiss league. In the process they beat Canada, containing ALL NHL players, including Stamkos, Staal x2, Duchene, Giroux and I think even P.K. Subban later on. Mike Smith was in goals.

America sent a relatively much weaker side, although it was still made up of NHL players but some play mainly in the AHL (you know, the league you think is so superb). The Swiss beat them quite comfortably 3-0.

If you want a specific club example, take a look at the recent performance of the Rochester Americans at the Spengler Cup. A quick google tells me they are an above average AHL team, already qualified for the playoffs. Here were their results:

0-5 loss to Geneva (my middle of the road Swiss team, currently 8th out of 12)
3-4 loss to CSKA Moscow (top half dozen Russian team, so a good effort really)
3-6 loss to Team Canada (made up of the best Canadian players playing in Europe)

Geneva won the tournament, with two defeats of CSKA Moscow, including stars Radulov and Morozov. Swiss vs Russian pre-season games are common, and whilst the Russian teams are generally better, the games are very competitive.

Let's now look at the most recent NHL vs Swiss team matches

2011: Zoug def NY Rangers 8-4 (the only game the NHL teams lost all premiere)
2009: Zurich def Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 (Zurich was the winner of the "European Champions League", beating the soon-to-be Stanley Cup Champions)
2009: Chicago Blackhawks def Davos 8-1 (but they didn't play in Davos, they played in Zurich, which was ******* dumb; Davos is beautiful)
2008: NY Rangers def Bern 8-1 (I hate Bern so I'm happy to see that)

Unfortunately the lockout and Olympics prevented any European premieres since, but they will hopefully return soon, as will the European Champions League next year.

I think that kid_a had a good stab at it. In my opinion I'd make a couple of adjustments. I think you underestimate the strength of the Czech League. I found it very hard to split the Czech, Swiss and Finnish leagues. We'll probably know more about the strengths after the most recent Olympics.

1. NHL (US & Canada)
2. KHL (Russia +)
3. Elitserien (Sweden)
4. Extraliga (Czech Republic)
5. National League A (Switzerland)
6. SM-Liga (Finland)
7. DEL (Germany)
8. AHL (US & Canada)
9. Extraliga (Slovakia)
10. Can.HL (US & Canada)

Oh, and one more fun fact. 2006 Switzerland def Canada at the Olympics. 2010 Canada def Switzerland but only in a shootout, and besides that wasn't proper Olympic ice anyway ;)
 

PalaceGun

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You're kidding yourself. AHL is well behind the top European leagues. I can provide international and club evidence to the contrary.

Zzz zzz zzz
I'll back my eyesight over any stats and game "results" from two-bit jolly-up tournaments or pre-season games that North American teams and players "play" in Europe.

Unfortunately the lockout and Olympics prevented any European premieres since, but they will hopefully return soon, as will the European Champions League next year.
That won't be happening in a hurry...

Russian Revulsion: NHL-KHL Exhibition Turns Ugly


Leading up to Monday’s exhibition game against the Kontinental Hockey League's SKA St. Petersburg, the Carolina Hurricanes seemed more concerned with preparing for their two-game, season-opening series in Finland against the Minnesota Wild than helping the NHL reinforce its superiority over the kind-of-rival KHL.
By the time the game was over, the Canes couldn't have cared less about the 5-3 loss. The team was just happy to leave Russia without any serious injuries.
When the final buzzer went off, the partisan crowd roared its approval at SKA's victory. The loser? It wasn't the Hurricanes, who became so concerned with the dirty tactics employed by its opponents that coach Paul Maurice removed Cam Ward less than halfway through the second period, followed by Eric Staal's departure prior to the third. No, the loser was the KHL.
SKA, who were prone to errant and ill-advised defensive- and neutral-zone passes throughout the early parts of the game, seemed overmatched by Carolina's speed and systems despite holding the advantage of playing on the larger ice surface unfamiliar to most of the Hurricanes. So SKA slowed the Hurricanes the only way they knew how: dirty play, mostly directed at Carolina captain Eric Staal.
"It seemed like they were getting closer and closer to [slashing] his knees and there wasn't a big concern on the ice about it," coach Paul Maurice said. "He's a National Hockey League star player and he should be playing in the National Hockey League."
Hurricanes defenseman and newly named alternate captain Tim Gleason surely didn't stand for it, pummeling SKA's Alexei Petrov — who tried to fight back but was throwing punches with his stick in hand
 

melbournemartin

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I'll back my eyesight over any stats and game "results" from two-bit jolly-up tournaments or pre-season games that North American teams and players "play" in Europe.



That won't be happening in a hurry...

Russian Revulsion: NHL-KHL Exhibition Turns Ugly

Not quite how your eyes lead you to rank the AHL ahead of the Swiss and German leagues but okay, that's your opinion. I'm not sure where you've seen this multitude of Swiss hockey as it isn't televised outside of Switzerland, but okay.

If you think that the Spengler Cup is treated as a "two-bit jolly-up" tournament then you're far from the truth. If it were such a tournament, then teams would rest their top players etc. Instead, teams actively seek out top players on loan and of course play all their stars. People were complaining that an AHL team was sent because it lowered the quality.

As for the World Championships, just because North America doesn't care too much about it, doesn't mean it isn't big for Europe. And regardless, Canada still ends up with a team of many stars from non-playoff teams and therefore beating them is significant.

I watch and love NHL too, and I don't see the point of being so dismissive about other hockey leagues and tournaments.

KHL vs NHL, yes I read about the dirty tactics and that is a shame. I don't recall similar problems against other leagues.

The European hockey champions league is returning next season, for sure. The KHL have refused for political reasons. There is discussion between the IIHF and the NHL for the Champions League winner to face an NHL team, like when Zurich beat the Blackhawks. The IIHF want the Stanley Cup winner but the NHL is unsure. The KHL's absence will make any NHL games more likely.

Don't see why NHL games in Europe are a bad thing. Teams need practice matches and injuries can happy against NHL teams too. The quality is good, based on previous games. It also promotes the game more which will ultimately benefit the NHL since in the end it gets to select the best players from the whole world.
 

iluvparis

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If you think that the Spengler Cup is treated as a "two-bit jolly-up" tournament then you're far from the truth. If it were such a tournament, then teams would rest their top players etc. Instead, teams actively seek out top players on loan and of course play all their stars. People were complaining that an AHL team was sent because it lowered the quality.
You do realise star players can show up and not GAF right. I wonder how many free agent vets leave to join a team and win the Spengler.
 

melbournemartin

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You do realise star players can show up and not GAF right. I wonder how many free agent vets leave to join a team and win the Spengler.

Watch the games. The players care. It's pretty much the only chance European club teams have to play against teams from other countries in a tournament that really means something and isn't just pre-season warmups.

It's a tournament held mid-season that requires you to go to a remote Swiss ski town between Christmas and New Years. If people didn't give a fu**, it would have died out at some time during the last 80 years of its history.

I'm sensing a strong "if it ain't NHL or the Olympics it's not worth discussing" vibe on this forum.
 

melbournemartin

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The players on the European teams might care.

Well, in that case it's good that European teams provide all the players every year except the two years when Rochester has come over :) And of course the lockout year swamped Team Canada with stars. Heck, Crosby was going to play in Switzerland and the Spenger Cup if it weren't for crippling insurance costs.

If I were an AHL player I'd be excited to face stronger and more experienced opponents in Europe, but after Rochester's performance I don't think they'll invite another AHL team back any time soon, unless it's perhaps the champion.
 

PalaceGun

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If I were an AHL player I'd be excited to face stronger and more experienced opponents in Europe, but after Rochester's performance I don't think they'll invite another AHL team back any time soon, unless it's perhaps the champion.
Hold on, I've just looked this up.

So they lost 5-0 in the opening game to the eventual tournament champions HC Genève-Servette where it appears two ring-ins had a bit of a field day (Matthew Lombardi 2G's 1A's, Kaspars Daugavins 1G 1A) both players ended up on the tournament's All-Star team. Of note, as did another ring-in in Markus Nordlund from Jokerit.

Then they lose 4-3 to eventual tournament runners-up in CSK Moscow. Can't assume that was a terrible performance.

So they end up playing Team Canada in the knock-out stage and lose 6-3 to a couple of late goals including an empty netter.

Sounds competitive enough to me for a jolly-up Christmas holidays tournament...
 

melbournemartin

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Hold on, I've just looked this up.

So they lost 5-0 in the opening game to the eventual tournament champions HC Genève-Servette where it appears two ring-ins had a bit of a field day (Matthew Lombardi 2G's 1A's, Kaspars Daugavins 1G 1A) both players ended up on the tournament's All-Star team. Of note, as did another ring-in in Markus Nordlund from Jokerit.

Then they lose 4-3 to eventual tournament runners-up in CSK Moscow. Can't assume that was a terrible performance.

So they end up playing Team Canada in the knock-out stage and lose 6-3 to a couple of late goals including an empty netter.

Sounds competitive enough to me for a jolly-up Christmas holidays tournament...

Matthew Lombardi and Kaspars Daugavins play in the Swiss National hockey league for Genève-Servette. They have all year. They are not ring-ins. Each Swiss team has about 4-5 foreigners, with a maximum of four playing per game. This undoubtedly adds strength to the league. Ours are Matthew Lombardi, Kaspars Daugavins, Alexandre Picard, Lennart Petrell and recently Greg Stafford. Lennart Petrell has been underwhelming, coming from fourth line NHL to ultimately fourth line Swiss.

Here is my mate Kaspars at our Winter Classic outdoor game earlier this year, on the right.


Markus Norlund was a ring-in but not from Jokerit, but another Swiss team called Ambri-Piotta. Your mistake is understandable since he is new this year to the Swiss league and came a bit later in the season. A quick search tells me he's played 28 games for Ambri this year, out of about 40.

Rochester's performance against Moscow was very good, although Geneva did bit Moscow twice. We were leading 4-0 in the final before the 12 hour turnaround between games seemed to get to us.

I was probably a bit harsh on Rochester, as they came third when they played in the 90s, albeit behind the Swiss team though. I'd prefer next year getting to play against a top Swedish or Finnish team though, particularly since they can send a full team and not one depleted by the NHL. All I know is that we get to return as reigning champions :)
 

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Toastman

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If nothing else the Swiss have beautiful rinks, local rinks there are nicer and have better ice than most NHL stadiums.
 

melbournemartin

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Davos, where the Spengler Cup is played.

Quite beautiful I think :)



Bern, with 18 thousand fans, two thirds of them standing on a huge wing. Only been to one NHL arena (three games at San Jose) and Bern were much louder. NHL size arena with European style fans. Can't get much better than that *

* I do hate Bern though
 

iluvparis

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It might just be me but I prefer the spectacle to be on the ice when I go to a hockey game. Think those fans would just p*ss me off to be honest. If I want loud fans I'll go the football.
 

melbournemartin

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It might just be me but I prefer the spectacle to be on the ice when I go to a hockey game. Think those fans would just p*ss me off to be honest. If I want loud fans I'll go the football.
They add to the spectacle IMO. American fans pissed me off when they'd be chatting casually during a tight hockey match.
 

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