Black needs to think deeper
Neil Black the owner an chairman of the Nottingham Panthers recently did an interview with a Nottingham website in which he detailed his wishes for the league and British ice hockey as a whole. Whilst his comments are welcome and constructive in the whole they are rather short sighted and idealistic to the point that it no longer helps the league or the sport as a whole.
Here is why.
1. Expand the league to 14 – variety is key to a stable league as fans will see more teams. However without a salary cap that isn’t being broken by teams like Black’s Panthers there is little encouragement for teams to move up as it is an unfair playing field. And lets face it Black will not be sticking to a salary cap anytime soon. It would also increase the amount of games the top clubs would win by big margins and drive fans away. Like Edinburgh and Newcastle.
2. Play games against teams in other countries. Again the theory is that teams will attract more fans by playing a variety of teams but how are teams that can barely afford to pay players wages going to afford to criss cross Europe playing teams in France, Italy, Denmark, and the Netherlands?
3. Extend the season into April. This is an absolute no brainer isn’t it? By extending the season deeper into April it would clash with the World Championships and the mean British players would be missing at the business end of season. Either start the season earlier or play 3 times a week every week as is done in most European cities (2 at home 1 week and 1 at home the next).
It isn’t all short sighted unthought out nonsense from Black tho. The national cup competition is something I have long since said should be done in the UK. And it is good that people in the game are looking to do something to improve the game in this country but these ideas do need to be better thought out.