EIHL Board Meeting Thoughts

elitelogo-1The EIHL Board meetings are seldom boring and seldom fail to divide opinion. This year was no exception but did offer a bit more to talk about and a bit more of a plan as it seems the EIHL and the NHL has more in common.

3v3 OT

Not a favourite of mine but it is coming to the EIHL. Having been trailed in the North America 3v3 is heading to the EIHL in an attempt to end games before the shootout. Whilst it does create more chances and goals I find it confusing when penalties are called. With 1 player off the ice you then get an extra skater on the ice. That said I probably had the shootout more and its great to see the EIHL being at the fore of the chances instead of being the last to adopt anything new in the sport.

Conferencing to Stay the Same

Despite the complaints of fans and perhaps the Manchester Storm coach driver, next season the Conference’s will stay the same. That is to say that the Belfast Giants and the Manchester Storm will not be swapping places. For this to be mentioned it must of been brought up but for me it is a disappointing not to have changed. The conferences were brought in to allow the new Scottish teams time to develop. They have done that and in order to continue it would not hurt to have a strong, established side like Belfast along side them. Also a look at the league table of the last 3 seasons will tell you there is more parity between the conferences. The Belfast/ Manchester swap would have given 2 ‘weaker’ teams in the Erdhart Conference – Manchester and Coventry with 3 stronger teams – Sheffield Nottingham and Cardiff. Whilst there would 2 strong teams in the Gardiner Conference – Braehead and Coventry (with Dundee and Fife capable of mixing it too) and Edinburgh who are not the strongest but have been competitive at times.

This would also have been better on the travel with ferry links from Scotland to Belfast and Manchester being close to Sheffield, Nottingham and Coventry again. As well as ending the situation where Manchester despite being closer to the 4 mainland Erdhart teams than any of their own conference rivals.

Expansion

It is long been rumoured but the EIHL has never acknowledged it. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months with an announcement announced as coming but its good that the EIHL seems to have a plan. By announcing that a London franchise is on the cards it puts to bed an rumours and heresay there might but may also bring out any other potential locations as 2 teams and not 1 will be needed to maintain the continuity of the league.

 

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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