Sweden is loving it!! – Counterpoint

A little point-counterpoint to some excerpts from a story at:

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/News/2004/11/10/708716-cp.html

“With no end in sight for the NHL’s labour impasse, more than 55 players have already committed to Swedish Elite League teams and more are expected to follow.”

–I guess Europe will become the new NHL, just like Al Strachan said it would! :)

“It’s a dream come true in Sweden, the chance of a lifetime for the country’s players, fans and league.”

“This is in the best interest of Swedish hockey,”

— Maybe for the fans, for about a year and a half, until Bryan McCabe can no longer feed his family. The benefit to Swedish hockey is questionable :)

“I think it’s great to have big guys and more talent here, especially if the lockout lasts the whole year and they stay.”

— No question they are staying the year… hopefully they will stay TEN years and we never have to see any of the current NHLPA players play again :)

“The way things are going, it probably will. The NHL and NHLPA haven’t met since Sept. 9 and currently have no further plans to resume negotiations. “

–Good… who was it on Colorado who said last week that it might be 10 years before the union *blinks*… ROFL! The union will be LOOOOOOONG gone in ten years… corpses don’t blink.

“In the meantime, more than 250 of the league’s players have signed with European teams, drawing criticism from some who say they are stealing jobs.”

–Wait until they start stealing jobs at Burger King in north America… that’s when the teardrops start!

“I like it because it’s a new challenge,” said Sodertalje captain Joakim Eriksson, who is playing in his eighth Swedish league season. “The league is much better and the fans are excited.”

–A few players on each European team, from the NHL, with already diluted talent… doesn’t make for much of a new challenge.

“The majority of players displaced in Sweden so far have been younger ones who have been bounced to junior clubs.”

— … and hopefully will be on their way to North America as replacements for the players who bounced them :)

“Eriksson says he hopes Swedish teams limit their NHL content to four or five players each.”

— No team can stand the acrimony of more than 4 or 5 NHL’ers in a dressing room… not even an NHL team :)

“Some of the young guys still need a chance to play in the (Elite League) and it’s good if they can play with these top guys.”

–Top guys? I bet half of them are no more talented than the swedes (or any other nation’s players) they are replacing.

“Arenas throughout Sweden have been jammed every time 2003 NHL MVP Peter Forsberg and his Swedish team, MoDo, come to town.”

–Hasn’t Forsberg gone down with a season-ending injury yet?… oh wait, this is Swedish (shinny)hockey, nothing has touched him yet.

“A sellout crowd of more than 13,850 packed the Globen Arena in October when MoDo visited Djurgardens.”

–In the NHL 13,850 means you are struggling to stay afloat… hmmm wonder why that could be?

“One scalper said he was selling tickets for 600 kroner ($102.55 Cdn) that night – a huge markup on their 230 kroner ($39.30 Cdn) face value.”

–I hope the players play REAL close attention to those numbers. They can’t stay in Europe forever, unless they want to play for contracts that make the NHL owners’ offer look like Paradise City.

“It was just the 10th game of 50 for both teams.”

–Hmmm, 13,000 fans, 40 bucks a pop, and 25 home dates… HAhAhAhAHAHAHAAHAHA! I hope the players STAY there. I am sure I can pick up a used Lambourghini, (or perhaps a wrecked Ferrari) real cheap next year in North America.

“The fans are excited because they know this is the season that will never come again,”

— On the contrary, I hope they get stuck with these underperforming, overpaid cry babies for many years to come.

“Djurgardens is one of the few teams yet to see a windfall. Soccer is the top game in Stockholm and that season ended just last week. The hockey team was averaging just 6,352 fans through last week at the league’s largest arena in the country’s largest city.”

–It gets better and better.

Elsewhere, the game is flourishing: Frolunda, which is on top of the Swedish standings, was averaging over 11,000 fans per night through last week; Linkoping, with Vancouver Canucks centre Brendan Morrison leading the way, was drawing about 7,500 to its new arena; and tickets for games at the Sydkraft Arena in Timra are nearly impossible to get.

–11,000, 7,500, Brendan Morrison?!!? … ROFL! How long into next year do you think it will take the NHLPA to wake up and realize that they are pissing their financial futures away :)

“The teams are all so deep now,” said 11-year NHL veteran Kent Manderville, who is playing his second season in Timra. “Last year it was much more diluted. It’s like a whole new league.”

–Any team with room for Kent Manderville is not deep, except in trouble.

“No one is complaining here,” said former NHL defenceman Calle Johansson, who now works as an analyst for Swedish TV. “Why should they? It’s good for everyone right now.”

–Except Corey, “pogey-line”, Hirsch *snicker*

“Of course they’ll be welcomed,” Karlsson said of his new teammates. They’re part of the team now. They’re all great players and we need their help. (speaking about Erikksson, Brian Boucher and Bryan, “I-gots-ta-feed-my-family” McCabe)

–yeah that sure is an all-star lineup you’re putting together there.

“This is probably the best league in the world right now.”

–See above… and you are welcome to those players…hopefully forever! :)


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