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Fetisov wants to see a Global Hockey League

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http://www.torontosu...d-shake-up-nhl?

Viacheslav Fetisov is an NHL legend, in more ways than one.

But his accomplishments during his playing career, both on and off the ice, pale in comparison to his global vision for the game -- a scheme that would have Gary Bettman's knees quaking.

During the 1980s, Fetisov -- as the captain of CSKA Moscow and the USSR national team -- used his enormous popularity to win a standoff with politicians for the rights of Soviet players, himself included, to play in North America.

After arriving in the NHL in 1989, Fetisov had a successful nine-year career as a defenceman with the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, winning two Stanley Cups as a player. He won another Cup in 2000 as an assistant coach with the Devils and landed a well-deserved spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But if Fetisov were to have his way, the NHL as we know it would be no more.

Formerly the head of the Russian government's Federal Physical Culture and Sports Agency, and currently a member of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of Russia's legislature), Fetisov has joined the swelling ranks of the Mother Country's hockey figures who are offering promises of vanquishing the North American foe.

Fetisov, who was elected to the Russian Senate from an eastern constituency, is working on bringing a KHL franchise to the Pacific city of Vladivostok, to be based in a new building, fittingly named Fetisov Hall.

Ultimately, Fetisov, 54, dreams of creating the KHL's Far Eastern division by expanding the league into China, Korea and Japan, he told Sport-Express in an interview.

The KHL already features teams from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Italy scheduled to join next year, and Fetisov says the league should push ahead with a global-domination strategy.

In the interview, in which he calls NHL commissioner Bettman "a local lord-ling" and proposes to offer the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin "material incentives" to stay in the KHL, Fetisov envisions a hockey universe no longer dominated by the North American league. He thinks that if $1 billion were offered immediately to the NHL's brightest locked-out stars, it would create an exodus of players into the KHL that would pound Bettman into submission.

Most importantly, he sees a single global hockey enterprise, with tight regulations on player transfers, an annual showdown between the Stanley Cup and Gagarin Cup champions for the world bragging rights, and a unified calendar which would accommodate semi-annual slots for the Olympics and the World Cup with the best players participating for their national teams.

Before you dismiss Fetisov's talk of the Global Hockey League as a pipe dream or a delusional rant, consider the fact that back in the early 2000s it was he who first introduced an idea of the North American hockey model in Russia. Back then, his proposed Euro-Asian Hockey League was called exactly that, a pipe dream.

But a few years later, pretty much the same exact project was launched as the Kontinental Hockey League, when Russian President Vladimir Putin empowered his close ally and enthusiast of the game, Alexander Medvedev, to reshape the hockey landscape. Fetisov, in recognition of his vision, became the KHL's president of the board of directors, a position he resigned from last year. Many elements of the current KHL, including the modified player draft and the salary cap, were Fetisov's ideas.

While his tough talk and loud pronouncements seem to be in line with the political climate in Russia, there is no denying that Fetisov is a fan of the American approach to amateur and professional sports. His ideas do include more down-to-earth projects.

One is developing Russia's high school and college sports as a feeder system to the professional leagues and an alternative to the Soviet-style setup, where pro clubs run their own youth programs, free of charge but with limited participation. These projects have their share of detractors, too, but Fetisov, who is in charge of the newly created Russian Amateur Hockey League, ploughs on. He is used to being called a dreamer and loves proving people wrong. Maybe, local lord-ling Bettman should take heed of his global domination plans.

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I agree that it's a pipe dream.

I think they would have to shorten the NHL season to make something like this work. Imagine adding another round of playoffs after the Stanley Cup finals?

Although, they could do it sort of like the Memorial Cup. NHL, KHL and European Club champion in a quick round robin and best of three final?

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I agree that it's a pipe dream.

I think they would have to shorten the NHL season to make something like this work. Imagine adding another round of playoffs after the Stanley Cup finals?

Although, they could do it sort of like the Memorial Cup. NHL, KHL and European Club champion in a quick round robin and best of three final?

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Yeah that would be cool to do it like the memorial cup, but I don't think the players could handle playing another tournament after the stanley cup finals haha.

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I agree that it's a pipe dream.

I think they would have to shorten the NHL season to make something like this work. Imagine adding another round of playoffs after the Stanley Cup finals?

Although, they could do it sort of like the Memorial Cup. NHL, KHL and European Club champion in a quick round robin and best of three final?

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I agree that it's a pipe dream.

I think they would have to shorten the NHL season to make something like this work. Imagine adding another round of playoffs after the Stanley Cup finals?

Although, they could do it sort of like the Memorial Cup. NHL, KHL and European Club champion in a quick round robin and best of three final?

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It's funny, they tried something like this. It was called the 'Victoria Cup'. The problem is, they couldn't get the buy-in. They ran it for two years, but instead of having the Stanley Cup Champion, it was just any team that was willing to make the trek to Europe to represent the NHL.

The NY Rangers won it in 2008. The Swiss League ZSC Lions won it in 2009 (Chicago came in second). It hasn't been played since.

viccupfritsche533.jpg

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I think that a KHL NHL showdown for the World Cup of hockey in September each year would be amazing. It would be like 1972 and the Canada Cup all over again. The dollars and cents would make lots of sence too.

Them against us. Their best against our best. Seven game series alternating each year as to who gets home ice advantage.

I would watch and so would every hockey fan in the world.

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While this would be great for the fans, I could see this work in favor of the players. It give the opportunity for players across the world to size each other up and have something extra to work for in the given year. I think it would raise competitiveness in the participating leagues. This is all assuming most of these guys really do play for the game more than the paycheck. Plus it help get a shortened season which I support.

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I'd love to see some sort of "Champions League" like in football, with the league winner (and maybe runner up) from each league square off in a quick, short competition - either just at the end of the season or before the beginning of the season.

I'm sure the players wouldn't mind taking a couple of weeks out of their break to see who the best team in the world is. The only issue I could see causing a major problem for players are injuries sustained after the SCF and surgeries required.

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No question the KHL will expand in Europe and Asia, not a matter of if but when.

As far as NHL vs KHL i think that may be some time away, but the KHL will be like UEFA in a decade or two.

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Screw the NHL, let's form this new league. ;)

Just kidding, but I think having the Cup Champs (or another top team) play the KHL Champs a series in the pre-season would be great. Entertaining, and it would also get the players used to playing in important games.

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The problem is that each league plays a different amount of games.

82 games regular season plus potentially another 28 games in the post-season. The European leagues plays way less, approximately only 50-60%.

The style of game plus officiating are too different. The ice size are different and European referees officiate differently. Remember back during the '06 Olympics, the Canadians and American teams were being penalized for "roughing" and "boarding" for regular NHL bodychecks.

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If the KHL or Euro league evloves to the point where the players play in top-notch facilities and make the same salary as they would in the NHL then you'd see something like a Global Hockey League.

If that were to happen, where is there be more interest in hockey, Europe/GB/Asia or the United States? Europe and they know it, hence the suggested movement towards a GHL.

I'm just guessing but I think the most popular sports in:

Europe/Russia are 1. Soccer 2. Hockey 3. Basketball.

Canada 1. NHL Hockey 2. Junior Hockey 3. Minor Pro Hockey 4. Beer-League Hockey 5. Midget Hockey.

United States 1. NFL 2. College Football 3. High-School Football 4. MLB 5. NBA 6. Lingerie Football 7. Political Football 8. Soccer (football) 9. Hunting/Fishing 10. Hockey? The Movie - Slapshot.

Canada's game isn't going to expand much more if at all to the south, it's future lies across the pond in Europe/GB/ and Asia.

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The problem is that each league plays a different amount of games.

82 games regular season plus potentially another 28 games in the post-season. The European leagues plays way less, approximately only 50-60%.

The style of game plus officiating are too different. The ice size are different and European referees officiate differently. Remember back during the '06 Olympics, the Canadians and American teams were being penalized for "roughing" and "boarding" for regular NHL bodychecks.

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If the KHL or Euro league evloves to the point where the players play in top-notch facilities and make the same salary as they would in the NHL then you'd see something like a Global Hockey League.

If that were to happen, where is there be more interest in hockey, Europe/GB/Asia or the United States? Europe and they know it, hence the suggested movement towards a GHL.

I'm just guessing but I think the most popular sports in:

Europe/Russia are 1. Soccer 2. Hockey 3. Basketball.

Canada 1. NHL Hockey 2. Junior Hockey 3. Minor Pro Hockey 4. Beer-League Hockey 5. Midget Hockey.

United States 1. NFL 2. College Football 3. High-School Football 4. MLB 5. NBA 6. Lingerie Football 7. Political Football 8. Soccer (football) 9. Hunting/Fishing 10. Hockey? The Movie - Slapshot.

Canada's game isn't going to expand much more if at all to the south, it's future lies across the pond in Europe/GB/ and Asia.

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