Well a weekend is a long time in hockey! Since my post here on the possible death of the Elite League it seems sense has prevailed and the league will go ahead, as was, with 9 teams for 09/10!
The Elite League have issued this press release detailing whats happening next season. Thankfully it seems like the league owners have seen sense and decided a 6 team league was not the way forward. If anyone has an ounce of sensibility in them, they too would have come to this conclusion! 6 team league, playing each team 5 times home and away? How quick will that get boring? Those 6 saying it will produce fast exciting hockey.....it will, there will just be no one there watching!
Paul over at the Breakaway blog has made many a good point reading into the EIHL release above, I suggest you head on over and take a read!
While a compromise seems to have been agreed, I cant help but think this is just putting off the problem until later! At a time where no one is flushed with money, this agreement just means the haves can have bigger better paid teams than the have nots. The only restriction is the 10 imports on any given match night. Plus, as Paul mentions, no reference made to enforcing a wage cap, come to think of it theres no mention of a cap at all! Which means we all carry on as is, the same teams busting the cap with no punishment.
Im glad the Phoenix are still in the EIHL don't get me wrong, but my sense of worry is still there! This could have been the time the EIHL woke up to the current world and acted to ensure the future of top flight hockey in the UK. As it is they haven't, the fact that some clubs wanted to spend even more money really has shocked me!
This leads me to a question, why shake things up now?
Manchester and Cardiff are still settling into new rinks, Newcastle look to be leaving the Metro Arena and the Bison have left for pastures new. Personally this whole furore should not have come about anyway. Keep the league as is, minus some minor tinkering, and settle for some stability. Lord knows the Phoenix need it after many years of turmoil.
Maybe in a couple of years we can revise import limits etc...but only after each club can operate on a sound footing!
Anyway as it is we will see EIHL hockey next year, but I do worry we will have this same circus next summer!
That's it for today, im halfway through my Playoff Final weekend review and will hope full have that online tomorrow. For now take care, enjoy your summer, and keep checking all the hockey related blogs for more Finals Weekend fall out and summer coverage!
Take care everyone!