While the National Hockey League is still working its way through the completion of its 2019-20 season under the so-far-successful bubble model in Toronto and Edmonton, European leagues are already gearing up for 2020-21, with little divergence from their regular schedules.
In the latest episode of the Habsent Minded podcast, we invite Szymon Szemberg, the Managing Director of the Alliance of European Hockey Clubs, to join us in a discussion of the impact that the coronavirus has had on the various leagues of Europe, what precautions have been taken to protect the players, and generally what European hockey will look like in the fall.
Some leagues are able to play without fans in attendance, while others cannot survive under such a model. We discuss which leagues are in more trouble than others.
The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs is an organization that looks after the interests of Clubs in international hockey. For instance they lobby on the team’s behalf when a club’s player is elected to a national team for an international tournament.
Their Twitter account has been keeping a close eye on the return to play for the various leagues, and they have frequently been posting updated league start dates.
Szymon was the Director of Communication for the International Ice Hockey Federation from 2001 to 2013, and was one of the founders of the Champions Hockey League, an annual tournament held between the top clubs from various leagues across Europe.
Finally we also discussed the NHL transfer agreement with European clubs, whether this model is fair to the clubs, and whether market value transfers are possible in a monopoly environment held by the NHL.
There is a Montreal Canadiens connection as well, as Szymon is a fan of the team, and therefore he jumped at the opportunity to discuss the roots of his fandom and his thoughts on the current edition of the team.
Join host Andrew Zadarnowski in this edition of Habsent Minded on Habs Eyes on the Prize Radio.