Ice hockey has the biggest focus in the United States and Canada, but the popularity of the category in the Old Continent is increasing
Practiced for many centuries, ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in North America, proven by the popularity of Canadian portal sportsbetting24.ca. It is also found in the region, mainly for cultural and climatic reasons, favoring favoritism in the colder and snow-prone regions. It had the rules of the sport established for the first time in 1875. Actually, it was more than a century after the category gained great notoriety and popularity.
If in the United States the National Hockey League (NHL) has become the most powerful league in the world in the Old Continent, the conversation is different. There are several national tournaments to promote the sport. In addition to having two other important championships that are extremely specific. The Champions Hockey League (CHL) and the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the latter being one of the biggest rivals of the NHL.
Starting with CHL, the tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation has different clubs 26. They come from six European leagues: from Germany, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria. Frölunda HC, the Swedish team, has the most titles, with three. In fact, the Swedes are responsible for four of the five cups played since the competition was first created in 2014/2015. Already with KHL, originally formed by the Russian Superleague, in 2007/2008, the teams of 24 form the championship.
European ice hockey has KHL as a great attraction
Being 19 of these from Russia, and a team from China, Belarus, Finland, Kazakhstan and Latvia. The Kontinental Hockey League has always been considered ugly duckling compared to the National Hockey League. Especially with the fact that many players who are already in professional decline choose to migrate from NHL to KHL in search of a new direction as an athlete.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Derek Roy and Nigel Dawes are some of the players who have had history in North America. But, for some specific reason, they decided to play the European tournament. “Kovy” was still one of the highest paid athletes in league history, however, he gave up his salary. This is to have fun and play again at a higher level than others, even in a weaker organization.
In an international environment, ice hockey is by far one of the most traditional sports of the Olympic Games. With Canada and the former Soviet Union being by far the biggest winners and competitors. Played in the Games since 1920, Canadians rank first in the gold ranking, with nine, while Europeans have seven achievements.
Problems with the Russian delegation affect ice hockey
Due to the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the International Ice Hockey Federation considered Russia as its successor in 1993. While Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Ukraine were considered “new nations” for the competition. Therefore, without the right to inherit any medal that was previously won, even with athletes from their countries on the skating rink.
Theoretically, European tournaments are of little importance compared to the National Hockey League. The NHL actually makes it available to its participating franchises to recruit young athletes from the Old Continent through Draft. From this, the clubs have some interesting alternatives on what to do with the chosen players.
Many of them stay in their clubs in Europe to continue developing, while others are assigned to affiliated leagues. Like the American Hockey League (AHL), the Quebec Major Hockey League (QMHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and even the university with the NCAA. This organ is undoubtedly the largest among university students around the world, which still deals with other sports.