Edinburgh Capitals head coach Riley Emmerson joins me on the latest One Puck Short Podcast to reflect on the Elite League Playoff Finals weekend and the Capitals rollercoaster season and his hopes for the teams future.
In NHL news, all but two playoff spots have been locked up, making for something of a quiet final week of the regular season.
The One Puck Short Podcast goes back to its roots with an episode recorded on the road!
Team GB’s slimmed down squad comes under the microscope, with pre-World Championship games against Poland on the horizon, while the NHL playoff race is in full swing on the other side of the pond.
Following the recent revelations that there was some interest in bringing a KHL team to the UK, The Purple Army Podcast hosted a round table discussion to mull over the news and what it might mean for hockey in Great Britain.
Hosted by Graeme of the Purple Army Podcast, the panel included Jono Bullard of The Cats Whiskers, current Braehead Clan netminder and former KHL puck stopper Chris Holt, KHL writer Aivis Kalnins and yours truly, with conversation ranging from possible locations for a KHL team in the UK to whether Great Britain could support a team as well as those all important financial commitments that come with submitting a side in to the game’s second biggest league.
Within the next 24 hours, we’ll know which teams have progressed to the semifinal stage of this season’s Elite League Challenge Cup.
Since its inception in 1997, the Challenge Cup has been held by six different teams, with Cardiff lifting the trophy for a second time last season, and for the most part it’s been fun.
But times change. It’s existence is beginning to hold the league back, causing fixture congestion and additional strain on participants. Put simply, it’s time to move on.
While Linus Omark’s flaming stick garnered most of the headlines from today’s KHL All Star Game, news of further expansion for the league also set tongues wagging, with the possibility of clubs from Estonia, China, Sweden and Great Britain joining the fold in the near future.
Yes, Great Britain.
The Elite League is not the first league to see an altercation spill over – where things should be left on the ice, tempers flare off it.
In each case, the results are always unsavoury. No matter the physical contact (or lack thereof), it reflects poorly on all involved, the optics painting an ugly picture.
Regardless of whether it’s the NHL or the EIHL, such incidents are, rightly, frowned upon.
But where, say, the AHL may quickly be able to move on from such incidents, the British game is hindered by them.
The sport here is too often a victim to stereotyping, and it’s on the clubs, leagues and governing bodies to change that.
Referee Stefan Hogarth joins me on the latest episode of the One Puck Short Podcast to provide some insight in to what life is like for officials in the UK, including how he came to take up the whistle and what support British officials receive throughout the season.
In NHL news, Semyon Varlamov powers a revival in Denver, Pittsburgh continue to struggle and Stamkos wants to stay put.
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