Sunday, May 06, 2007

 

Say, What Happened in Europe, Anyway?

by Greg

Thank God that Ottawa won last night -- they inject a little bit of likeability into what's become (for me) a depressing playoff season. The Ducks aren't as innocent as their name would have you believe, the only way the Wings could get less charming is if they dressed Pol Pot for a game... I'm not going to actually root for the Senators, since the teams I adopt are getting stomped like cockroaches this off-season, but I wouldn't complain too much if they won.

With only clinical interest in the playoffs, and less in the World Championships -- I found myself wondering over the weekend who the hell won in most of the European leagues. I started off following the playoffs over there, then -- as is usually the way -- got distracted by sunlight or whatever, and turned my attention elsewhere.

In any case, a quick roundup:

Czech Republic -- (the only postseason I actually ended up following) HC Sparta Praha, for the second straight year. Jes would have you believe that they're all sorts of evil, but don't believe him. (ex-NHLers: Ladislav Benysek, Jan Hlavac, Michal Sivek)

Russia -- Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Brushback covered the shit out of these playoffs, and you should check that out. (ex-NHLers: Ravil Gusmanov, Alexei Kaigorodov, Igor Korolev, Travis Scott)

Slovakia -- HC Slovan Bratislava. I'll leave it to Jes to weigh in on whether this is good or not. (ex-NHLers: Roman Tvrdon)

Sweden -- MoDo. The team webpage indicates ex-Thrasher Per Svartvadet won the "guldpucken," which I bet is great. (Former NHLers: Svartvadet, Mattias Timander, Hans Jonsson, Pierre Hedin, Andreas Salomonsson, Niklas Sundstrom, Robert Dome)

Finland -- Kärpät. At least, I think so. I can't even laboriously translate Finnish with Babelfish, and the team website is remarkably understated if they did win. Presuming I'm right, they managed to overcome the loss of Petr Tenkrat to do this -- no mean feat. (ex-NHLers: Hannes Hyvonen, Josef Boumeddiene)

Switzerland -- HC Davos. Making my life much easier than the Finns, they helped out by showing the team logo smoking a cigar on the webpage. Personal favorite Josef Marha is on the team, and I can only assume that's why they won. (ex-NHLers: Marha, Alexandre Daigle(!), Petr Taticek, Michel Riesen, Reto Von Arx)

Germany -- Adler Mannheim. Looks like they tore through the regular season, too. Captained by another old favorite, Rene Corbet. (Half the team is ex-NHL -- Corbet, Blake Sloan, Pascal Trepanier, Nathan Robinson, Sven Butenschon, Jeff Shants, Jean-Marc Pelletier, Rico Fata, Colin Forbes, Jason Jaspers)

Austria -- EC Red Bull Salzburg. At this point, we get into the leagues I really know nothing about. (ex-NHLers: Reinhard Divis, Juha Lind, Frank Banham, Darby Hendrickson)

Britain -- Coventry Blaze. Their web page lists only five players on the 2006-07 roster, so either it's a secret who played for the team, or they have very strict roster restrictions over in the UK.

Denmark -- Herning Blue Fox. Nothing to say here, other than that Nielsen fellow on the Islanders used to be a Blue Fox.

Norway -- Vålerenga IF. Judging by their Wikipedia page, they actually win this every year.

Italy -- Breaking a five-year run by Milan, SG Cortina.

That's all I can really scrape together (I've got some other things to do). Anyone have any more insights on these playoffs -- or ideas of who won in Ukraine, Slovenia, France, wherever?)

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Comments:
Sorry for the self-promotion but to answer your question:

Keep an eye on this page since we'll gradually add round-ups on all European leagues for the 2006-07 season.

With the World Championships currently taking most of our attention expect the reviews being added more rapidly shortly after conclusion of the WC.

http://www.eurohockey.net/leagues/2007review.html

Regards,

_j-
 
For the Belarusophiles who for some reason missed the conclusion of the domestic season. Here's a review:

http://www.eurohockey.net/news/story.html?id=2007050220220920062007inreviewbelarus

_j-
 
Yeah, thanks of reminding me of the crappy Czecho-Slovak daily double.

Zdeno Ciger coaching Slovan to the title would be like Mark Messier coaching the Rangers to the Stanley Cup... just.... wrong!

Fuck Sparta
Fuck Slovan
Hail Slavia!
 
Glad to know Coventry is still competitive, even without their heart and soul - Wade Belak.
 
Thanks for doing all the legwork and posting this info, Greg!

It would be great to get even more people in North America interested in the stuff going on "over there"...
 
Thanks for the update, Jes.

I like to hear what my forgotten Euopean favorites are up to these days. Joseph Marha? Atta boy!

Also... Alex Daigle, Rico Fata and Robert Dome? Awesome.
 
"Guldpucken" (the golden puck) is the swedish counterpart to the Hart Memorial Trophy. So I guess you could say it's great to win it. Svartvadet was really worth it...
 
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