Hot Topics

Thursday, October 07, 2010

EIHL One Month In: – A League of Two Halves?

Just over one month in to the season and things are starting to take shape.  There have been few real surprises so far with even at this early stage league positions seem to reflect most peoples pre-season predictions. However, while most people expected there to be a split between the top and bottom teams, the gulf is perhaps bigger than expected, and looking at some of the signings of the last week could be about to get bigger.

Both Nottingham and Belfast have added ex-AHLers, Brad Smyth in Belfast in particular looks an extremely good signing, probably one of the best in EIHL history. Belfast, already title favourites and league leaders just got a lot better, while Edinburgh have been playing short, Hull only started playing a week ago to save money and despite a very poor start Dundee have done nothing to upgrade despite 8 losses in 8 games.  Other potential title contenders have also strengthened since my pre-season analysis, Sheffield added ex-NHLer Rob Globke and Coventry have recently added depth with former Steelers Robert Farmer. So the difference between the haves and have nots gets bigger.

While its great to see such players in the league, watching your team beat the opposition 7-0, 8-0 game in, game out quickly gets boring as does watching your team lose by the same score. Fans start to pick their games only watching the more competitive ones or give up watching altogether if their team can’t be competitive. One of the great things about the EIHL over recent years, is that any team could genuinely beat any other on any given night. From what we have seen this season, it looks very unlikely the teams towards the bottom of the table will take many, if any points of those near the top.

If things keep going like this, with no wage cap to control spending we may end up with ISL mark II, some teams overspending to try and keep up before going bust and other teams dropping down a league or two in order to stay in business.

No comments: