NHL Lockout: Why the KHL Could Be the Biggest Winner in Case of a Lockout
While hockey fans in North America are scared that there will be an NHL lockout this month, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) stands to benefit greatly if the NHL closes its doors for a long time.
Here is the latest on the labor negotiations between the league and the NHLPA, according to TSN's Aaron Ward.
CBA meetings NOT 'officially' planned this week.Following week,NHL Board of Governors will meet in NYC,so too will NHLPA and players. #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) September 3, 2012
Having NHL players join KHL teams this year would shine the hockey spotlight on Russia, which would be a great situation for the country that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi less than two years from now.
Would the KHL be the biggest winner of an NHL lockout?
If any of the top Russian players, or any other big-time NHL stars join the KHL this winter, the league could certainly benefit by making more money from sponsors. The league will be more attractive to companies looking to advertise if Evgeni Malkin, or any other players of his caliber, spend weeks or months playing in the KHL this year.
But perhaps the greatest way the KHL could gain from an NHL lockout is the amount of attention that fans in North America will pay to the KHL if the best NHL players go overseas.
Since most hockey fans in North America don't really pay attention to the KHL because we follow our favorite NHL teams and players, a lockout could force us to watch the KHL to satisfy our need for hockey.
For people who want to get a first hand look at KHL hockey, the Dynamo Moscow and SKA will play in America early next year.
#KHL will play two games in Brooklyn on January 19 and 20 (scheduled). Tickets will likely go on sale in October.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) September 4, 2012
Hopefully this won't be the only time we see great hockey in North America this year, but if there is an NHL lockout, the KHL will no doubt be the biggest winner.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.
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