In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, former NHLer and current Farjestad GM Hakan Loob said that a KHL-style Scandinavian league, encompassing top teams from Sweden and, presumably Finland, Norway and Denmark, could be a reality within two years.
“We’ve looked at how a league in the ‘Nordic perspective’ would work and we’ve gotten only positive feedback,” said Loob in a quote translated from the original Swedish. “Farjestad, Frolunda, HV71, Djurgarden and Linkoping have created a group with other experts to analyze how it would work and be received by fans.”
The aforementioned teams make up the elite of the current Swedish league, winning two of the past three playoff titles and all of the past three regular season crowns. MODO is the only major name not mentioned in the talks.
The hype surrounding the Russian-based Kontinental League, which opened its regular season yesterday, may have provided the impetus for the Nordic league concept.
“Had Sweden had a copious amount of teams that were satisfied with this being just a Swedish league, we would not have had to look across the borders,” Loob noted. “But that’s not the case. Teams have to look outside of Sweden to find ‘development opportunities’ and hockey must follow that search where it goes. That’s a must.”
- translation courtesy of Marcus Maleus