Well, I thought I'd make this thread to chat about the wonders of UK hockey. Haha.
Where to start?
The main league in the UK if the Elite Ice Hockey League, the only league in the UK which is a pro league. The EIHL consists of ten teams, most of which steal their names from NHL teams hah. They are - Belfast Giants, Braehead Clan, Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers, Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers (my local team)
The league works very differently from the NHL with there being three main trophies for teams to win.
The Challenge Cup, The Play Offs and the League Cup. Unlike the NHL, winning the league is classed as more important than winning the play offs (Weird, I know) Our play offs consist of two games per series.. none of the best of seven stuff. A real play off run is something our league really needs in my opinion.
It's generally a small league, with there only being three real arenas (Belfast, Nottingham & Sheffield)
Here is Sheffield Arena -
My team play in orange, which lead to issues when I went to New York in January and decided to wear my Steelers jersey to the Rangers vs Capitals game at MSG on 8th Jan. Apparently people can't tell the difference between an orange jersey with loads of advertisements all over it and a Philly Flyers one
While of course there are British players, the majority are imported players, a few of them ex-NHLers, but mainly former AHL players. We had Matt Belesky of the Bruins play over here during the lockout, as well as Tom Sesito, Drew Miller and Paul Bissonnette. Bissonnette even re-signed for Cardiff last season, but pulled out when he was given a better offer. My favourite player, Guillaume Desbiens, played for the Vancouver Canucks as well as the Calgary Flames. Theo Fleury also ended his playing career in our league.
We also have Bill Mosienko's grandson, Tyler, playing for the Steelers.
The biggest coo in the league so far this season has been the signing of Jared Staal for the Edinburgh Capitals for the up coming season. Most people saying 'How did our league get a Staal brother?!' Haha!
The league is growing year on year. Of course, there are teams that struggle to keep afloat more than others, but the KHL expansion should hopefully help raise awareness of the fact that is actually ice hockey over here and it's a well loved sport.
Here's a promo video the Steelers made to raise more awareness of the team & the league. I think it gives are good representation of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFMBK6YhnpQ
And of course... the Steelers also love to make videos that will make you chuckle too. Here's their lip sync video of Rockstar by Nickleback - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdoVgfZzIOk
Also... we are the champions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK7RLYU_bG4
Sorry if this bores you all, but I love this league.