Smith Happy with New Changes for the League
New Format Good for the Steelers and Good for the League
The Elite Ice Hockey League has confirmed changes to next seasons league and Challenge Cup format that will see a lot more competitive and exciting hockey at the Moterpoint Arena next season.
Whilst the 10 team Elite League will see and end of season Champion the league will be split into two geographic 5 team conferences with the Steelers joined by Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry and Nottingham. The Steelers will play each team in their own conference 4 times at home and 4 away whilst only playing Braehead, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife and Hull twice at home and twice away.
Steelers owner Tony Smith welcomed the changes not only for the Steelers but more importantly for the Elite League "I think the league became stronger and more competitive today, teams at the top and the bottom now have more hope and play more competitive games. Sure for the Steelers we play the likes of Nottingham and Belfast more often and that’s good for our business but we are only strong if the other clubs in the league are strong as well and we had to look at trying to do something different that helped the likes of Hull, Fife, Edinburgh and Dundee
"They will play more games against each other and thus have a chance to win more games and play at the top of their conference rather than play at the bottom of the Elite League without any real hope of success. We feel that we have found a method of pleasing all the clubs with this change
"On the ice at the Arena this season we will see a better product for the paying fans, one I feel that they will want to come and see. In the past many fans knew the out come of a game before they arrived in the arena car park. That’s not good for our sport or our business. Now they will arrive full of anticipation and excitement as more often than not we will be playing an equally strong team as ourselves. Over the summer we have worked hard to attract new and exciting names to the club, players like Colin Shields, Danny Meyers and Cory Pecker. This was to ensure our on ice product was better, this move by the league reinforces that and Im sure fans will see better hockey week in and week out"
"Its important that all 10 clubs have hope and all 10 clubs are strong, we believe that the moves made yesterday went a long way to doing that"
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