October 16, 2007 20:25 ET

Hockey Fans Deep-Six European Expansion but Like Games Played in Great Outdoors

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2007) - Hockey fans appear to have little appetite for NHL expansion to Europe. That's a key message delivered by members of the National Hockey League Fans' Association (NHLFA) in response to a recent online poll sent to the Association's 30,000 members. A full 82 per cent of poll respondents are against the NHL even exploring expansion to Europe.

The NHLFA has been conducting polls and working on behalf of hockey fans for 10 years. The Association generally issues one major Fan Report Poll, along with additional 'mini polls' over the course of each hockey season.

Concerning the new-look NHL, 43 per cent of those answering the poll think the league should return to last year's looser-fitting sweaters, while nearly 29 per cent voted to keep the new ones. Seventeen per cent offered no opinion with respect to NHL fashion.

Fans are happy with the size of NHL nets, with 89 per cent of respondents recommending the league keep them as is, and forget about any plan to enlarge them.

On the matter of suspensions, 66 per cent of those who answered the poll thought the 20-game suspension given to the Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Downie for his hit on the Ottawa Senators' Dean McAmmond was appropriate, while 21 per cent disagreed.

There's a lot of support for another outdoor NHL contest such as the one to be played in Buffalo this New Year's Day. Eighty-four per cent think it's a good idea, with only seven per cent panning the plan. Five per cent of respondents offered no opinion on the game.

The NHLFA was launched in 1998, to give NHL fans across North America and around the world a way to express their views on the game and to influence it for the better. There is no charge for membership, and to date nearly 30,000 fans have registered via the Association's Web site,

Contact Information

  • National Hockey League Fans' Association
    Jim Boone
    cell 613-612-9314