By Allan Muir
It turns out that Canada isn’t the only country suffering a crisis of hockey confidence.
Just weeks after the Canadian Hockey League drew scorn for its decision to block European goaltenders from the circuit as a means of creating additional opportunities and, hopefully, developing the next generation of elite stoppers, the Czech Republic’s Extraliga is following suit.
According to a piece on iihf.com, the Extraliga is ready to enact strict roster restrictions, starting with the 2013-14 season.
All 14 teams will be limited to six “import licenses” that they can use throughout the season. As soon as a non-Czech player is added to the roster, he uses up a license whether or not he actually plays.
If there’s a Czech version of Don Cherry, he’s probably smiling. At least in principle. The truth is, the Extraliga doesn’t draw a lot of foreign players. You’ll see the occasional Slovak or Russian, but this isn’t about repelling the infidels. This is about taking a stand.