Reasons to get excited about the return of the Elite League

Fife's double win this weekend has put them top of the Elite League for now (PHOTO: Jillian McFarlane/Fife Flyers)

Let’s be frank – ice hockey is not the most popular sport among Brits. While across the pond in Canada and the US they can’t get enough of it, UK’s sports fans don’t appreciate it nearly as much as, say, football or rugby. But, you can find plenty of ice hockey events from all around the world on most betting sites in the UK, and there are plenty of betting markets to choose from.

We feel that the current state of affairs is an injustice to this exciting sport. There’s a lot to love about ice hockey if you were simply to give it a chance. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this season might be the perfect opportunity for you to finally see the beauty of ice hockey.

All of the UK Participating

The Elite Ice Hockey League, or the EIHL, is the highest level of competition of this sport in the United Kingdom. 

Interestingly, it is the only league in any sport in the country to have representation from all four nations. With that in mind, it would be very easy to find someone to root for right at the door, even if you know very little about the teams themselves.

The league consists of ten of the UK’s best teams. This year, these include:

  • Belfast Giants
  • Cardiff Devils
  • Coventry Blaze
  • Dundee Stars
  • Fife Flyers
  • Glasgow Clan
  • Guildford Flames
  • Manchester Storm
  • Nottingham Panthers
  • Sheffield Steelers

The Exciting Seasons Finishers

The way we see it, most other sports leagues seem decided before they even start. Realistically, whether you’re talking about the Scottish Premiership or the Premier League, it usually comes down to just two or three teams at best.

With ice hockey, this is not the case. For instance, the Cardiff Devils were at the cusp of victory last year, but it didn’t truly end until the finals, where they lost to the Belfast Giants. Our point is this – the championship title isn’t decided until the very last second. 8 out of the league’s 10 teams all qualify for the playoffs. 

Even if your favoured team didn’t perform too well during the regular season – they still have a chance to shine in the playoffs. 

The Upcoming Season 

With that in mind, experts predict this year to be down to the wire – more so than usual. 

While the favourites that are Cardiff and Belfast are still considered very strong, recent team restructurings have ensured that there is more than enough room for a surprise upturn. The SheffieldSteelers are a perfect example of this with a very strong performance in the season’s early stages.

International hockey stars like Martin St Pierre and Nikolai Lemtyugov are flocking to British teams, boosting the teams’ lineups to heights we’ve never seen before. Overall, making the right call on what the final standings are going to look like is an almost impossible task.

It seems to us hockey is bound to come back to the UK in a big way – and we would recommend anyone to be ahead of the curve, and get excited in time.

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