The Thursday debate: What do we do with the Challenge Cup?

(PHOTO: Helen Brabon)

We finally learned who the eight quarter finalists would be in this season’s Challenge Cup and the draw was made on Tuesday as we look forward to the knockout stage.

But the competition itself has been a good talking point in terms of what to do with it so we put the word out on our channels to find out what you thought of its current format and what to do to improve it.

You guys didn’t disappoint, but we started by running a poll on it to find out if fans were happy with it as is or did they want to see something different from the Challenge Cup.

As you can see, change is something desired, going by the final results here:

We had a great response from this today and it’s time to bring you the best of the feedback we had from the many who took a few minutes to join in.

For example, James likes the idea of extra teams coming in, but wants to see something more glamorous:

Some wouldn’t mind seeing some of the NIHL teams taking parts, although the argument was made the gulf in quality between Elite League level and the NIHL would be too vast:


Mike Pollentine (on Facebook): I like the competition, but I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the best teams from the lower leagues being able to compete in it and therefore allowing more of a mingling between the leagues of British Ice Hockey, sort of like an FA Cup thing. Imagine the year when one of those makes it far. Also, it should just be a draw to decide who plays who in the quarters and so on.
Christopher John Roebuck (from Facebook) Would like to see it just be a straight knockout tournament with some teams from the lower leagues invited up, more to help the progress of younger players and give them a taste of the standard of the elite league. Also shows teams in the elite league potential British players who could make the step up.
matt._____.dowson (from Instagram): Allow lower leagues to play in it, like the FA cup, and give some players a chance to shine on a stage they normally wouldn’t/couldn’t

A few liked the idea of having the tournament done and dusted before Christmas, like the old days:

Others listed here would like to see the competition scrapped altogether, with one or two thinking the Elite League should aim for a longer play-off competition:


(Although, it should be pointed out the Challenge Cup winners, Belfast Giants, received this year’s Continental Cup spot because Cardiff Devils, the play-off winners, who would normally get the European berth, had won the league and had qualified for the CHL)