PLAY HOCKEY IN EUROPE OR RUSSIA
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PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU EMAIL US
Canadian and American Players at this time we can only work with those who that have played in at least one of the following leagues:
NCAA Div 1
2112 Hockey Agency – Euro Prep Sheet – updated August 2 - 2015
Some basic points about living in Europe and Russia. We have tried to minimize the confusion for players traveling for the first time and some ideas for veteran players.
Mail – mail is basically useless now but sometimes parcels from back home will be sent to you so you need to create a mailing address. Your team can assist you will either allowing the teams mailing address or going to www.mbe.com where you can rent a post office box for a short period.
Cell - Skype - Viber – Million dollar question what to do with your cell phone. I suggest when you arrive that you find a local cell company such as Vodaphone. You need to purchase a SIM card for around 20.00 dollars. Once you have the SIM card then you can use your own IPhone – Droid or Blackberry. Normally you have to prepay your cell service in Europe and abroad. For example you can top up your phone with 100 dollars but make sure your package has enough text messages – data and airtime.
Viber seems to be the top way for people to communicate between Europe and North America download http://www.viber.com/products/windows. Skype is also good a good option.
Also for texting tell your friends to download www.whatsapp.com
Banking – someone from your team will assist you in setting up a bank account as well. This can be complex but once your account is set up then the team can transfer your cheques electronically. One trick is to deposit money on your Visa or MasterCard for example and then you have access at your money pretty well anywhere in the world.
Currency – Czech Republic and Sweden uses Koruna for example. However many countries will use the Euro click the following link. http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/money/euro
American currency can be used in certain places but with conversions business’s they can scam you. Use local currency when possible. Credit Cards are safe in most Euro countries however you will see places such as Latvia they will only accept cash. We use Debit Cards for everything in Canada but you won’t have the same use of your debit card for other than taking money out of ATM’s.
*** Please note Switzerland is not part of the EU.
Jet Lag – So many urban legends exist what to do in regards to this topic. Don’t eat meat the day before – drink 10 ounces of water per hour when you fly – don’t drink booze – try not to sleep etc etc. The truth is this affects everyone different. Personally jet lag only affects me when flying home to Canada.
Food – You can find McDonalds – Pizza Hut – KFC – and Subway in almost every major city however trying to local food is all part of the cultural experience. Dining out in Norway – Russia – Finland – Sweden and Switzerland for example can be 2 to 3 times the prices of North American prices. Subway for example was 27.00 dollars for a foot long in Norway.
Condiment Idea – When you go grocery shopping you will notice things like ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish and hot sauce are actually tough to find. A few NHL players that have gone to Russia and Europe have come up with a great idea. Go to Costco etc and buy huge bottles of mustard or ketchup then go to UPS and they will put all your condiments in a properly packaged box. Then you ship the box before you leave to the team office. It might cost you 200 or 300 dollars but it will be money well spent.
Grocery Shopping – Once you enter your condo in Europe and Russia the fridges are much smaller than basic fridges in North America. Therefore you won’t be able to stock up on lots of milk and meats etc. If you cook lots you will be shopping two or three times a week.
Pets – First of all please speak to your Vet about what you should do with your dog. Normal flights from Toronto to Europe are 7 hours on average. Some people will suggest giving your dog Benadryl before you fly to knock them out but once again get a 2nd opinion from your vet. Taking your dog to Sweden for example is not that simple. However you can fly your dog into Denmark and pick him up at the airport and drive into Sweden. But if you fly the dog to Stockholm your pet will have to stay for 30 days in quarantine.
Good link to click on http://goeurope.about.com/od/travelwithpets/a/pet_travel.htm
Vehicle / Drivers License – Most teams will provide you and your family with a vehicle to use or share with another import player. IDP (International Drivers Permit) is a worthless booklet from an age gone by. Yes, I get one where it's required (Italy) but don't bother for Germany. Any policeman who's not a total idiot can understand the info on my driver’s license.
Where it's not required, it does nothing for you, offers you no protection in an accident or if stopped by police. Cheap, yes, about $15 from AAA + passport photos. Valid for 1 year.
Local Transit – A common response from Europeans when they come to Canada or the USA is what is really different between their country and ours. The answer normally is we drive everywhere and in Europe people will walk or use a train. Parking is difficult in major cities and you will find that using a train or walking is actually much easier than driving.
Language Differences – Refer to this link for countries that speak English or not
Passport / Visa – This can be a lengthy process if we are not involved in the assistance of this. Playing in the KHL is more complicated matter and a Visa is required. Speak to your agent in regards to these issues.
Insurance – This is part of your contract negotiations but you want to request full coverage for you and your family.
Taxes – We can assist you with tax preparations and advice. However we are not accountants either and it is best served you get professional advice on this. An example in Czech they only pay 15% and when you come home your tax bill could be anywhere from 20 – 30 percent. But another example in Croatia they pay 40% and you may have no additional tax bill when you return.
Girlfriend / Wives working – Also a tough one unless you can work for cash at a bar or restaurant. Sometimes someone from your team can assist with helping with this. But overall it is somewhat difficult.
Slingbox – I love my TV and the shows and programs however you will not find most of these shows in Europe. Slingbox is a great invention and allows you to watch TV from North America in amazing quality. Click this link on how Slingbox works http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/slingbox.htm
Commissions – Please speak to your agent about this but we can split this over 2 installments if that makes things easier. Some countries pay us directly therefore potentially no commission invoice for you. Otherwise we will invoice mid season to allow you to get some pay cheques in the bank.
More questions please contact:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Web – www.2112hockeyagency.com
Cell – 204 573 8080
Twitter – www.twitter.com/2112hockey
Facebook – Darryl Wolski
PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU EMAIL US
Canadian and American Players at this time we can only work with players that have played at least one of the following leagues:
NCAA Div 1
( Leagues are sorted in Talent Caliber - Contract Amounts - Living Conditions - Exposure and Scouting )
Russia - KHL Kontinental Hockey League
Without a doubt the second best hockey league in the world. KHL GM’s are seeking top end AHL players and bubble NHL players. Ideal age of players the KHL looks for is 23 to 30 years old.
Also the top players from Sweden and Finland will end up in the KHL.
Lots of “urban legends” will circle around the internet about Russia and the KHL. But we will only place players in good situations for them and their families.
Pay Scale can range from $150,000 USD for imports to as high as $3,000,000 USD for the best North American imports.
Helsinki, Riga, Minsk, Slovan, - pays in Euros
Zagreb - pays in USD
Barys - pays in local Tenge
Russian teams - all pay in Rubles
SHL (top league)
These teams seek high end Euro / AHL / NHL players.
** Pay range is 60,000 Euro to upwards of 275,000 Euro
** Please note this league has no import rules
Allsvenskan (2nd league)
Also looking for top end AHL players. For example Jared Aulin whom has been in the top 3 scoring of this league all season.
** Pay range is 30,000 Euro to upwards of 115,000 Euro
** Please note this league has no import rules
NLA (top league)
One of the top paying leagues in Europe plus a great place for players to bring their families and raise their children. Former NHL players and top end AHL players come to play in the NLA.
** Pay scale will range from 75,000 Swiss to upwards of 425,000 Swiss
NLB (2nd league in Switzerland)
Great option for older players that still want to play at a high level and earn a good wage. Plus normally teams will travel home after games and you sleep in your own bed each night. Top Czech – DEL – AHL players can normally find a decent job in the NLB.
** Pay scale from 40,000 Swiss to over 100,000 Swiss
SM-liiga (top league)
Finland is known for being the closest style of game to North America and the NHL. Keep in mind these teams pay good and looking for very good top 10 scoring AHL forwards and bubble NHL players. Great league to perhaps jumpstart your Euro career to get a chance to move up to the KHL.
** Pay range is 40,000 Euro to upwards of 165,000 Euro
DEL (top league)
At one time the DEL was the top league for imports plus for money. This has now changed and the DEL is now considered in the top 3 in Europe. Bubble NHL and top end AHL players can make the jump to the DEL.
** Pay scale range starts at 40,000 Euro and can go upwards of 200,000 Euro per season
** Maximum of 9 imports on the ice
DEL 2 (2nd league in Germany)
Top ECHL players will play in this league.
** Pay Scale will range from 20,000 to 35,000 Euro
** 5 North American players allowed per team
Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (top league)
This league has slowly become more prominent throughout Europe as a league to be taken seriously. Players can make an easy jump to the DEL or NLB in Switzerland after putting up good numbers in Austria. Top players from Italy, Norway and AHL can make the jump to play in this league.
** Pay scale range is from 27,500 Euro to upwards of 100,000 Euro
** Maximum 8 North American players (plus a point system for imports)
Get Ligaen (top league)
Norway has become a more serious contender in Euro hockey. Top teams such as Lorenskog look for top end ECHL and AHL players. However Rosenborg will have a lower player budget and will consider NCAA - CHL and ECHL players.
** Pay range from 15,000 Euro to as much as 50,000 Euro
** Five North American imports allowed per team
Extraliga (top league)
One of the nicest countries in Europe plus also one of the top leagues. Considered a somewhat older league and most teams carry a few imports per team. Minimum of AHL is required to play in Czech
** Pay scale ranges from 30,000 Euro to as high as 100,000 Euro
** Import allowed are 4 North Americans per team… you do not see many imports in this league maybe 5 from Canada and USA
Series A (top league)
Quality of players improves on an annual basis. Imports are normally a bit older however most teams in Italy are looking for players with AHL games.
** Pay scale range is from 20,000 Euro to the top player making 65,000 Euro
** Maximum of 8 North American players
Has emerged as a very decent league with great cities and also a good start for players from the ECHL to start their Euro career.
** Pay scale is from $15,000 - $35,000 USD
Top ECHL and AHL players can make a good living in Japan and Korea. Normally each team is allowed 3 imports and looking for players that can produce with over a point per game
** Pay scale can range from 50,000 US to 100,000 US
We have compiled a "depth chart" of the leagues in Europe and Russia. This ranking is based upon - Money - Quality of League - Living Conditions
1 – Russia KHL
2 – Swedish SHL
3 – Switzerland NLA
4 – Finland SM liiga
5 – Czech Extralinga
6 – Germany DEL
7 – Switzerland NLB
8 – Austria EBEL
9 - Sweden Allsvenskan
10 – Norway
11 –Czech 2nd league
12– Italy Series A
13 – Germany DEL 2
14 – Denmark
15 - Slovakia
16 - Asia
17 - Poland
We do not normally place players in the following leagues if you need assistance we can give you advice of agents in Europe to use for these leagues.
Sweden Div 1
Russia - VHL
Kazakhstan - we strongly suggest you do lots of homework in this league should you decide to play in it.
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