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-   -   It is time to talk about the future of Russian hockey (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=914596)

Peter25 05-16-2011 05:59 AM

It is time to talk about the future of Russian hockey
 
The World Championships revealed that Russian hockey is in a transition period.

On paper Russia had a good team, a very good team actually. But the result and especially the effort was not there. With better luck and without some questionable calls by the refs Russia could have beaten Finland in the semifinals, but still it was not a good effort by Russia.

In my opinion it is time for Russia to start playing more young players in the national team. But the question is that where are they going to come from. Russian team in the World Championships was very experienced and aside from Kulikov and Tarasenko lacked young players.

Right now Russia has only three players born in the 1990s that are good enough to play in the national team. They are Kulikov, Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Canada, the US and Sweden have far more talent in age groups born in the 1990s. Even Finland might have more talent in these age groups than Russia.

Russian coach Bykov said after the World Championships that he cannot artificially bring young players to national team if they are not good enough. He is right there. Russia cannot play Nikita Filatov and Alexander Burmitstrov in the World Championships until they have proven themselves in their club teams.

My vision of the future of Russian hockey is that unless Russia manages to catch up Canada, the US, Sweden (and possibly Finland) in junior development Russia will start to lag behind in a similar manner as Slovakia and to a lesser extent Czech Republic have. Russia's best players - Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Semin and Markov - are all declining. Pavel Datsyuk is still magnificent but he is 32 and will start to decline in 2-3 years. The famed ZZM line was at it's peak in 2005-2008 but has regressed dramatically since. The promising youngsters from early 2000s Nikolai Zherdev and Alexander Frolov never became stars despite promising starts. Defensemen Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin and Anton Volchenkov are not going to get any better. They are at the peak of their careers now.

Right now Russian hockey is in a stage where it's best players are either in their primes or aging and declining. There are a few players in younger generations such as Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Kulikov and Artem Anisimov who can become very good players, but this is not enough if Russia is going to become a top hockey nation again. Russia is going to fall behind if the age groups born in 1992 or after will not produce better talent than the previous age groups.

The national team needs better coaching and decision making than what Bykov managed to give this year, but the real challenges of Russian hockey are far deeper than how the national team is managed. Simply put: Russia needs to produce better young players than it has done in the last five or six years.

Peter25 05-16-2011 06:09 AM

And please do not use the success of junior national team as a reference of the quality of junior develoment. I only care about the ability to develop top players. If Russia wins WJC tournament but the players will not develop properly then the success in junior level means nothing.

vera1964 05-16-2011 10:53 AM

If you try to name a single extraordinary russian player under 25, most likely you will not be able to (except maybe a couple of goalies). At the same time, there are quite a few in between 25 and 30. Twenty years ago, when those kids were supposed to start playing, Russia swiftly moved to the market economy. And my guess is -- russian hockey was never able to adapt to it.

I also think russian society, as it has been for the last 20 years, is interested much less, and is in much less need for hockey (or any other professional sport) than it used to be in the Soviet Union, where to launch a rocket or to win a hockey world cup was a matter of national pride. Now russians have more important things to do, which is probably a good thing.

Just a thought.

NMF78 05-16-2011 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter25 (Post 33069248)
And please do not use the success of junior national team as a reference of the quality of junior develoment. I only care about the ability to develop top players.


Russia's results at the u20 and u18 tournaments in the last years show Russia is still producing talent, prospects. Off course that doesn't mean they will automatically develop into top players but the talent is there, they will have to work hard but also need the opportunity to play for there club and the NT.

I also think its too soon to say that Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Malkin are declining, Datsyuk is 32 and is still at his best and those players are around 24-27 years old.

It is true Russia doesn't have the depth that Canada has, well if it wants to change that it will need to increase their talent pool and get more kids playing hockey.

Yakushev72 05-16-2011 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter25 (Post 33069226)
The World Championships revealed that Russian hockey is in a transition period.

On paper Russia had a good team, a very good team actually. But the result and especially the effort was not there. With better luck and without some questionable calls by the refs Russia could have beaten Finland in the semifinals, but still it was not a good effort by Russia.

In my opinion it is time for Russia to start playing more young players in the national team. But the question is that where are they going to come from. Russian team in the World Championships was very experienced and aside from Kulikov and Tarasenko lacked young players.

Right now Russia has only three players born in the 1990s that are good enough to play in the national team. They are Kulikov, Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Canada, the US and Sweden have far more talent in age groups born in the 1990s. Even Finland might have more talent in these age groups than Russia.

Russian coach Bykov said after the World Championships that he cannot artificially bring young players to national team if they are not good enough. He is right there. Russia cannot play Nikita Filatov and Alexander Burmitstrov in the World Championships until they have proven themselves in their club teams.

My vision of the future of Russian hockey is that unless Russia manages to catch up Canada, the US, Sweden (and possibly Finland) in junior development Russia will start to lag behind in a similar manner as Slovakia and to a lesser extent Czech Republic have. Russia's best players - Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Semin and Markov - are all declining. Pavel Datsyuk is still magnificent but he is 32 and will start to decline in 2-3 years. The famed ZZM line was at it's peak in 2005-2008 but has regressed dramatically since. The promising youngsters from early 2000s Nikolai Zherdev and Alexander Frolov never became stars despite promising starts. Defensemen Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin and Anton Volchenkov are not going to get any better. They are at the peak of their careers now.

Right now Russian hockey is in a stage where it's best players are either in their primes or aging and declining. There are a few players in younger generations such as Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Kulikov and Artem Anisimov who can become very good players, but this is not enough if Russia is going to become a top hockey nation again. Russia is going to fall behind if the age groups born in 1992 or after will not produce better talent than the previous age groups.

The national team needs better coaching and decision making than what Bykov managed to give this year, but the real challenges of Russian hockey are far deeper than how the national team is managed. Simply put: Russia needs to produce better young players than it has done in the last five or six years.

You are right when you say that the problems go deeper than the coach. Yes, Bykov and Zakharkin have failed to make necessary corrections since the Olympics, but I agree that the larger problem lies in the talent pool and the lack of development of junior players. For example, nearly the exact same group of KHL players have played for the national team for the last 5 years. This suggests that there is a lack of competition from other talented players who are capable of breaking into the lineup. Some of the KHL'ers are good, particularly Radulov (who, according to russianprospects.com, is considering returning to the Nashville Predators) and Tereschenko, but not good enough to consistently beat Finland, the Czechs and even Germany. To Russian fans who rembember previous eras, it is difficult to understand why they shouldn't beat those teams consistently.

Clearly, part of the problem is not developing enough junior age talent commensurate with the potentially huge talent pool reflected in the Russian population. This year's Gold Medal in the WJC was great, but the last previous Gold was from 2003. The interim period included losses to Sweden, Finland and other nations that never used to consistently beat or even challenge the Russians. Sweden, Finland, and the US have instituted national team development programs that are showing impressive results, seemingly even producing more and better talent in recent years than Russia. Its hard to understand why that should be the case.

To improve, it seems that Russia will have to recruit larger numbers of talented young players, and offer them sufficiently intensive and high quality development initiatives. The MHL appears to be a good start, but there may be other things that can be done. Hopefully, this thread will explore some of the alternatives that could make Russia better.

Alessandro Seren Rosso 05-16-2011 04:05 PM

I think the MHL was a great start, no wonder that after one year we won the WJC. I think that we must have more money spent within junior hockey, more teams, more leagues, we should stop throwing money in stupid projects (Hockey night in Italy?) and give these money to coaches and arenas. And we need a NT coach who trusts young players (did I just type Bragin?).

Yakushev72 05-17-2011 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso (Post 33076449)
I think the MHL was a great start, no wonder that after one year we won the WJC. I think that we must have more money spent within junior hockey, more teams, more leagues, we should stop throwing money in stupid projects (Hockey night in Italy?) and give these money to coaches and arenas. And we need a NT coach who trusts young players (did I just type Bragin?).

Well said, Alessandro! Creation of the MHL, where kids can get ice time in what will hopefully be an increasingly competitive environment, is the most important step toward increasing the supply of talented players. Increasing investment in Russian youth will go much further toward making the KHL comparable to the NHL, if that is the goal, than expanding into Italy. Italy produces a huge number of soccer players, basketball players, distance runners, etc., but no hockey players, to my knowledge. Establishing a franchise there will simply further dilute the already scarce talent.

Atas2000 05-21-2011 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter25 (Post 33069226)

On paper Russia had a good team, a very good team actually.

I'm sorry, but how can you be so delusional? After I read the names on the roster my remark was 'abandon all hope'.

Atas2000 05-21-2011 06:44 AM

Lots of ppl don't realise that we have a conflict going in Russia. KHL (and MHL as it's affiliate) with Medvedev, Fetisov, Yurzinov Sr. on one side and FHR with Tretiak and Mikhailov backed by Mutko on the other. While KHL and MHL do a great job developing for the future the burocrats of FHR are playing their ridiculous games. Let's wait and see but I wouldn't be surprised if they really put Znarok in. Maybe a good coach but really not the man for a national team and no real authority to kick our star's butts like they need it. But he's totally controllable by Tretiak and would be an ever grateful underling to him. There are rumors Tretiak had a talk with Znarok already. Well, bottomline is we need to get rid of Tretiak. He's a living legend, no question about that. and it's even hard to write theese words about a man oh his magnitude as a player. It's as simple as that. It's the truth and has to be said. He has become a burden to our hockey future, applying burocratic methods of old, fillig his pockets with dubuios sponsoring contracts and the most important thing choosing his staff by the level of personal admiration to his past merits and fearing to have ANY personalities around who could have an own opinion different of his own.
We'll see on 26th May. But I don't see any good coming as long as we have the current FHR system in place.

Yakushev72 05-21-2011 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atas2000 (Post 33163112)
I'm sorry, but how can you be so delusional? After I read the names on the roster my remark was 'abandon all hope'.

Delusional is a strong word, but it is true that the lineup had more or less the same guys as the past five or six years, some of whom didn't show much talent. Kovalchuk, Ovechkin and Afinogenov are obviously world-class talents, and Kulemin looked good at times, but the rest of the lineup seemed to show not much above average talent. The ZZM line could not be compared to Petrov-Mikhailov-Kharamov, or Larionov-Krutov-Makarov. Many of the forwards did not appear dangerous or explosive. IMO, there were really no world class defensemen in the lineup- the closest might be Nikulin, and defense was a clear weakness. This is in stark contrast to the 1988 Olympics, where the Soviets skated four lines and three pairs of defensemen, all of whom were dominant, world class players. The talent is there in the country, but there is a lag in development.

Yakushev72 05-21-2011 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atas2000 (Post 33163157)
Lots of ppl don't realise that we have a conflict going in Russia. KHL (and MHL as it's affiliate) with Medvedev, Fetisov, Yurzinov Sr. on one side and FHR with Tretiak and Mikhailov backed by Mutko on the other. While KHL and MHL do a great job developing for the future the burocrats of FHR are playing their ridiculous games. Let's wait and see but I wouldn't be surprised if they really put Znarok in. Maybe a good coach but really not the man for a national team and no real authority to kick our star's butts like they need it. But he's totally controllable by Tretiak and would be an ever grateful underling to him. There are rumors Tretiak had a talk with Znarok already. Well, bottomline is we need to get rid of Tretiak. He's a living legend, no question about that. and it's even hard to write theese words about a man oh his magnitude as a player. It's as simple as that. It's the truth and has to be said. He has become a burden to our hockey future, applying burocratic methods of old, fillig his pockets with dubuios sponsoring contracts and the most important thing choosing his staff by the level of personal admiration to his past merits and fearing to have ANY personalities around who could have an own opinion different of his own.
We'll see on 26th May. But I don't see any good coming as long as we have the current FHR system in place.

This is a little bit off the topic of the politics of the FHR, but it reminded me that Tretiak wasn't always a dominant goaltender. He suffered a severe slump in 1979-80, when he couldn't seem to stop the softest shot. He was pulled out of the lineup in Game 2 of the Challenge Cup after giving up 4 goals in 10 shots, several of them soft goals. His weak goaltending in the 1979-80 Super Series caused CSKA to lose to Montreal and especially to Buffalo, where he gave up six goals, most of them weak. Then in the Olympics, he had poor performances against Finland and Canada, giving up several soft goals and almost causing losses. Against the US, it is well known that he was pulled out of the game at the end of First Period after giving up two bad goals, one of which was due to his failure to play the puck as time was running out. He recovered and had good years until he retired, but his legend might be a little overblown.

rushockey 05-21-2011 02:40 PM

It's evident that the team play and effort is now even more important than individual skills. Finland showed that having a bunch of solid players who are on the same page is better than having a talented team which can't sync as one unit. Russian hockey is fine as far as talent goes but in desperate need for the coaching personalities. After Bykov and Zakharkin duo there is nothing else. If they are to be let go then we surely would have to go to a foreign specialist. Krikunov has very little respect in the dressing room among young guys due to his pathetic approach to many things, Bill had major issues with Kovalchuk as well. To sum it up - there is no person who can take a group of 20 Russian millionaires and organize them into a team. These are mainly the reasons why we had 15 years of absolute travesty at the Worlds, all those endless losers who coached in that period is a great proof to that. Where can you find that person who can walk into the room filled with Kovalchuks and have their immediate attention? We have none. Unfortunately all those who scream the loudest now can't do anything. FHR lost valuable time finding and grooming those people. This is a priority number one - find these people with knowledge and leadership qualities. Unfortunately Tretiak hasn't done a thing in that direction, he couldn't build a team around the FHR - instead, they have the old gang of Steblin's buddies in Mayorov and Tuzik who suck the blood out of the Russian hockey. These are the people who are behind this hysteria against Bykov and Zakharkin that started well before the tournament. They can't offer anything new so this group must go and the new faces must appear.

Tormentor 05-21-2011 05:50 PM

As an outsider looking in it seems that itís a two-edged sword having two superstars like Ovechkin and Kovalchuk on the same team. On a good day they are true difference makers, but on a bad day they can drag the whole team down with bad leadership, self-centeredness and in someway lacking teamwork ability. For a team to succeed it needs to have a good structure/composition. A player like Datsyuk with his elite two-way ability, great reliability and on-ice-leadership seems like a better foundation for a team. He doesnít let emotions affect his game too much, and the difference between a good and a bad day is minimal. What Russia needs IMO is more elite players like Datsyuk. Players like him should get more appreciation in all levels of Russian hockey. To me Datsyuk seems like a great role model for young players.

Fulcrum 05-21-2011 06:19 PM

Russian coaches have failed to synch the superstars for the Olympics and for the past 2 WC (some would argue for the past 20 years). We'll just have to wait and see.. I don't think there is 1 name in the world that you could say would make this team click for sure. Trial and error, unfortunately...

There is nothing new in the fact that some players simply don't begin to shine until 20+. Sure they might not be Ovi-class players but can get to the Kulyomin level- and that's pretty good depth level that I think the past U20 team displayed. I think Filatov is still capable of becoming a good to great player, he still has his shot speed and skills - just needs to find his game. Same goes for Grachev, Loktionov - all of those guys are just on the upcoming.

Don't write off the projected top-end talent fro Grigorenko and Yakupov and a few others. They might be the ones pushing out the ZZM players for good, in as little as 2-3 years.

The part that really worries me is the Defense. We need 6-8 top guys, surely from all the KHL teams and NHL players we can find 8 guys who know how to play D well... that's the hope in the creation of KHL and MHL.

There is a sea of talent in the MHL, it will be interesting to see how they make the transition to KHL in the next few years and whether or not someone provides them with opportunities to do so.

Rob Scuderi 05-22-2011 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fulcrum (Post 33172364)
The part that really worries me is the Defense. We need 6-8 top guys, surely from all the KHL teams and NHL players we can find 8 guys who know how to play D well... that's the hope in the creation of KHL and MHL.

It's very interesting to read this thread as an outsider of the situation. Not many Americans look to the coach of the Russian squad as a problem, as we simply don't know the situation nearly as well as you guys.

But that quote is what it always seems to come back to, whether right or wrong. I mean if there's no defensemen out there what can Russia do but hope their stars outshine the opposing offense?

How big a concern is the lack of D right now for Russia? I don't mean to sound ignorant I understand there's promising players that you guys already mentioned like Kulikov and I'd imagine Orlov is on his way to being mentioned in the same company. But imo the concern always seems to be with producing legitimate shutdown defensemen, sorry if this ignorant and missing some big names. I mean Orlov and Kulikov don't really project to be defensive stalwarts so who really projects to fill that role out of Russia currently?

Then you get to the next area of concern, goaltending. I think Bryz is a great tender and much better than this postseason led on but he's not very young himself. Varlamov seems to be next in line and I have few reservations about him but who can we expect to compete with him? My knowledge of KHL goalies is slim to none so maybe there are some young challengers I do not know.

Granted these tournaments are all impromptu and teams have little ability to get in sync before playing but is it wrong for me to believe that potential deficiencies in producing D and goalie will eventually catch up to Russia? Sorry if this is the typical NA response to these discussions but I do believe there's some merit to it.

Yakushev72 05-22-2011 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rushockey (Post 33168675)
It's evident that the team play and effort is now even more important than individual skills. Finland showed that having a bunch of solid players who are on the same page is better than having a talented team which can't sync as one unit. Russian hockey is fine as far as talent goes but in desperate need for the coaching personalities. After Bykov and Zakharkin duo there is nothing else. If they are to be let go then we surely would have to go to a foreign specialist. Krikunov has very little respect in the dressing room among young guys due to his pathetic approach to many things, Bill had major issues with Kovalchuk as well. To sum it up - there is no person who can take a group of 20 Russian millionaires and organize them into a team. These are mainly the reasons why we had 15 years of absolute travesty at the Worlds, all those endless losers who coached in that period is a great proof to that. Where can you find that person who can walk into the room filled with Kovalchuks and have their immediate attention? We have none. Unfortunately all those who scream the loudest now can't do anything. FHR lost valuable time finding and grooming those people. This is a priority number one - find these people with knowledge and leadership qualities. Unfortunately Tretiak hasn't done a thing in that direction, he couldn't build a team around the FHR - instead, they have the old gang of Steblin's buddies in Mayorov and Tuzik who suck the blood out of the Russian hockey. These are the people who are behind this hysteria against Bykov and Zakharkin that started well before the tournament. They can't offer anything new so this group must go and the new faces must appear.

Excellent post - you really make some great points! The fact is that the NT, between 1994-2007, never really started to consistently challenge for medals until Bykov and Zakharkin came along. Some teams were loaded with NHL superstars in far greater numbers than the 2011 team, and ended up finishing 7th or 8th. As many will recall, one of the most star-laden Russian teams ever (Bure, Yashin, Zhamnov, etc, in their prime years") was present for the 2000 WC in St. Petersburg - only to finish 11th. Two points to make: (1) there is no evidence to support the idea that NHL superstars will consistently lead the Russian team to Gold, and (2) there is no tresure chest of great coaches waiting their turn - many have had the chance and failed badly. It may be that the development of a stronger domestic league, the KHL, will be the most important factor in bringing the Russian program back to prominence.

Yakushev72 05-22-2011 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fulcrum (Post 33172364)
Russian coaches have failed to synch the superstars for the Olympics and for the past 2 WC (some would argue for the past 20 years). We'll just have to wait and see.. I don't think there is 1 name in the world that you could say would make this team click for sure. Trial and error, unfortunately...

There is nothing new in the fact that some players simply don't begin to shine until 20+. Sure they might not be Ovi-class players but can get to the Kulyomin level- and that's pretty good depth level that I think the past U20 team displayed. I think Filatov is still capable of becoming a good to great player, he still has his shot speed and skills - just needs to find his game. Same goes for Grachev, Loktionov - all of those guys are just on the upcoming.

Don't write off the projected top-end talent fro Grigorenko and Yakupov and a few others. They might be the ones pushing out the ZZM players for good, in as little as 2-3 years.

The part that really worries me is the Defense. We need 6-8 top guys, surely from all the KHL teams and NHL players we can find 8 guys who know how to play D well... that's the hope in the creation of KHL and MHL.

There is a sea of talent in the MHL, it will be interesting to see how they make the transition to KHL in the next few years and whether or not someone provides them with opportunities to do so.

There are a lot of talented young guys who go the CHL or AHL and never end up making the jump to major league hockey. There is a lot of talk about the cultural obstacles that they have to overcome, but to me, the biggest adjustment is learning to play NA hockey. Russian kids are not trained or oriented to be grinders and bangers, and its a huge adjustment to learn how to play like a Canadian if you are a Russian. There have been a few Russian bangers (Konstantinov, Ovechkin), but most Russians succeed in NA solely on finesse and skill (Datsyuk, Malkin). If guys like Grachev, Filatov, and Orlov don't stand out as exceptional talents, then they could get buried in obscurity, like so many underage guys that travel to NA. The record shows better results when kids play at home until they are good enough to make the direct transition to the NHL.

Fulcrum 05-22-2011 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yakushev72 (Post 33179438)
There are a lot of talented young guys who go the CHL or AHL and never end up making the jump to major league hockey. There is a lot of talk about the cultural obstacles that they have to overcome, but to me, the biggest adjustment is learning to play NA hockey. Russian kids are not trained or oriented to be grinders and bangers, and its a huge adjustment to learn how to play like a Canadian if you are a Russian. There have been a few Russian bangers (Konstantinov, Ovechkin), but most Russians succeed in NA solely on finesse and skill (Datsyuk, Malkin). If guys like Grachev, Filatov, and Orlov don't stand out as exceptional talents, then they could get buried in obscurity, like so many underage guys that travel to NA. The record shows better results when kids play at home until they are good enough to make the direct transition to the NHL.

I couldn't agree more- I think about a 100 of my posts pretty much repeat what you've said.

So.. rumours about Filatov being reeled in with a $$ contract to SKA. Could be good for him, but it's most likely "Utka" :)

Orlov, to me, is missing the size to be a star D. He'll be good, but we need 8 Great Defensmen. Same goes for Zaitsev, Pashnin, Nesterov and a few other hopefuls, they are just not big enough to be dominant. Hoping Marchenko and Armazatsev don't disappoint.

It's sad that only a handful of names come up when talking about Russian Defenseman.

Hockeysemin 05-23-2011 10:50 AM

Made a video of upcoming talent from russia enjoy :D



http://www.youtube.com/user/hockeysemin

cska78 05-23-2011 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fulcrum (Post 33191408)
I couldn't agree more- I think about a 100 of my posts pretty much repeat what you've said.

So.. rumours about Filatov being reeled in with a $$ contract to SKA. Could be good for him, but it's most likely "Utka" :)

Orlov, to me, is missing the size to be a star D. He'll be good, but we need 8 Great Defensmen. Same goes for Zaitsev, Pashnin, Nesterov and a few other hopefuls, they are just not big enough to be dominant. Hoping Marchenko and Armazatsev don't disappoint.

It's sad that only a handful of names come up when talking about Russian Defenseman.

I am looking forward to Subway Series and the WJC to see how has Arzamastzev progressed.

Yakushev72 05-23-2011 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mulle (Post 33195753)
Made a video of upcoming talent from russia enjoy :D



http://www.youtube.com/user/hockeysemin

Great video, thanks! There is no doubt about the talent there.

Yakushev72 05-23-2011 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fulcrum (Post 33191408)
I couldn't agree more- I think about a 100 of my posts pretty much repeat what you've said.

So.. rumours about Filatov being reeled in with a $$ contract to SKA. Could be good for him, but it's most likely "Utka" :)

Orlov, to me, is missing the size to be a star D. He'll be good, but we need 8 Great Defensmen. Same goes for Zaitsev, Pashnin, Nesterov and a few other hopefuls, they are just not big enough to be dominant. Hoping Marchenko and Armazatsev don't disappoint.

It's sad that only a handful of names come up when talking about Russian Defenseman.

It looks like The 93-94 age group has some good prospect at defensemen.

fredrikstad 05-29-2011 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter25 (Post 33069226)
The national team needs better coaching and decision making than what Bykov managed to give this year, but the real challenges of Russian hockey are far deeper than how the national team is managed. Simply put: Russia needs to produce better young players than it has done in the last five or six years.

I think the same goes for Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Stop the exodus of young players to North America and train them in their home countries and let them play in their respective country's top leagues.
I wish American junior leagues stayed away from European players until they were ready to go right into an NHL team.
This would in the long term benefit both the European and American leagues

Yakushev72 05-29-2011 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredrikstad (Post 33299795)
I think the same goes for Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Stop the exodus of young players to North America and train them in their home countries and let them play in their respective country's top leagues.
I wish American junior leagues stayed away from European players until they were ready to go right into an NHL team.
This would in the long term benefit both the European and American leagues

Absolutely correct! The Swedish and Finnish hockey development programs are examples of the good things that can happen when countries create their own youth development programs and focus on supporting them. Youth teams from both countries have been outstanding in the past six or seven years, and the fact that both Sweden and Finland were finalists in the WC this year is no accident. Few if any of those players were trained in North America, where the full emphasis is on league standings, and little emphasis on skills development.

For the Russians, compare the futures of Tarasenko and Kuznetsov with that of Kirill Kabanov. Tarasenko and Kuznetsov stayed at home and developed with their club teams, and now both are considered top prospects by all leagues. Contrast that with the career of Kabanov, who was considered the most talented of the three, but who is now virtually a forgotten man. Hopefully, Russian kids will learn from their example and stay home.

RusskiyHockey 05-29-2011 11:43 AM

Radulov was a force in the Canadian leagues and is having a very fine career so far, although he seems like an exception.


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