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08-19-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
I suspect it may go even younger than that.

The emphasis on winning as a team, as early as Pee Wee, is to me a bigger impediment to the development of skilled players than hitting is.
Well, the coaching and development model implemented by Hockey Canada has pushed a lot of coaches toward the concept of teaching skills, and the 1998 summit dealt with that issue as well. I do see a lot more of that at some of the kids' team practices that I watch at rinks.

But Hockey Canada has limited control over Junior B and Junior A and none over the CHL, so development of hockey skills takes a back seat to putting butts in the seats - and that means developing winning teams is the only thing that becomes important. Factor in the number of Junior B, Junior A and major junior teams we have - the dilution of the talent base means an even greater emphasis on systems above skill - and the problem multiplies.

I will be interested in seeing what happens once the players who were starting out when the new rules emphasis came into force start trickling into more competitive hockey and whether that translates into a bump up in terms of the actual skill level.

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