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02-17-2010, 06:37 AM
  #48
PensFan101
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It seems to me the biggest problem for Norway in hockey is their smaller population combined with the popularity of other sports. A lot of top athletes choose skiing/football/whatever other than hockey, so a very limited population is restricted even more by not being the top dog in the country.

However Norway has produced and is producing some good players. Espen Knudsen was a very good NHLer for a few seasons. It's a slow process, but their captain carrying the flag was a good bit of exposure for them. Unfortunately turning a hockey country from Top 15 to top 7-10 takes a long time for some places, if ever.

It really depends on whether or not Norway wants to be a good hockey country, because they need more rinks, and need a better national league. Switzerland has really started to develop as a hockey playing nation thanks to the NLA becoming a heck of a lot stronger, and it may be only a matter of time before their first NHL regular forward happens in Nino Neidereiter.

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