Homer - Please add a few European forwards into the mix
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03-23-2010, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Originally Posted by
go kim johnsson 514
Holmgren I think is willing to draft from other nations, there were a few fundamental issues:
-After Cechmanek, Brendl, Divisek, Pletka, and Dopita, Clarke was convinced that Czechs only care about playing in the World Championships for their country and not the NHL. Divisek and Pletka didn't want to pay their dues so they went home. They just soured on them altogether. They did bring in some players from Slovakia, but their program had legitimately been in decline.
-Inge Hammarstrom came back and told them everyone from Sweden and Finland sucked. Although they did draft a few more from Finland, they abandoned Sweden altogether. Before drafting Ericsson, it had been since 1999 since the Flyers drafted someone who was actually playing in Sweden (Mario Kempe and David Pritz were playing NA, although Printz went back to Sweden before coming back). It had been since 1996 since they drafted a Swede who was playing in Sweden before their last pick in the draft (Per-Ragna Bergqvist was a 5th round pick in 1996). You'd think that a team that had success with Pelle Lindberg and Pelle Eklund, plus drafting Peter Forsberg themselves, they would try a little harder in Sweden. It was no coincidence that Holmgren fired Hammarstrom and then drafted Ericsson and Bertilsson.
-They don't really like Russia, everyone knows this. 2004 our Russians played great, but that's it. This and Russians actually think the KHL is better than the NHL, or didn't want to toil and struggle in the NHL and actually work and pay their dues.
In 2006, keep in mind how many Olympians we had. I think we had a guy on 5 of the 7 top nations. Holmgren doesn't have any prejudices towards Europe, and Clarke did for some, and the ones he didn't he had people telling him no one was worth drafting. They drafted more Russians than Swedes since 1996, how many of them made it over? Two of them could have and didn't want to. When the Flyers drafted Justin Williams, Clarke was ready to take Alexander Drozdetsky, but Hammarstrom convinced Clarke (rightfully) that he didn't think other teams scouted him properly.
I think all of this is important to note. Much of the lack of European players on this roster comes from a failure to effectively identify and develop them. Whether this is coincidental, or part of a more deep seated unwillingness to actually put in the effort, I'm not as sure.
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