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02-23-2012, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Dutchland
Country: Poland
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Originally Posted by Chinstrap View Post
As I am part Dutch, I have always wondered why there aren't more Dutch hockey players. It just seems to me like it would be natural.
I'm myself not Dutch, but been living here since 2007 so let me add some observations from semi-outsider point of view. it's semi, because according to my wife (Polish as well) I've already become "one of them" - and if you've ever wondered about "going Dutch" idiome - that's the very reason she calls me that

Originally Posted by Chinstrap View Post
One of the best speed skating countries + One of the best field hockey countries + reasonably sizeable population + MANY canals which freeze in the winter + lots of flat land, which would surely make the best outdoor rinks in the world = Elite hockey country?
not quite...

first and foremost... except for 3 recent winters there used to be like 1 week a year cold enough for safe ice outside. it's simply to close to the North Sea and the climate is too moderate. normally, snow is a big deal in Netherlands and minus temperatures (in Celsius that is) are not really common. Dutch themselves are totally not accustomed to low temperatures and they ***** like crazy when it's -2C. that's nothing compared to the disaster which occurs when there's like 2 inches of snow, but to cut this in short: yes, there is the affinity to ice of the Dutch, but it's not like we have abundance of chances for outdoor skating or playing hockey. it's not Alberta, when ponds are frozen between August and April

second... yep, there's huge popularity of speed skating, but that's it when skates are involved. some people do play hockey when there's some ice, but compared to those speed skating, it's second to none.

third... the sport attracts zero media attention here. in fact, everything other than football, speed/distance skating, field hockey and cycling attracts zero media attention here. Dutch themselves are very calm people and they seem to enjoy the most those competition, which unfold slowly and tactically, and they apparently have great liking in following snooze-fests like football and skating (15.000m runs which take, I dunno, half an hour, seem to be the most covered ones ).

fourth... Dutch themselves are very traditional. as peculiar as it sounds for the nation known outside for legal weed, red light districts and tv ads that break any taboo's - in their core they are very traditional folks who have little love for trying new things and most certainly treading outside of the proven path. there's football, there's field hockey, there's skating... they don't really seem poised to want more. in fact, tv shows featuring guys blabling 1,5 hour long about single football game (day in, day out) remain enormously popular...

I mean... why bother...

Originally Posted by Chinstrap View Post
team (albeit with very nice jerseys). Why?
orange can be stunning with all jerseys

Originally Posted by Chinstrap View Post
I know Jeff Heerema is of Dutch descent, I'm pretty sure that the Staal brothers are part Dutch (by ancestry) and Neidermayer is a Dutch last name.
Heerema is Frisian IMHO. and Frisia is geographically part of Netherlands, but please don't say this to any of them!

just kidding. yup, this is a name of Lower Lands provenience, definitely

as for Niedermayer... it's definitely German, and even semi-Dutch like me feels insulted now. Dutch are not Germans!

Originally Posted by Chinstrap View Post
1) Who's the best Dutch player right now?
2) Why isn't hockey more popular in Holland?
3) What does the future have in store for Dutch hockey?
1. dunno
2. see above.
3. I don't follow Dutch team closely, but have the impression that they get better over time. at this point they're 25th in IIHF ranking, even behind Poland (which has absolutely brutal national association and youth programme) which speaks more to the country's pool of players than NIJB efficiency...

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