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03-29-2012, 11:11 AM
21st c schizoid man
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Riga
Country: Latvia
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Originally Posted by ozo View Post
Well until recently, WC was everything for our players and fans, so noone without a serious reason said no to an invitation to WC camp, it was a mix of patriotism, chance of meeting old teammates and friends, chance of playing against Worlds best and more importantly a chance to earn a better deal for next season by showcasing themselves. The only notorious regular no-show was Peteris Skudra (but that's somewhat different case). Though the emergence of Dinamo Riga has changed the scenery - currently the core of national team players play all season together in a KHL (nullifying the most of the reasons why players wanted to report to NT, I listed earlier), Janis Sprukts refused to play last year citing tiredness, which caused a real **** storm in media, Martins Karsums will miss the second WC in a row due some medical issues which again hockey media questions. Quite a few veterans have co-incidentally retired from NT and all these factors combined currently have created pretty gloomy atmosphere among hockey fans in Latvia.
Not only players, a lot of fans as well stopped attending WC games. In the years before KHL everyone were stockpiling money all year (and saving their annual vacation) just for the WC event, but now you have Dinamo Riga season tickets, trips to away games to Minsk, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Poprad (some even regularly travel to Ural and Khabarovsk). KHL definitely took the spotlight away from WC (though the latter is still popular here just not as much as it was before Dinamo Riga came back).

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