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10-01-2012, 10:28 AM
Mr Kanadensisk
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Join Date: May 2005
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
What do you mean by full time national team? As far as I know it wasn't much more full time than non-communist national teams from Europe. Even Canada had a full-time national team 1964-1969. Absolute power of the Canadian government?
I'm refering to a full time program for the top players. I realize that Canada has had full time amatuer or semi-pro teams at times, but that is obviously not what I am talking about.

Here is what I mean by a full time team:

If you are building a full time program you have to first realize that there are not enough international tournaments to have the team play and practice together year round. Obviously you have them play together as much as possible, at every tournament, etc, but you still need a league for them to play in competitive games in the time between tournaments. The first thing you do is figure out what line combinations you want, then spread those players out over a handful of club teams and have them compete against each other in a league. Furthermore you use club teams that all play in the same city so that you can easily have your national team get together for practices, etc.

To do this the national team management (ie government) must have control over the league which is not possible in a free market system. Also you must have full control over the individual players and be able to dictate to them where they play, again not possible in a free society.

The only significant hockey countries in Europe at that time were the USSR, Czechsvk, Finland and Sweden. Sweden and Finland were free countries and their top players were already coming to the NHL in the 1970's and 1980's, so for that reason alone a similar full time program was not possible for them during this era. I should also point out that most of the top Canadian players also played for clubs in the USA at the time.

Don't get me wrong, the communist system allowed for the Czech and Soviet national teams to get the most out of what was a very thin pool of players to choose from. All I was pointing out was that having this level of control gave the communist teams an enormous advantage that made the quality of their individual players look better than they actually were.

Last edited by Mr Kanadensisk: 10-01-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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