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10-19-2012, 12:04 PM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
KHL helps Latvian hockey in a way that it creates interest in hockey=more interest in hockey= more kids brought to play hockey by their parents= more selection of players= better quality of players.
There is, incidentally, one major problem Latvian hockey does currently have: the number of venues. According to the annual IIHF report, there are only 16 rinks in the country. This number which is woefully low, even if we do take the per capita angle and compare it to the total population of 2 million.

Unless there will be more venues to bring masses to the game, I don't see Latvian hockey taking any huge strides. KHL will help no doubt, but the situation will be bit akin to Denmark as of now; they can develop some really good players, and if they can get all the best gathered together to one tournament, all the necessary makings of a highly competitive team are there. Behind that squad, however, the quality just drops too deeply.

Predicting the future is hard, but I'd say the odds of getting more accurate results get better when one looks at the masses, instead of the most promising prospects. The difference between a decent, occasionally competitive hockey country and a true powerhouse is that the latter can field a good team even if all their first rate talent wouldn't happen to make it.

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