HOH Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time
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11-16-2012, 01:50 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Originally Posted by
Considering the sheer number of bloodlines examples in the game of hockey, and the lack of "surprise" super talents coming out of areas without either winter, or the ability to maintain winter conditions inside a rink-sized structure, I'm going to say there's a strong case to be made for cultivation of talent/genius over pure "randomness". Winter and rinks, I understand. You won't find good hockey players if there is not winter and hockey
Surely it's not just coincidence that Dougie Hamilton is considered one of the very best hockey players in his age group and has Olympians for parents, for example. Also, have you seen how many familiar names have started popping up in NHL drafts recently? Reinhart, Domi, Samuelsson, Matteau, for example. Mark Howe also obviously had bloodline pedigree. Countless other names have less obvious connections because they are cousins/nephews (not sons, brothers), but are close to those talents and often "cultivated" in the hockey culture from a young age.
I'd argue that genius requires inspiration, and those closest to the "scene" are often privy to fairly exclusive kinds of inspiration. Hard for an average 5 year old to get the chance to enter an pro sports dressing room, look across the room, see plaques of distinguished members on one wall, living legends sitting in the stalls next to them, and be in awe of the whole scene. And yet, just about every child of a current NHLer probably enjoys that kind of setting, sitting beside their dad as he laces them up, soaking it all in with wide eyes.
And what's the difference between eras?
If you have no winters/rinks in region, then you have no kids playing hockey. Of course there won't be elite hockey players from Zimbabwe. No matter if we talk about the 50s or 90s.
Yes, I agree that athletes are more likely to have kids who will be athletes themselves. But I don't see how this affects talent distribution between the eras.
IMHO, it's all pretty damn random. And assuming normal distribution, bigger population should produce more top talent in absolute terms. In relative terms it should be roughly the same number.
Someone explain why in the 50s you have 10 000 kids and 5 of them are geniuses. While in the 90s you have 50 000 kids, but still only 5 of them are geniuses. This could and sometimes does happen, but odds are against it. And we are dealing with pretty big numbers (population) in hockey, so numbers should play out more or less according to normal distribution. At least more often than not.
I'm not here to beat down the old-timers. But I see that quite often modern players get the short stick in those discussions. Look at how often are Lidstrom, Broduer, Niedermayer beaten down by some. Especially against the guys from the O6 era.
But in reality, if you create similar environment for Broduer or Niedermayer they look pretty damn dominant. Make their competition all-Canadian and see how much "better" they are. We are just adjusting talent pool to roughly what it were in the 50s. You tell me it's not harder to stand out, right now with all that extra talent. It sure was for Broduer and Niedermayer.
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