Has Russia overtaken the #1 spot in World Hockey?
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12-07-2012, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by
What do you mean then by "WHC is beloved in Europe"? Other than last year (it was played in Sweden and Finland, and possibly this year, played in Sweden and Finland again), all countries but Russia gets about as many stars. Maybe USA gets fewer, because that horrible play that makes them have to qualify to continue play in the 1st division WCH can not have many stars.
It's seen as a B-tournament in Sweden too, we could not even sell out our own games.
To me "prestige" means whether or not it is a best on best tournament. Regardless of the fan-fare in the different countries... what counts is whether its true "championship" with the best players available.
The Olympics is this. Every 4 years, all leagues halt their play so that their players may participate in the tournament. You get a true representation of the best players in each country head to head.
The World Juniors is this. Any top junior aged player is available (barring them playing in the NHL which is extremely rare) and each country sends a contingent of their best players Under 20 years old. A true best on best tournament.
The World Championships are NOT. Various leagues do not allow players to leave for the world championship. The NHL where I believe it is fair to say contains the top players from each country does not let its players leave the playoffs to play in it. Also being at the end of the season instead of the middle like the Olympics, many players are not at their top level of conditioning and are to worn/injured to want to jeopardize their careers for a tournament where they won't be facing the best. The team's are compiled of elite level profesionals, yes, but it isn't a true representation of the best each country has to offer... Not only for the North American teams, but for the europeans and russia as well.
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