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12-09-2012, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
So you're saying you're just going to make stuff up and pretend I said it? Sorry, but comments like

"So the secret to success in hockey is being big and old?"

just makes me want to call you names and not respond in an adult manner to you. It's just unbelievably frustrating trying to have a discussion when someone can't even read what you write without going off the rails on some red herring like this. I write this with caution, because I'm not sure you'll even bother reading it without responding, "so the secret to success in hockey is having brass knuckles and a beard" or some other random unrelated comment.

The AHL is a higher level than any U20 league. Hockey is a physical sport and physical development is a major factor, and a reason why 18 year olds can rarely compete with 25 year old professionals. There is a reason that European U20 teams have scrimmaged CIS teams and lost. It'd be better for Nugent-Hopkins to play in the NHL, but since he can't the AHL is the next best league for him to play. He won't gain anything from playing in the U20s competitive wise.
So what you're saying is that the secret to success is having brass knuckles and a beard! (Just kidding!).

I understand the principle of physical development and its relationship to age, and I also understand that the AHL sells itself as a league where you are going to see a lot of heavy hits and fights. In many of the cities in which the AHL operates, Oklahoma City being a case in point, the "fans" have no knowledge of or prior experience with hockey. They connote hockey with blood and gore, and view hockey players as kick boxers on skates. That's the entertainment factor that the AHL fans expect to have presented to them. The fans, who have mostly never laced up skates in their lives, wouldn't know or appreciate nifty stickhandling if they saw it.

My point was that Nugent-Hopkins will only benefit from his experience in the AHL if he develops a more physical, bruising style of play. If he learns to target people, get in some cheap shots, drop his gloves and knock some teeth out, then he will have grown from the AHL. Otherwise, he will have benefited not one iota. I don't know what the CIS, but I feel certain that if you took the very best U20 national teams and put them up against your average AHL group of goons, playing under international rules with international referees, I'll take skill and speed over the heavy hitters.

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