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12-12-2012, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
It may not be, but it's not suffering from participation in those states. Minnesota high school hockey is not popular? We have more than enough kids, with more than effort passion for the sport. It's a very popular sport from Minnesota to New England. We have plenty of amazing athletes playing hockey, one of some of the best skaters, the biggest hitters, athletically we have no problem in this sport. That's why our teams are consistently playing a style based on skating, speed and not based on skill. The best athletes argument fails to pass the smell test. We are not suffering from unathletic hockey players, we are lacking in skilled hockey players. Skills can be taught. They are taught in Sweden where sports such as soccer, handball, skiing and other sports are also popular. We have more kids playing hockey than almost any other country aside from Canada. I doubt that there is any skew that unathletic and untalented kids pick hockey for some reason. The same excuse is heard in soccer and the same reason is true there as in hockey. Skill can be taught and skill must be taught.
Ya... I think I agree with this. I find the whole "our good athletes don't play hockey (or soccer)" arguement kind of weird. It's not like in the US some government agency goes around testing the natural athletecism of young children and then funnels those kids into various sports depending on the test results. If someone wants to say a larger percentage of good athletes in the US choose a sport other than hockey sure... but the smaller percentage kids who do end up choosing hockey and going somewhere with it in life are still great athletes. The way some people frame the "good American athletes don't play hockey" arguement you would think most American's in the NHL are dudes who started playing the sport at the age of 16 after being cut from the high school football or basketball team.

Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
The US is dong just fine and anyone who takes a minute to look at the numbers will quickly see it. I agree that the US does not have a lot of the big name flashy forwards right now, but their depth is only exceeded by Canada. For example look at the top 50 scorers from the NHL last season. 25 were from Canada, 8 were American, 5 Swedes, 4 Russians, 3 Czechs and 2 Finns. Sure the Americans aren't as well represented in say the top 10 scorers right now, but a lot of that is just the chance of the cycle. Top to bottom the US are solidly number 2, by a fair margin.
Ya based on the raw numbers this shouldn't be surprising. American's now make up about 25% of the league so last year they were actually underrepresented in the Top 50. They were also underrespresented in the Top 100 and 200. I wonder if this has anything to do with what Xokkeu is sorta saying... Perhaps American kids are in general fast, strong, athletetic, etc enough to make the NHL in large (and growing) numbers but lack the technical skill it takes to be "elite" offensive players. It could also be a total cyclical cawinkydink and thinking to hard about it is just over analysing stuff.

With all that being said I think people overrate the amount of elite (or really just any) NHL talent a country needs to field a competitive and even contending national team.

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