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12-12-2012, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
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.

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.

The way I see it is you ask yourself, would Ray Lewis or Lebron James have become better hockey players than Parise or Kane simply because of their inherent talent? Or would they have gone through the same development system, played similar hours of hockey in similar situations, and likely ended up just a big bruising defenseman/forechecker?

There is nothing inherent in human beings that says, you will have good hands at hockey, and you won't no matter what. It's a skill that is developed with hours and hours of practice. We simply don't give our kids enough practice hours in the right situation to develop puck skills as good as other countries. WE have great skaters and athletes playing hockey and one way to look at why is to see an older youth hockey game where 8 year olds are playing 5v5 full ice. Is that going to develop close puck control and creativity? Or are they just going to chase the fastest guy on the ice all game? Hopefully we are slowly learning from that.

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