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12-30-2012, 07:41 AM
  #24
DaveG
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How's the thesis?
 
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On another note, I'm not sure what it is about the US development system in hockey but something's not working. There's just simply too much emphasis being put on speed and not nearly enough being put on skills development. I honestly think it comes down to the way the game is being coached even at lower levels, there's just too much of an emphasis on winning rather then skills development, and the fastest way to win at that level is by being fast. In the name of winning minor competitions at lower levels we're putting the fastest possible teams on the ice and not worrying about far more skilled playmakers that might be getting overlooked in the process, losing out on potentially key development opportunities. Aside from Kane and to a lesser extent Stastny I really can't think of anyone that came up through the US system in the past decade who's been an exceptional playmaker. But until we actually start allowing the development of creativity at lower levels we're going to lag behind the Canadians, Swedes, and Russians in terms of playmakers, and likely in international results. We'll be a collection of average talents that are great skaters aside from 2-3 elite talents each generation.

Mind you in some aspects this works. Our defense is arguably the second best behind Canada (Sweden being the other in contention there) BECAUSE of the emphasis on speed. Their best players aren't able to outskate our best defenders and our defenders have the speed to get back into position to cover. This generation of dmen: Yandle, Suter, the Johnsons, Liles, Martin, Orpik and the rising generation with Bogosian, Carlson, Faulk, Fowler, McDonagh, Jones, and Gardiner... they're all strong skaters if not outright plus skaters. But in terms of forwards we're lagging badly because of the emphasis on speed over skill.

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