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01-03-2013, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Reign Nateo View Post

First thing you'll notice is Czechoslovakia has broken into two solid competitors on the world hockey stage. Second thing you'll notice is the USA was an also ran in this tournament then and now are a hockey power. Third thing you'll notice is Sweden has also come a long, long way. Poland? Replaced by a fiesty and ever-improving Swiss team. Finland hasn't gone anywhere.

3 maybe 4 of these teams even had a chance in 1985, but it was obvious Canada was going to win it. Going into this tournament there were 4 very solid, compareable teams. Canada has not gotten worse at developing players, if anything with population growth and hockey Canada they've gotten better.

The competition has quite obviously improved over the years...
Well first off, I've been following the juniors since 1990. I've been keeping tract of stats since then to and expert commentary. Finally, recently I've done a complete World Junior history review dating back all the way to the tournament up till 2000.

So "really" yes.. really.

You have many generalizations wrong.

- Czechoslovakia was a strong country because they were under a structured country, with lots of funding for hockey. When the countries broke, the Czechs had a decade or so of strong juniors before their junior system started falling apart. Slovakia has remained fairly up and down.

- I remember a quote from USA Hockey a long time ago. "We didn't know what the Juionrs were". This was back in 1998. Even if my memory serves me wrong on the quote; certainly then USA hockey up until about 2002 were a weak organization in the junior camp. They did produce quality talent, they did finish on the off occasion 2nd place. Overall though, they had 4th to 7th spots. It wasn't until the NTDP program took off they started getting strides. The NTDP also had a second phase which is what we see today. The early NTDP program was still shaky, but now after many revisions over the years (Americans constantly developing it, not just sitting on their backs saying "hey we have a good program") they have been fine tuning it. The excellent young units you see out there, is from years of hard work to get a system in place.

- Sweden was dominant in the WJC up until the end of the last decade. They went for over a decade of being average at best. Even TSN a few years ago mentioned this. It wasn't until recently, 2007 and on, that Sweden began changing their philosophy.

- Finland has decreased in talent. You notice it trickling into their International games. I'll be honest though, I'm not sure where they are headed, haven't been keeping track with them.

- You mention population growth, while articles mention that population growth from other countries have no interest in Hockey. Others have mentioned that Hockey growth is stagnanting because it's too expensive. Population growth has to do with immigration in this country, and most immigrants are looking at soccer, basketball and cricket as their alternative sport.

- Finally, competition? You mention the same teams over the last 20 years that are still remotely competitive today. Where has competition taken place? What new countries have come to compete (Just the swiss)? It's still relatively the same circle of nations that's been competing the last 50 years. You wouldn't call women's hockey competitive, would you if only USA and Canada were winning?

Last edited by Ilyeu: 01-03-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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