Regarding Eastern Europeans and Hockey...
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02-08-2013, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Hockey is today more about sportculture than about it being cold. Since you don't play outside any longer you can play all year round of you have the rinks.
In NHL you have teams from warm subtropical areas (Florida, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles etc).
It's about popularity and money. Hockey is expensive - both when it comes to rink building/upkeep and player equipment. Poor countries will have a hard time finding enough kids with deep-pocketet parents, unless everything is state controlled and paid.
No reason why a country couldn't be a hockey power in the long run, if it really makes an effort towards that goal. Finland has 5 mil and Sweden 9 mil, so no reason why Denmark or Norway also with around 5 mil can't be equally good. Latvia is way smaller population wise with only 2 mil - but you "only" need around 50.000 players to be a real hockey power.
It's just that a national team or club need some big succes to lure large numbers of kids to play, and first then will rinks get build. Media just only focus on sports where the nation have succes so without it nothing will happen. It's a slow process, but it can be done.
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