Sochi 2014: Pre-qualification
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02-09-2013, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Originally Posted by
You don't think more kids will want to play when they see their team competing in Sochi?
It certainly won't hurt. The biggest problem is the lack of infrastruture. Even if more kids do want to play with only 7 indoor rinks and a handfull of clubs their options are pretty limited.
Looking at things from a distance I think the fact Slovenia's most succesful professional club (an organization that produced a large number of the current national team) went belly-up this past summer could, mid and long term, cancele out any positives that can come from Olympic qualification.
Now if a relatively decent showing at the Olympics not only results in more interest from kids but helps lead to the re-establishment of pro hockey in Jesenice and maybe even a full blown professional club in Maribor and even just a small handful of new rinks and amature/youth clubs than it could be huge. Those are all pretty big ifs at this point though.
With all that said what countries like Slovenia, Norway and Denmark have accomplished in recent years really is pretty cool. Those countries are all small and I am under the impression hockey doesn't exactly enjoy the highest of profiles. I also imagine the federations and clubs, both on (e.g. players) and off (e.g. money) the ice, don't have a lot of resources to work with. Despite this all three countries currently have very respectable national teams and seem to be producing on an increasingly consistant bases, if not NHL players, than players who are capable of playing in strong European leagues.
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