Sochi 2014: Pre-qualification
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02-09-2013, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Originally Posted by
You don't think more kids will want to play when they see their team competing in Sochi?
No, not really. I think club-level play has a much greater impact on that. For example, only Olimpija is playing in EBEL at the moment, but if you'd get, say, three or four clubs into a league played at that level, that would be much bigger than a single qualification for the Olympics. I mean, it's awesome and all, but I just don't think that single event will have that much of an influence. Like people have said, it's the infrastructure that's the problem, and since Slovenia is so small, if you got Maribor competitive that could draw a lot more players within an hour's reach of the city (covering basically a fourth or a third of the country that way). Ljubljana is already taken care of and Olimpija's success is much more important to people in general than this qualification for the Olympics. I would assume that's even more so in Jesenice, Kranj etc. (i.e. the region called Gorenjska), as especially the former now defunct club had/has a lot of die-hard fans.
But yeah, it definitely won't hurt and it's something that will get the general population intrigued like any success in sports does. If that results in them enrolling their kids into hockey schools more, then great, but like I said there aren't going to be new hockey schools popping up now, and in those cities where they are already in place I just don't see people seeing rushing their kids to hockey now. We've been competitive in a few games against good teams before, so it's not that much of a surprise and since it's a one-off event I don't think much will change.
All in all, if I was to compare this qualification for the Olympics to something, I'd even go as far as to say that Mursak's (Detroit's forward) playing for Olimpija during the lockout will have more of an impact than this. I don't live in Slovenia anymore, so it's hard to say whether that's a fair assessment or not, but that's just what I gather from online discussions and such.
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