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09-19-2006, 03:31 PM
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Geographic diatribe

Originally Posted by Edge View Post
And that I happen to disagree with. As a young goalie, Montoya faced the same international competition at WJC's. He hasn't faced World Championships, but I also think as a whole the AHL has far more talent than the European leagues.

I think when you look at the % of players who have played or will play in the NHL who are in the AHL vs. the same in European pro leagues, it isn't even close. I also believe, from working within the sport and seeing as many games as I do, that the AHL is superior (as a whole not neccessarily team by team) than 99% of the European leagues.
Let me start with saying that I agree on the result.

There's is nothing that states that Montoya can't reach, or even exceed, Henke's level.
And there is indications that this can happen.

But I disagree with your assessment or 'european leagues' vs AHL.

First of all I think you have to admit that the various european leagues aren't exactly the same.
I don't wanna raise a conflict of brotherly love here but I think it's safe to state that SEL is somewhat better than the Italian league.

I'll then be bold enough to state that AHL players and teams would have a rough time in the top tier european leagues.

I call the WC result history to the stand.
The WC is played as the NHL playoff is underway, so the players are mainly from the european leagues, and second tier players from NHL (the ones that didn't make it to play off).

That means that the european teams are dominated by european players, while USA and Canada is mainly NHL players, not many AHL players make the team.

And it's not uncommon for the european teams to do quite well.

There's also a very big diff between j.random AHL team and j.random European team.
The AHL team is a dedicated storage and development container for it's NHL team.

The european team work as a contender for the national title.
Sure, lot's of the young ones, and random journeymen, see it as a step to NHL, but the goal is to secure the national title, not watch your phone for a call up to the NHL team.

Long diatribe, but my point is still that Henke proved his mettle, at Montoya's age.

Which of course doesn't mean that Montoya can't pass him.

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