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09-19-2006, 03:55 PM
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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.
Oh no without doubt they aren't all on the same level.

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.
One slight problem, the european clubs ALSO have NHL'ers. So the European clubs have their pros PLUS their NHL'ers

As a whole the tournament mostly consists of NHL'ers for all sides involved, maybe there are a few scattered players who aren't NHL players.

The other things is that most NHL teams are not willing to send their 20 year old stud prospect to the world championships. If the teams are concerned about the olympics you can imagine how they feel about the World Championships.

The other problem is twofold. A. The AHL playoffs are still going so you lose those guys and B. If there is a top young player whose AHL team is out, they are often up practicing with the big club so they're not going to the WC anyway.

When you add all that up, you're going to miss a lot of players.

North America has never had a vested interest in many of the World Championships, that's why regardless of the % of NHL'ers background or what was being done on an olympic or canada cup stage, the World championships have also been Euopean dominated. As sad as it is to say, North American teams just don't invest a ton in it.

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.
I guess it comes down to a simple pricipal for me.

Look at the amount of washed up NHL'ers, failed prospects and other former AHL players who jump right into big contracts and better results with the overwhelming majority of European teams. Than look at the reverse, not nearly as many.

The AHL has a steady mix of top young talent, veterans and in between. I don't see that on European clubs, even amongst some of the best. Even on average SEL team I see far less guys who would ever see the light of day in an NHL game vs. those on an average AHL 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.
And don't get me wrong, I think Lundqvist TOTALLY proved himself. That is not my issue or my intention to diminish.

My view isn't even that Montoya WILL pass him, but rather than Montoya MIGHT. As such I want to see if he can. It'd take a lot, but it wouldn't take a miracle or be a once in 20 year type occurance.

Make sense?

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