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05-19-2013, 04:16 AM
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I think the problem is that people think the ice hockey leagues can be ranked like this:

Ice hockey world is not that black and white. Not all skilled players can't fit top-6 lines of one league and the game is not the same on big and small ice.

Here's my estimate in short:
NHL 1st liners are usually elite players who can succeed on both big and small ice
NHL 2nd liners in general are not more skilled than top players in other leagues, but they're more suited to NA style of hockey
NHL 3rd liners are usually as skilled as European top players, but they have also the tools to play NA style hockey
NHL 4th liners can't usually be called best players of the world. They have enough skill but primarily they are grinders. Many/most of them couldn't make it to top lines of top teams in top European top leagues.

Even though 1st liners can be considered as elite players, most of them are not able to dominate 2nd liners, for example. Also this tournament has shown that top Euro players can compete with elite players as well as their counterparts in NHL.

Last edited by roto: 05-19-2013 at 04:21 AM.
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