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07-03-2013, 11:54 AM
  #3
Crease
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Thanks CMM. I can't take all the credit though, this was a group effort.

You bring up an interesting point. Before the 1980s there really only a handful of Americans in the NHL. Some would argue that the "Miracle on Ice" changed the landscape, encouraging young Americans to pick up the game in numbers large enough to to make a dent at the NHL level.

Leetch is probably the third best American born-and-trained player of all-time, behind Chris Chelios and Frank Brimsek. When we eventually get to the Goalies project, Vanbiesbrouck and Richter will probably be in the converstation. Vanbiesbrouck, by the way, is one of very few American goaltenders to win the Vezina.

Ultimately it's not surprising that there is only one American and no Europeans on this list. The Rangers most fruitful years were pre-WWII, the 1970s and early 1990s. The NHL wasn't fully integrated until the late 80s and early 90s.

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