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10-23-2013, 02:22 AM
Hata Löven
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Beyond the Infinite
Country: Sweden
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@robwangjing A hockey team needs different types of players with various skills. Some are passing wizards, some are natural goal scorers, some are fast skating and hard hitting etc. The game of hockey has evolved so that team depth and lines combinations are very important to get right if you want to win. I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to when you say "skilled" players, I assume you mean they are good at offensive qualities like puck possession, passing and scoring. Unfortunately you can't have a team filled with players that only have these kind of skills, you need various skills to be successful and there is also a budgetary issue with this. This is often reffeed to "Top 6" or "Bottom 6" roles, where there are two offensive lines and two defensive lines on a team although that's a bit of an oversimplification and quite a dated configuration, atleast in Sweden. Many of the best players in Europe that are offensive minded and skilled in those areas aren't good enough or do not possess the right qualities to earn a Top 6 role in NHL teams, and their skillset are not suited for a Bottom 6 role so they bust and go back to Europe.

You are right in your assessment that if you look at the Top 100 players in the KHL there sure are players that are good enough to play in a Top 6 role in many NHL clubs. Why they are not in the NHL depends on many factors. Maybe they prefer the to play in the KHL, they might have a great salary there already, maybe they played in the NHL got sent to the AHL and gave up after a couple of years etc. I would claim most of the time the players are just not good enough to secure a spot on the lineup corresponding to their required skillset. There is also a tradition in the NHL of preferential treatment of North Americans over Europeans to factor in (this fact north americans would vehemently deny)

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