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03-01-2014, 06:47 AM
  #37
An Argument For
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine View Post
You should study your history.

The Soviets were no different than other European countries. For most of USSR's hockey existence, all European countries defined themselves as amateurs. The notion of 'Amateurism' was ingrained in European sport; and not only in hockey.
Yeah but the only other European countries who had hockey programs worth mentioning back then were Sweden and Czechoslovakia. Finland was still a peg below and the U.S didn't really pick up strength until the 80s - 90s.

I'm not saying that Soviet Team wasn't great. They were obviously a fantastic team with a fantastic program. We're just disputing their "dominance" as it applies to the sport of hockey. The dominated tournaments that were stacked in their favor and when the playing field was leveled they weren't the obvious favorites to win and the didn't win at an incredible rate.

They produced a lot of great players but the players weren't better than their peers. When the Soviets came into the NHL they made an impact on their teams but no one was saying, "You know what? Maybe Lemieux, Gretzky, Bourque, Hawerchuk, Coffey etc..aren't really the best players in the world."

I think the Soviet program was amazing but they also had a benefit of a lot of practice and development as a national team and that continuity and cohesiveness is hard to replicate in a few weeks of an assembled all star team.

If Canada and the US had been allowed/able to use their best possible teams in the Olympics and the World Championships I think the Soviets would have still won each tournament on certain occasions but it would not have been considered "Soviet Dominance".

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