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Western Europe Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Spain

Tony Hand, British hockey's version of Gretzky?

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Old
12-29-2007, 07:42 PM
  #26
Stawks
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He holds the record for most professional points in a career, doesn't he?

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12-29-2007, 10:29 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by JethroNull View Post
He holds the record for most professional points in a career, doesn't he?
3005 career points in 973 career games (3.1 p/g)

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Old
12-30-2007, 03:03 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll View Post
The BBC and their audience is used to sports like football, rugby, tennis, cricket where there are lots of national leagues or competitions around the world pretty close in quality. From that perspective its unusual to come across American sport where the top league (the NHL) is so much better than any other.

And yes, Hand is still the top British player. This is his retirement year I think, but I hope he decides to keep going because he obviously still has the ability and the longer our young players have to learn from him, the better.
Interesting posts here - thanks. Maybe Hand will take on some role in GBR hockey development? Ramp up the search and development of a national team and system?

edit: I'm tired of hearing about non-NA'n players who are always compared to NHL players and then said to have "failed" in some way when they stay and play in their home countries - sounds to me like Tony is success story that should be celebrated in his retirement year.

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Old
12-30-2007, 04:24 AM
  #29
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I think that's what attracted him to Manchester - he has more of a role in running the team. He should definitely be involved at a national level but he probably wont be because the set-up is a shambles.

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12-30-2007, 10:53 AM
  #30
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Well, he was an assistant coach with GB last time wasn't he? As well as playing.

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Old
12-30-2007, 12:50 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll View Post
I think that's what attracted him to Manchester - he has more of a role in running the team. He should definitely be involved at a national level but he probably wont be because the set-up is a shambles.
Hmmm - why is that? Looking for honest appraisals here: Is ice hockey not really a popular sport on the radar & of interest to GBrits? Because if a game doesn't resonate deeply with people, no amount of pushing the game will help.

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12-30-2007, 02:36 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll View Post

And yes, Hand is still the top British player. This is his retirement year I think, but I hope he decides to keep going because he obviously still has the ability and the longer our young players have to learn from him, the better.
Couldn't agree more. I'll always be grateful that I grew up being able to watch Tony Hand play so often. Durham had a lot of great young British players as well and were by far better than Murrayfield. Hand made them competitive almost on his own. Even as a teenager he was able to hold his own against ex-NHLers. Sometimes I wish he'd stayed in Canada, but his career has in no way been a let-down. I only wish he hadn't been in self-imposed exile from the GB team for so long, although I certainly understand his reasons.

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Old
12-30-2007, 11:43 PM
  #33
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He had 8 points in 6 WHL games...

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Old
12-31-2007, 12:06 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by leftofcenter View Post
Hmmm - why is that? Looking for honest appraisals here: Is ice hockey not really a popular sport on the radar & of interest to GBrits? Because if a game doesn't resonate deeply with people, no amount of pushing the game will help.
Basically, media, money and team owners rather than the fans of the game. There are tons of NHL fans who arent taking much interest in the domestic game as well as a sizable Canadian minority in the population. I've been told by those who have followed the UK game for a long time that it used to be close to German DEL hockey and now the two are miles apart in terms of quality.

Owners - dont care about the national team. Some top teams are excluded from the EIHL because the owners dont like them, as far as I can tell (Fife Flyers, Guildford Flames etc). The national team hardly ever trains together or plays any friendly games to prepare for tournaments. There is some talent but it's not really given a chance to succeed. However, this year the senior team is actually going to the French tournament in Mont Blanc before the WC's which is a surprise and a welcome improvement.

Media - very poor media coverage. This is improving as Sky Sports have started to show a game a week, now that the EIHL is showing stability. No publicity is generated by the national team which is a waste. Compare that to basketball, there is huge interest in Luol Deng (NBA star) playing for Britain and helping them qualify for the 2012 Olympics. I think there are two more NBA guys joining the team and I predict the media interest and the game will boom enormously. I've heard all about it and I dont even like the sport.

Money - No funding from government. Ice rink operators would rather see public skating which is much more profitable. Some junior hockey teams have to practice and play at crazy times of the day (eg 4am or 11pm) Several top teams have financial problems, there are some every year.

The sport is being investigated by the government because of the poor set-up and the undue influence the owners have. Hopefully this will lead to changes.

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Old
01-01-2008, 08:10 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
He had 8 points in 6 WHL games...
8 points in 3 games

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01-07-2008, 01:31 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll View Post
....The sport is being investigated by the government because of the poor set-up and the undue influence the owners have. Hopefully this will lead to changes.
Really?

When did this happen (or was announced)? I'd like to read up on this, do you have any links?

Thanks in advance.

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01-07-2008, 10:13 AM
  #37
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I dont have any neat links - try Stewart's blog on GB hockey:

http://www.graphyle.com/IHA/blogarchive.html (scroll down to 13th July).

It's often mentioned on THF (thehockeyforum.com).. latest I heard was that all the administrators are meeting in January.

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Old
12-12-2008, 02:25 PM
  #38
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Tony Hand is without a doubt the greatest hockey talent to come out of GB, Glen Sather once said he was 2nd only to Gretzky in terms of talent in the Oiler's training camp. That being said never has a player got so many assist while sitting on the bench

Gwyddbwyll, I was listening to the head of the Olympic funding committee this week on Radio 4, she was challenged as to why Basketball had been given so much funding, given that the olympic team won't win anything, and she argued that the governing body and those in charge have got the best interest of the sport at heart and are doing an enormous amount to raise the profile of the sport. Can you imagine what the Olympic funding committee must make of the mess at the head of British Ice Hockey, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were being investigated.

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Old
12-12-2008, 08:11 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by scoobster View Post
Up untill 1990/1 season the British league only allowed 3 foriegn players per team, so that would normally consist of 1 import Defenceman and 2 import forwards, import slots for goalies were a luxury untill 1995 when the import restrictions were lifted and more foriegn players were allowed to play.

So as you can see most of the time he played against British goalies who wern't very good, and mostly self tought as hardly any good goalies came over untill the mid 90s and most of the time he against an inexperianced defence

That said he out scored nearly every Canadien import that came over here
No offense but why would a Canadian want to play in the BHL. I don't think this thread can be taken to seriously when comparing Gretzky to Hand...why no international stats...WHC or WC stats?

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Old
12-13-2008, 01:25 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedi View Post
No offense but why would a Canadian want to play in the BHL.
You mean apart from the 80 or so Canadians currently in the EIHL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedi View Post
why no international stats...WHC or WC stats?
GP 64 G 40 A 82.

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Old
12-13-2008, 03:56 PM
  #41
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Hand is 5 times the player Finger is.

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Old
12-16-2008, 09:33 PM
  #42
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Hand is 5 times the player Finger is.

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Old
12-16-2008, 11:44 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by GB View Post
The league improved in quality a lot. Basically to ECHL standard. .
I have seen both leagues and there is no comparison..... the BHL against the ECHL is like men playing against women......

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Old
12-17-2008, 10:00 AM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoasthabsfan View Post
I have seen both leagues and there is no comparison..... the BHL against the ECHL is like men playing against women......
When was this though?

And FYI, the 'BHL' hasn't existed for 13 years.

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Old
12-17-2008, 10:29 AM
  #45
Iceraider
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Originally Posted by Westcoasthabsfan View Post
I have seen both leagues and there is no comparison..... the BHL against the ECHL is like men playing against women......
In its current guise as the EIHL you are correct, however during the Superleague days 1997 - 2003 the league was definitely up to ECHL standard, there were a lot of AHL players in Britain at the time too. Most teams still only rolled out three lives so the depth might not have been as good, but in terms of talent, skill and speed I'd rank it along side ECHL. But your right the current set up in UK is no where near, most imports (clubs are now limited, whereas there were no limits in the Superleague) are CHL quality with a few ECHLers thrown in.

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