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Kelowna Rockets...everything thast wrong with Hockey?

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05-24-2004, 12:49 PM
  #26
LaLaLaprise
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Originally Posted by phaneuf_fan_3
I am guessing that your television didnt get the Tigers games on tv throughout the memorial cup? because there are plenty of teams in the whl that play offence first defence second. However there is a reason the whl produces the most winning teams and the best defencemen in the nhl.
Yes, there are always exceptions. Perhaps I shouldnt have generalized all the WHl because there are exceptions in life.

MH plays offensive which is good to see. But that is 1 team out of 20.

I think the Majority in the WHL play somewhere inbetween the Tigers and the Rockets

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05-24-2004, 12:53 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
I do not think a glance at the top scorers in the NHL will give you much indication on the current state of the CHL vs other developmental leagues around the world.
No. The best it can give you is a very general sense that perhaps the CHL is not producing as many dynamic offensive players as it once was, but you'd have to do a lot more checking to get anything but a vague impression from that glance. And whether it is or is not producing more talented scorers still says relatively little about it's overall quality as a development league, as there are many areas of hockey skill and ability which do not necessarily show up in scoring stats.
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Some of the players in the top 20 scorers have almost two decades of NHL hockey behind them. Mark Recchi has something like 16-17 seasons. Looking at him will hardly indicate what is wrong or right about the WHL today.
Looking at any one player will tell you absolutely nothing about anything but that one player. I would suggest plotting a distribution of player ages for the top scorers and comparing it to the age distribution for the league as a whole, with subsets of CHL players and non-CHL players. Would it show any shift towards older-on-average CHL players with higher scoring totals compared to their non-CHL counterparts? Would that indicate any signs that perhaps a new crop of CHL scorers is not rising as quickly to replace the old guard Recchi's? I have no idea. Just by glancing at an expanded list of the top-60, I can pick as many next-generation Thornton, Tanguay, Richards, Nash , Doan, Nash, Briere, Ribeiro, Ryder, Spezza, Dumont types as old-guard types.
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Then you have to account some of those players really blossomed very late, not in developmental leagues but in pro leagues. Some did in farm leagues and some did it in different developmental leagues (I think Hossa is the only example in the top 20, having played one year only in the WHL and previously in Slovakia).
More necessary complication.
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A glance at the top 20 scorers this year reveals that 50% come from the CHL. How much would be enough, I ask you? 90%? If we add the two US College players, we're up to 12/20 North American products.
A glance at the top 60 reveals that 42% (25/60) come from the CHL. A glance at last year's entry draft indicates that 53% (36/68) come from the CHL. How do these numbers compare to previous years, and how do we account for the evolution of increased scouting and overdue attention being given to the European countries? In 1994, drafting Europeans in the top-2 rounds was relatively well-established, 63% (33/52) players in the top-2 rounds were drafted from the CHL.

Where do you draw the lines, and what are the criteria by which we would judge any evaluation in the offensive calibre of CHL products? It's not a simple problem. (Well, actually it is pretty simple all things considered, but it's not trivial, and not really within the scope of anything I'd be willing to do without having somebody pay me for it! )
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the CHL. This is a pure myth. It's still a strong league, and it will continue to produce nice NHLers. We can expect a drop in representation if international hockey continues its breakthrough. There is nothing wrong with that, we're all winners when quality overall improves.
I would question how you can be so sure that there is "absolutely nothing wrong with the CHL". I can't be sure myself. It would take a very thorough analysis, and I suspect that any trends that came out of such an analysis would not show any large problems, if all factors were taken into consideration adequately. The CHL seems to be producing lots of nice NHLers. It is probably hit and miss on an individual organisation basis, but I would hazard to say that it does a better job of preparing players for the duration, rigour, style of NHL seasonal play. Nevertheless, I think we were only talking about the offensive talent side of the developmental equation, so we're supposed to be leaving aside the consideration of how superior the CHL may or may not be in all other important areas. It is certainly a strong league. The question, however, is: Is it just as strong as it used to be in terms of developing talented offensive players? If international hockey is undergoing a "breakthrough", why is the CHL not also undergoing a similar breakthrough? (There are some obvious answers to that, of course).
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Our players do, on average, play a slightly different style. Each league has its "specialties" but plenty of players not cut from the same mold. Furthermore, over the years "specialties" will change. Leagues will adapt, evolve. I think the 90s was the last decade where we will see such a stranglehold on goaltending by the Q. There have been vast improvements all over the world in that respect.
Certainly there are cyclical considerations too. Again, a thorough analysis would be required to identify these. My general impression is that maybe the CHL went through a bit of a slight dip with regards to offensive talent in the past decade, but that a new crest seems to be forming lately.
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Furthermore, I doubt much of this has to do with the red line. I'd guess the fact they do a couple more drills, less games and at least until recently less of a NHL-style grinding game is more at the heart of the differences. Note that I call these *differences* as opposed to saying one is better than the other.
Good heavens, no, the red line removal was only suggested as a minimal little bit of occasional extra excitement and subtle encouragement for a marginally more open-minded offensive approach then as a cure-all for any perceived developmental shortcomings of the league as a whole! There have been whole series of articles, TV shows, exposes, and probably tomes of posts on boards like these dissecting the different developmental styles, and no definitive "solutions" have ever emerged, nor will they. I think Hockey Canada has in recent years emerged from something of a self-examination in which a lot of misplaced panic had originally led some people to believe that we needed to adopt some of the approaches of some of the other countries (mostly at levels before major junior). But I doubt much has come or will come of it. There is nothing to be gained in running around copying other programs at the first potential signs of a minor cyclical downswing. (Maybe it's like the stock market.
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I truly believe that there is no one perfect way to develop prospects, but there are optimal ways depending on the guy. There are plenty of pitfalls for the European path of development (also a generalization, no two Euro country is alike), just like there are in every leagues, like the CHL.
No disagreement there. It will always be an interesting question that can be discussed for days on end, but there are no right or wrong answers, IMO.

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05-24-2004, 01:04 PM
  #28
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La-La,
good topic, as I believe it's something that HAS to be discussed. It's too much of a generalization to call the WHL as a whole a defensive league, but you're bang on with your assessment of the Rockets. You could lump the Everett Silvertips with them, though everybody seems to give them a free ride because they're an expansion team.

The problem is, the CHL acts too MUCH like the NHL. While some of the things that a young player can experience in the CHL IS good for most players before trying to make the jump to the pros (long schedules, best-of-seven playoffs, entry drafts and trades), I don't think learning to play a defensive style helps the players very much. Oh sure, if there are players that are drafted by NJ or Min then it's great! But overall, some of these juniors will be expected to showcase their skills in the pros. Instead, it seems teams like Kelowna and Everett seem to be more interested in developing coaches for the next level (Habscheid and Constantine) than developing players.

Look at the situation with Robbie Schremp and London's Dale Hunter. Schremp's draft stock might be falling because of his failure to grasp Hunter's system. Now, the Knights don't play the way Kelowna or Everett do (at least, the numbers suggest otherwise), but it seems Schremp is being penalized for showing his free-flowing style and not succumbing to a system. Imagine if Tampa Bay had stifled the likes of Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis, where would they have been today? Certainly not preparing for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, but rather on the golf course somewhere.

However, this situation won't change overnight. If Habscheid is hired as Phoenix's coach for 2004-05, then you know he won't be the last coach in the CHL to implement a heavy dose of defense. It's what a lot of NHL organizations are looking for.

Change must occur starting from the top, but as long as the likes of Lamoriello, Lemaire and yes even Hitchcock are around in the big league, expect more 'coaching development' in the CHL.

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05-24-2004, 01:12 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
Look at the situation with Robbie Schremp and London's Dale Hunter. Schremp's draft stock might be falling because of his failure to grasp Hunter's system. Now, the Knights don't play the way Kelowna or Everett do (at least, the numbers suggest otherwise), but it seems Schremp is being penalized for showing his free-flowing style and not succumbing to a system.
But is this necessarily a CHL-exclusive consideration? Has Tikhonov ever had any troubles getting a young player into his system, and subsequently derailed that player's development as a result? There are scattered teams and situations like that all around the world. At the end of the day, some players overcome it, some don't, and maybe the ones who do overcome it turn out to be even stronger players than before?

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05-24-2004, 01:27 PM
  #30
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I think the Tikhonov situation is apples to the CHL's oranges.

In Tikhonov's case, we're talking more of a mind-games scenario or an old-school regime versus the new generation of Russians--MOST, if not all, now have dreams of NHL splendor. I think Tikhonov is still cheesed about that.

What La-La brought up has more to do with style of play than anything else.

For the record, Tikhonov's system was once very interesting to watch from a fan's point of view. But when few now buy into the system, the system must change.

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05-24-2004, 03:31 PM
  #31
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Thankfully, this year's Stanley Cup final features two team's that play an all out aggressive forecheck system. With the NHL teams that usually copy the Cup winner's style, maybe we'll start to see more teams change their style to match this year's finalists and forget the trap...... hopefully.

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05-24-2004, 03:50 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
I think the Tikhonov situation is apples to the CHL's oranges.
In Tikhonov's case, we're talking more of a mind-games scenario or an old-school regime versus the new generation of Russians--MOST, if not all, now have dreams of NHL splendor. I think Tikhonov is still cheesed about that.
What La-La brought up has more to do with style of play than anything else.
Okay, bad example with Tikhonov, then, just the first name that popped into my head as an example of a well-known European coach known to hold certain players back, re: the Schremp example given, where let's just say London wasn't particularly conservative as a team either, and Hunter may have had his own nefarious (or nepotistic) motivations. That's why I used Tikhonov. But... I'm sure there are many other European coaches, probably especially in Sweden or Finland, who have had talented kids riding the pines for purely stylistic reasons, and probably in all other countries too. Whether the Tikhonov example strictly applies in the stylistic/defensive sense or not, my main point is that the phenomenon is not necessarily exclusive to the CHL. A few teams in the CHL focus strictly on defense, a few kids like Schremp are maybe sat down for defensive lapses, but I would be shocked if that didn't happen everywhere in the world where hockey is played.

If that is an example of the CHL trying too much to be like the NHL, then I'm just not sure why the CHL should be singled out for this.

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05-24-2004, 07:41 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien
No. The best it can give you is a very general sense that perhaps the CHL is not producing as many dynamic offensive players as it once was, but you'd have to do a lot more checking to get anything but a vague impression from that glance. And whether it is or is not producing more talented scorers still says relatively little about it's overall quality as a development league, as there are many areas of hockey skill and ability which do not necessarily show up in scoring stats.

Looking at any one player will tell you absolutely nothing about anything but that one player. I would suggest plotting a distribution of player ages for the top scorers and comparing it to the age distribution for the league as a whole, with subsets of CHL players and non-CHL players. Would it show any shift towards older-on-average CHL players with higher scoring totals compared to their non-CHL counterparts? Would that indicate any signs that perhaps a new crop of CHL scorers is not rising as quickly to replace the old guard Recchi's? I have no idea. Just by glancing at an expanded list of the top-60, I can pick as many next-generation Thornton, Tanguay, Richards, Nash , Doan, Nash, Briere, Ribeiro, Ryder, Spezza, Dumont types as old-guard types.

More necessary complication.

A glance at the top 60 reveals that 42% (25/60) come from the CHL. A glance at last year's entry draft indicates that 53% (36/68) come from the CHL. How do these numbers compare to previous years, and how do we account for the evolution of increased scouting and overdue attention being given to the European countries? In 1994, drafting Europeans in the top-2 rounds was relatively well-established, 63% (33/52) players in the top-2 rounds were drafted from the CHL.

Where do you draw the lines, and what are the criteria by which we would judge any evaluation in the offensive calibre of CHL products? It's not a simple problem. (Well, actually it is pretty simple all things considered, but it's not trivial, and not really within the scope of anything I'd be willing to do without having somebody pay me for it! )

I would question how you can be so sure that there is "absolutely nothing wrong with the CHL". I can't be sure myself. It would take a very thorough analysis, and I suspect that any trends that came out of such an analysis would not show any large problems, if all factors were taken into consideration adequately. The CHL seems to be producing lots of nice NHLers. It is probably hit and miss on an individual organisation basis, but I would hazard to say that it does a better job of preparing players for the duration, rigour, style of NHL seasonal play. Nevertheless, I think we were only talking about the offensive talent side of the developmental equation, so we're supposed to be leaving aside the consideration of how superior the CHL may or may not be in all other important areas. It is certainly a strong league. The question, however, is: Is it just as strong as it used to be in terms of developing talented offensive players? If international hockey is undergoing a "breakthrough", why is the CHL not also undergoing a similar breakthrough? (There are some obvious answers to that, of course).

Certainly there are cyclical considerations too. Again, a thorough analysis would be required to identify these. My general impression is that maybe the CHL went through a bit of a slight dip with regards to offensive talent in the past decade, but that a new crest seems to be forming lately.

Good heavens, no, the red line removal was only suggested as a minimal little bit of occasional extra excitement and subtle encouragement for a marginally more open-minded offensive approach then as a cure-all for any perceived developmental shortcomings of the league as a whole! There have been whole series of articles, TV shows, exposes, and probably tomes of posts on boards like these dissecting the different developmental styles, and no definitive "solutions" have ever emerged, nor will they. I think Hockey Canada has in recent years emerged from something of a self-examination in which a lot of misplaced panic had originally led some people to believe that we needed to adopt some of the approaches of some of the other countries (mostly at levels before major junior). But I doubt much has come or will come of it. There is nothing to be gained in running around copying other programs at the first potential signs of a minor cyclical downswing. (Maybe it's like the stock market.
)

No disagreement there. It will always be an interesting question that can be discussed for days on end, but there are no right or wrong answers, IMO.
You need more fibre in your diet.

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05-24-2004, 07:43 PM
  #34
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This is sort of like Deja vu. A month and half ago we are all lamenting how boring the NCAA final was. I suppose it is the way the game is played today and less talented teams such as Maine, D.U and Kelowna have more than proved that stiffling defensive hockey played to perfection wins games and championships. Until a team that plays a wide open style can win and win often, expect little to change.

In conclusion we all better pray for a Tapa Bay Ligntning win!

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05-24-2004, 10:45 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La-La-Laprise
Yes, there are always exceptions. Perhaps I shouldnt have generalized all the WHl because there are exceptions in life.

MH plays offensive which is good to see. But that is 1 team out of 20.

I think the Majority in the WHL play somewhere inbetween the Tigers and the Rockets

teams in the whl that play a defensive or trap type style of game are kelowna, the expansion silver tips, and red deer. That is because all 3 of those teams lack any real scoring punch and are centered around good/great defense and good/great goalies.

In the Whl there are way to many teams such as the Tigers, Wheat Kings, Broncos, Raiders, Moose Jaw that are total offense to ever classify it as producing bad hockey or trap teams only.

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05-24-2004, 11:08 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien
Nevertheless, I think we were only talking about the offensive talent side of the developmental equation, so we're supposed to be leaving aside the consideration of how superior the CHL may or may not be in all other important areas. It is certainly a strong league. The question, however, is: Is it just as strong as it used to be in terms of developing talented offensive players? If international hockey is undergoing a "breakthrough", why is the CHL not also undergoing a similar breakthrough? (There are some obvious answers to that, of cours.
Yes, if we focus singularly on offense, finesse skills... that sort of stuff... I think this changes the way to look at the problem

However it is very difficult to do so, IMO. The CHL's mandate is to mold future NHLers. As long as NHL success will (often, not always) come from strong, collective play, it is likely that certain aspects will remain favored, maybe at the cost of less finesse for instance.

There's no way around that, however. The CHL operates under a philosphy that is fairly similar to the NHL. Its players, referees... everything is fairly close. The CHL is also viewed as an excellent opportunity by CHL coaches to showcase their stuff. Let's not forget many of these guys also have NHL aspirations. This is probably one of the most important aspect and I wonder why I even forgot it.

As for my statement that nothing is wrong with the CHL, you're rioght that it cannot be taken literally. Everything you focus on and spend time on is time you do not spend elsewhere. My statement is more in reference against Euro leagues. I do think they spend an awful lot of time (it seems) on developing other aspects but they too, do it at the cost of something else.

As for a drop in NHL North American talent (as far as the draft goes, for instance), I explain it simply by people who catch up. If anything, the numbers right now tell me the CHL is abnormally *favored* right now. Our numbers are unbelievable in today's context. I would be very satisfied even if they dropped by another 10%, which I expect will happen in the next 5-10 years.

I think our passion with this game has been unbelievable, giving us such a grip on NHL talent. I love it, we're still producing a lot of everything. Goalies, forwards, Ds... we do it all. But it is now inevitable, the internationalization of the game is on its way.

BTW, thank you for your post. It was very in-depth and raises interesting questions! Most of them cannot be answered easily.

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06-02-2004, 08:55 PM
  #37
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Has this just always been Habschied's system, or did he change it to this after his offense left? The reason I ask is, I'm a Coyotes fan and he appears to be the front runner for our head coaching position. With Tanabe, Mara, Morris, and eventually Ballard on our blueline and a forward corps featuring Comrie, Nagy, Johnson, Kolanos, Sjostrom and Taffe, I think our roster is geared more twords a wide open offensive style. Do you think Habscheid would be a good fit in the desert?

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06-03-2004, 12:11 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by La-La-Laprise
*Ahem* Craig Hillier *Ahem*

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06-03-2004, 10:32 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by rt
Has this just always been Habschied's system, or did he change it to this after his offense left?
The Rockets' offense, which put up some scary shot totals in their playoff run in 2003, got burned at their first Memorial Cup when obstruction wasn't called as tightly as it had been in the WHL that year (Steve Kozari, the WHL's referee at the tournament, got a lot of heat for calling "too many" penalties there; he was just doing what had been standard practice for him all year.) Between that and losing key offensive players, Habscheid needed to make a change if the Rockets were going to have a chance at winning as the hosts this year. He did and they won, so, yeah, he's adaptable. I don't see him having trouble adjusting back to a different type of system.

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06-03-2004, 11:03 AM
  #40
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LOL sorry to dredge up bad memories.

If anyone cares i think Hillier is playing in a roller league around here lol

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