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07-28-2009, 02:36 AM
  #1
gravytrain6t
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Hockey in America

I know it's popular in states like Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, up state New York (i.e. Rochester), etc... but it's such a great sport and I wish kids would get more involved from all over the country. That means building more hockey rinks or just ice skating rinks in general. Some equipment costs a lot of money but even if kids just started out playing in the street and practicing stickhandling and shooting and building good hand/eye coordination.

You buy a decent hockey net and you're good to go. It's mostly the goal tending equipment that costs alot but it's do-able. Roller Blading may not be the same as ice skating but through time, a kid should be able to adjust smoothly if he decides to play ice hockey because they will have such great balance.

I understand the popularity of Football, Baseball and Basketball. But I think, the more kids are exposed to the sport eventually it will grow. Besides, not every kid excels at other sports. I'm a prime example. I was not only good at hockey as a kid, but I loved to play. The problem was finding enough other kids not only to play, but be a bit competitive even though when it's all said and done, the basic goal is to have fun.

The NY Rangers did have a program called hockey in Harlem where guys like Adam Graves would introduce the game, supply the equipment and young african american kids who would never be exposed to the sport otherwise, went out and had some fun. I think and I wish their would be alot more of that.

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07-28-2009, 04:11 AM
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Lack of rinks and access in non-traditional hockey markets really is the #1 problem in America. I can't remember how many times I've seen people turned away because the team/rink/facility was full or worse yet, there was no facility within a 50 mile radius.

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07-28-2009, 05:17 PM
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StrBender
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Here in MA hockey is still popular. Part of the reason for it's struggle in other parts of the country is the cost to play at the upper levels. Most of the top players in the North East play prep school (30k+) or Jr's (6K+) My nephew is leaving a prep school that gave him a ton of $$$ to attend in order to play in the new NAPHL. Cost 8500. Drive time around 75 minutes each way so add gas $ for that. Total cost around 12K. I believe you can play local hockey at a fraction of that but it's still 1K+. Do to all the options available to kids in the USA hockey will never become bigger.

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07-29-2009, 01:34 PM
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I heard tell that there's a LOT of kidz playing hockey in Texas...

As for the Harlem experiment? I heard tell that a LOT of the donated equipment went missing. Then the replacement equippment disappeared , etc...No judgements , just stating what I heard...Maybe Harlem's not ready for hockey...Doubtless, they have FAR more pressing concerns, like the sorry state of their schools etc ...

Seems that the powers that be , stateside...care about as much for Harlem's kids ( see ' The Triumph of Lesra Martin ' for a Canuck connection ) as they did for New Orleans' kids, apres Katrina...

Small wonder Hockey ( which requires considerable infrastructure ) will NEVER grow lasting roots in America's inner cities...

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08-14-2009, 11:32 PM
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Hockey is huge in mass, tons of rinks, tournaments, good high school action. I think it is popular in America then people think. Canadian's often try to down America and relationship with hockey as if no one else matters except them

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08-15-2009, 01:12 PM
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The Greater St. Louis area is one of the hockey hotbeds of the Midwest. There's more than 30 rinks in the metro area alone and most cities and suburbs have their own youth hockey org and high school teams.

St. Louis has elite youth teams
also Jr. teams:
Illinois Frontenacs (GLJHL, Jr B)
St. Louis Jr. Blues (CSHL, Tier III Jr. A)
St. Louis Bandits (NAHL, Tier II Jr. A) are 2007,08,09 NAHL Champions.

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09-13-2009, 08:56 PM
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Good mix

actually, if you look below the surface you'll see top kids coming from all over the country. Texas, Colorado, California, Missouri, Florida all have kids playing at top levels now, but a lot of them end up moving out of state to join the top competitive leagues (like the MWEHL) in the past. It because such a concern that they expanded the MWEHL to play in other states so that kids would stop leaving home. You may see players in Canadian Major Junior or USHL teams listed as being from MA, MI, or MN, but they played mites through bantam or midget in their home state before moving to one of the "hotbeds" to take their game up a notch. Then, the hotbed city gets credit for their development as their "hometown."

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09-14-2009, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PK81 View Post
Hockey is huge in mass, tons of rinks, tournaments, good high school action. I think it is popular in America then people think. Canadian's often try to down America and relationship with hockey as if no one else matters except them
I don't think most canadians try to down hockey in the states.Some might and i think even on both sides some do not know how big hockey is in the other country.What i think some canadians get a bit tired of is some americans think canada is nhl and thats it and some even say there is no competition for the nhl in canada.While the facts are major jr in some markets out draws pro hockey in the states.Another thing is there is alot of hockey in canada and some americans are unaware how many teams there really is.

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11-19-2009, 10:51 AM
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Cory Trevor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrBender View Post
Here in MA hockey is still popular. Part of the reason for it's struggle in other parts of the country is the cost to play at the upper levels. Most of the top players in the North East play prep school (30k+) or Jr's (6K+) My nephew is leaving a prep school that gave him a ton of $$$ to attend in order to play in the new NAPHL. Cost 8500. Drive time around 75 minutes each way so add gas $ for that. Total cost around 12K. I believe you can play local hockey at a fraction of that but it's still 1K+. Do to all the options available to kids in the USA hockey will never become bigger.
This is probably the most accurate thing to describe hockey in MA. Prep school hockey and college hockey are HUGE here but the hockey players mainly come from affluent families or skilled to the point where they can go on free ride.

The other issue is cost of equipment and ice time. It's so expensive here and to outfit kids every year, there's only so many "Play it again sports" here. Play it again is basically a used equipment store around here. ALL of my equipment minus sticks was from places like that and other families we knew around the rinks. Our families wasn't poor, but my parents had the three of us and it was difficult to buy equipment ever year.

Football equipment here is provided by the programs, Baseball you usually buy your own but it can be provided and basketball, well basketball there is no equipment.

It all started ultimately with friends playing though in the streets. Street Hockey is played avidly by youngins round here. I remember my buddy's dad built a rink in his backyard and that was pretty much where we spent most of our days.

We played some basketball, lot of baseball, almost no football, and pretty much all street hockey growing up because you only needed four people and often it would be just two of us.

If the costs were decreased, I can guarantee that it would become big here. In MA, I grew up on the South Shore and alot of my youth hockey if not in the rink was spent on the Cranberry bogs and small ponds. Didn't need equipment and just play with the others there. Parents though are so over protective as well to the point they want their kids in full equipment. My dad would send me out on the bog with a stick, gloves and helmet and he'd keep an eye on me and that's it. Not only that, someone is guranteed to fall through ice once a year because the weather is so changing all the time.

Ultimately I feel that hockey is probably the best of all four, but Football here will always be superior due to its indoctrination into our blood. If you have the chance, go to a place like University of Florida or Alabama and watch a football game and you'll understand what dominates this landscape

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11-19-2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
I don't think most canadians try to down hockey in the states.Some might and i think even on both sides some do not know how big hockey is in the other country.What i think some canadians get a bit tired of is some americans think canada is nhl and thats it and some even say there is no competition for the nhl in canada.While the facts are major jr in some markets out draws pro hockey in the states.Another thing is there is alot of hockey in canada and some americans are unaware how many teams there really is.
I live in a small Canadian city of less than 130,000.
In this city hockey is king. We have a Q team, a University team, a Junior A team, a Junior B team, a Junior C team, a Major Midget team, a Minor Midget team, a number of Midget AA teams, 6 High School teams, a couple Senior A teams. We have more than a dozen ice surfaces. With over 2,500 kids in Minor Hockey.
Yes we have baseball and football local teams, but hockey is king as it is in most of Canada.
I don't think Canadians down play hockey in the states it's just that hockey is almost everything that we don't understand the struggles the game has else where?
Others also don't understand how dominating hockey is in Canada. My little province of about 750,000 has about 17,000 players registered with the provincial governing body. These numbers are repeated across the nation. So we are not saying anything bad about US hockey, it's that we don't understand.


Last edited by Alpine: 11-19-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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11-19-2009, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
I live in a small Canadian city of less than 130,000.
In this city hockey is king. We have a Q team, a University team, a Junior A team, a Junior B team, a Junior C team, a Major Midget team, a Minor Midget team, a number of Midget AA teams, 6 High School teams, a couple Senior A teams. We have more than a dozen ice surfaces. With over 2,500 kids in Minor Hockey.
Yes we have baseball and football local teams, but hockey is king as it is in most of Canada.
I don't think Canadians down play hockey in the states it's just that hockey is almost everything that we don't understand the struggles the game has else where?
Others also don't understand how dominating hockey is in Canada. My little province of about 750,000 has about 17,000 players registered with the provincial governing body. These numbers are repeated across the nation. So we are not saying anything bad about US hockey, it's that we don't understand.
wow is ur town called Heaven!!!

i wish more places in the states are like that!

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11-20-2009, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sbkbghockey View Post
wow is ur town called Heaven!!!

i wish more places in the states are like that!
That's what we call it
But it might be Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Shawinigan, Val d'Or, Kingston, Sudbury, Brandon, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, or Prince George.
My point was that hockey is such a dominant sport in Canada that maybe we don't understand that it's not every where. So when we read threads that ask "how to grow the game" we don't understand as it's every where and every thing on our sports horizon and landscape.
We are not always downing US Hockey it's more that because we have so much hockey from the Novice level on up that we can't comprehend that it's not the same every where.

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11-20-2009, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MarchandManiac View Post
Hockey is huge in mass, tons of rinks, tournaments, good high school action. I think it is popular in America then people think. Canadian's often try to down America and relationship with hockey as if no one else matters except them
Not sure where you're from but I Western Mass. was the same. I grew up playing in that area, and there was/is a ton of ice rinks and teams nearly everywhere. Lots of smalltime towns and cities had organizations, even.

Roller hockey leagues are another story, AFAIK there were 3 big ones goig back over 9 years ago now, and currently all but one has ceased operations. One keeps popping up for a little while but shutting down shortly after.

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12-02-2009, 07:04 PM
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I would really like to see more division 1 programs from non traditional markets. Every time I look at college football or basketball, it seems that every school has a division 1 program, but hockey doesn't. Take a school like Penn State, how does Penn State not have d-1 hockey? They have an excellent club team, but we can't get them into a d-1 level?

Look at Illinois also. The Hawks are on fire, and yet there is no place for local kids to go further their education and play d-1 hockey at in their state. Not every kid gets recruited to play for Michigan and Minnesota, many very talented players just give up after highschool because there isn't enough opportunities for them out there. Not every kid wants to play in the NAHL or USHL, many would love to further their education and play d-1 hockey at the same time.

There really is no excuse as to why Loyola University, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), and University of Illinois are not division 1 hockey programs. The NHL loves to give money to help fund USA Hockey and the CHL, but if they truly wanted to help the growth of the game, they need to help these schools pay for the start up of their programs for the first 10 years.

How awesome would it be for kids to be able to say they got a scholarship to play at USC or University of Cal! It should be happening right now. I thought that is what Gretzky helped start back in 89'. Hockey needs to grow at the collegiate level which inturn would trickle down to the highschool and pee-wee levels. There are enough solid coaches out there, and there are enough talented kids that would love to continue playing this game if they had a chance to do so locally.

I know the cost is high, but that is where the NHL can come in and help jump start these programs. What is also nice is that these schools can have women's teams too, so there is no gender preferencing going on. I am sure there are many more d-1 volleyball programs then hockey right now. How much money does a pro volleyball player make in comparision to a pro hockey player? Money isn't everything, but you would think that the path to the NHL is a much brighter one then some of the other d-1 sports.

I am just a huge fan of the game of hockey, and the bigger it gets in the states, the happier I am. There is not enough being done at the college level right now. It seems that the existing schools are too stubborn to expand and are completely happy as long as their school is taken care of.

They say it is getting harder to keep the best US kids playing in college, and that junior is the better option. Well maybe if those kids like McColgan and Jacobs had college hockey in their respective states (Cali and Texas), those top stars wouldn't have bolted for the CHL. Just think how many kids from Minny or even Canada would love to come down to play hockey in California! Are you kidding me? What 18 year old wouldn't want to do that?

Maybe this is all a dream (no pun intended), but I strongly feel that NCAA hockey is severly lacking on its growth and needs to expand to many non traditional markets to help this game grow.

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12-03-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AmericanDream View Post
I would really like to see more division 1 programs from non traditional markets. Every time I look at college football or basketball, it seems that every school has a division 1 program, but hockey doesn't. Take a school like Penn State, how does Penn State not have d-1 hockey? They have an excellent club team, but we can't get them into a d-1 level?

Look at Illinois also. The Hawks are on fire, and yet there is no place for local kids to go further their education and play d-1 hockey at in their state. Not every kid gets recruited to play for Michigan and Minnesota, many very talented players just give up after highschool because there isn't enough opportunities for them out there. Not every kid wants to play in the NAHL or USHL, many would love to further their education and play d-1 hockey at the same time.

There really is no excuse as to why Loyola University, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), and University of Illinois are not division 1 hockey programs. The NHL loves to give money to help fund USA Hockey and the CHL, but if they truly wanted to help the growth of the game, they need to help these schools pay for the start up of their programs for the first 10 years.

How awesome would it be for kids to be able to say they got a scholarship to play at USC or University of Cal! It should be happening right now. I thought that is what Gretzky helped start back in 89'. Hockey needs to grow at the collegiate level which inturn would trickle down to the highschool and pee-wee levels. There are enough solid coaches out there, and there are enough talented kids that would love to continue playing this game if they had a chance to do so locally.

I know the cost is high, but that is where the NHL can come in and help jump start these programs. What is also nice is that these schools can have women's teams too, so there is no gender preferencing going on. I am sure there are many more d-1 volleyball programs then hockey right now. How much money does a pro volleyball player make in comparision to a pro hockey player? Money isn't everything, but you would think that the path to the NHL is a much brighter one then some of the other d-1 sports.

I am just a huge fan of the game of hockey, and the bigger it gets in the states, the happier I am. There is not enough being done at the college level right now. It seems that the existing schools are too stubborn to expand and are completely happy as long as their school is taken care of.

They say it is getting harder to keep the best US kids playing in college, and that junior is the better option. Well maybe if those kids like McColgan and Jacobs had college hockey in their respective states (Cali and Texas), those top stars wouldn't have bolted for the CHL. Just think how many kids from Minny or even Canada would love to come down to play hockey in California! Are you kidding me? What 18 year old wouldn't want to do that?

Maybe this is all a dream (no pun intended), but I strongly feel that NCAA hockey is severly lacking on its growth and needs to expand to many non traditional markets to help this game grow.
great great post i couldnt agree more with you...it would be amazing to see d1 hockey spread across teh country...it is a shame the the state of illinois has not even 1 d1 team...we used to have uic but that been gone for over 15 years....and cali should definitly have some teams hockey has become immensly popular out there now they have great aaa programs ...some junior teams...and are producing top calibar players....it would be great to see a pac 10 kinda conference created for hockey....it would be great for spreading the popularity of ncca d1 out west...becasue right now all the cali kids pretty much go the chl route because d1 ncaa gets no exposure out there...but imagine if usc...and cal..and stanford had programs i guarantee you all teh cali kids would wanna play there....

also i guarantee you if some bigtime cali schools like usc,cal,ucla,stanford..etc got d1 programs..within 3-5 years they would be competing for national championships...because tehre is alote of talent in cali and out west ingeneral taht they would get....and it would be a huge draw for recruiting to come live.play and go to school for 4 years in southern cali...at a big name school...they would get a ton of top players from all over

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12-08-2009, 09:50 PM
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A couple of things I'd like to say after reading this thread.

1) When it comes to spreading hockey throughout the United States it really comes down to the people willing to take risks by investing capital in ice rinks and hockey programs.

As much as I can't stand Gary Bettman in every NHL market he's added, interest in youth hockey has risen dramatically.

Also as small as it may seem, if you live in a non-traditional hockey market you have to try and help to grow the game. I live in Indianapolis and I've started a regular Saturday morning street hockey game with my friends. At first it was just a small group but now we have as many as twenty people showing up. It's not a lot, but as my friends learn the game they begin to love it.

It doesn't even have to be something like that, maybe even taking a non-hockey fan to the game. Once there, the game will sell itself.

2) The reason many major universities don't have NCAA Hockey teams is due to how hard it is to field one. The NCAA has many strict rules regarding the sport and once a university has a Men's hockey team, Title IX kicks in and they must field a Women's team of essentially any sport of equal standing. That creates a sizable financial burden on an academic institution.

Most major universities (Penn St. included) have ACHA teams which are notably cheaper to run and in some circumstances are treated as club teams by the university which eliminates any fiscal strain on the school.

Just some thoughts.

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12-08-2009, 10:13 PM
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my son was born in connecticut. he started playing organized hockey at 4 yrs. old. it cost me $895 in 2005 for just him to play house league.
we now live in winnipeg manitoba. i have THREE children playing hockey total cost is about $1150.
there are over 100 rinks in winnipeg.(9 in my neighborhood alone). most run by the city. plus there are tons of outdoor rinks that are FREE to play on for about 4 months of the year.
fairfield county connecticut has a comparable population to winnipeg and there were MAYBE 12 rinks in the county.and all are privately owned.and NONE are free.
those are your differences between the US, and Canada.
canada it is a way of life...the us it is like a cult .

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12-10-2009, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by xicethug13x View Post
great great post i couldnt agree more with you...it would be amazing to see d1 hockey spread across teh country...it is a shame the the state of illinois has not even 1 d1 team...we used to have uic but that been gone for over 15 years....and cali should definitly have some teams hockey has become immensly popular out there now they have great aaa programs ...some junior teams...and are producing top calibar players....it would be great to see a pac 10 kinda conference created for hockey....it would be great for spreading the popularity of ncca d1 out west...becasue right now all the cali kids pretty much go the chl route because d1 ncaa gets no exposure out there...but imagine if usc...and cal..and stanford had programs i guarantee you all teh cali kids would wanna play there....

also i guarantee you if some bigtime cali schools like usc,cal,ucla,stanford..etc got d1 programs..within 3-5 years they would be competing for national championships...because tehre is alote of talent in cali and out west ingeneral taht they would get....and it would be a huge draw for recruiting to come live.play and go to school for 4 years in southern cali...at a big name school...they would get a ton of top players from all over
thank you, I appreciate it.

Pretty interesting timing I guess; Paul Kelly the former NHLPA Head who is now the head of College Hockey Inc. was on NHL Live a few days ago...and guess what? He discussed everything that I mentioned above!! Paul, are you on here reading this thread???

It was very interesting how he specifically noted the lack of growth in college hockey, how the NHL could help fund the colleges, and getting division one teams in Illinois, California, Florida, and Texas. He even mentioned Penn State not being a d-1 team, and how silly that is.

It is Paul's job to help spread the word of College hockey, and to help its growth in the US, and he has been meeting with many different schools over the past few weeks, and will continue to meet with them until they start producing d-1 programs.
It is a daunting task for Mr. Kelly as stated above by some of you, but at least he is out there and actually sees just how bad the growth of Division 1 hockey has been. Go get em' Paul!!

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12-11-2009, 12:38 AM
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Its already been said, NCAA hockey is really hard for new schools to get into because:[LIST]
*Its expensive (to fund a team, scholarships, build an NCAA standard rink, etc..), then to add to those expenses Title IX and funding a women's sport at a comparable level...
*Another big factor is that the hockey conferences are essentially "full" (a problem Alabama Huntsville is facing) Although i'm sure if that was a school like Penn State, Florida, or USC there'd majically be a spot in the conferences . It would however be better to have more than one school join and also have some realignment.

if Pac 10 team join you could create a Pacific College Hockey conference and add the Alaska schools in there, that would open up the WCHA for another midwest school (maybe from the Big XII) and open up a spot in the CCHA for Penn State, Illinois or another school in the Big 10

Southern Schools like Florida, Georgia, Kennesaw State, could join Alabama Huntville and a schools such as Texas, Texas Tech, Duke, North Carolina and create a Southern Hockey Conference

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02-15-2010, 02:08 PM
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Growing up in Fresno California, hockey is far from even popular. Falcon games were just something to do, get drunk and watch some fights. It was more of a sideshow act, than a sport kids wanted to actually play. Plus it's ultra expensive, a city of over 500,000 HAD 2 rinks at one point, but sold it and is now a moving storage center.

As a spectator sport, California is all over the place. San Jose always has good ticket sales, and LA and Anaheim can. Stockton has one of the best, if not the best attendance in the ECHL, and Bakersfield always brings in fans. Wouldn't know about Ontario, but I always heard San Diego pulled people in. Long beach was supposed to be an empty building, and rumors of Sacramento wanting a WCHL team always surfaced.

I live in Portland, OR now, and hockey isn't even of slight interest to most people, unless Seattles in town. Apparently, hockey WAS huge in Portland, until just a few years ago, but was hugely popular when the Buckaroo's were around. There is not a single sheet of ice in Portland City proper. Nearest rink is in Vancouver, WA, and there are sheets in western suburban towns Beaverton and Sherwood. Been looking into hockey in this region, and it is somewhat popular, considering there's 5 teams in the WHL from the Pac Northwest, and if you include Idaho steelheads and Eugene Generals, it is fairly popular, but looks like youth teams in this region don't get a whole lot of competition.

I can say this, hockey isn't really popular to play, but in smaller US towns without a college, and nothing else to do, a decent attraction to watch.

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02-17-2010, 09:46 AM
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It was very interesting how he specifically noted the lack of growth in college hockey, how the NHL could help fund the colleges, and getting division one teams in Illinois, California, Florida, and Texas. He even mentioned Penn State not being a d-1 team, and how silly that is.
How is the NHL supposed to help fund these colleges when they are busy buying it's own franchises and others are losing money every year?

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Old
02-27-2010, 05:00 AM
  #22
MrSports*
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: United States
Posts: 96
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravytrain6t View Post
I know it's popular in states like Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, up state New York (i.e. Rochester), etc... but it's such a great sport and I wish kids would get more involved from all over the country. That means building more hockey rinks or just ice skating rinks in general. Some equipment costs a lot of money but even if kids just started out playing in the street and practicing stickhandling and shooting and building good hand/eye coordination.

You buy a decent hockey net and you're good to go. It's mostly the goal tending equipment that costs alot but it's do-able. Roller Blading may not be the same as ice skating but through time, a kid should be able to adjust smoothly if he decides to play ice hockey because they will have such great balance.

I understand the popularity of Football, Baseball and Basketball. But I think, the more kids are exposed to the sport eventually it will grow. Besides, not every kid excels at other sports. I'm a prime example. I was not only good at hockey as a kid, but I loved to play. The problem was finding enough other kids not only to play, but be a bit competitive even though when it's all said and done, the basic goal is to have fun.

The NY Rangers did have a program called hockey in Harlem where guys like Adam Graves would introduce the game, supply the equipment and young african american kids who would never be exposed to the sport otherwise, went out and had some fun. I think and I wish their would be alot more of that.

I agree with it. I've seen players in America that plays really well.

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