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Interesting Sportlounge on DRS with Sean Simpson

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Old
05-04-2010, 12:25 PM
  #1
torero
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Interesting Sportlounge on DRS with Sean Simpson

Their was a very interesting Sportlounge.

Invited were Sean Simpson, new national trainer
Thomas Roost, an NHL scout (very negative)
Matias Seger

While Roost has a very negative view about where Swiss hockey is heading, he seems to believe that we were lucky to be 5th in the U18 WJC and and 4th in the U20 WJC. And that if the national team can maintain the 8th rank, it will already be a very serious achievement. He was even suggesting that a second league team in Sweden would be as good as the SCB !!!
Simpson was much more positive globally.

Both agreed that the depth of the swiss players has increased seriously and that the players that would be in the WC, while not the best of the country, will not be significantly weaker than the "A" team. (15players from the Olympic team will NOT be in this WC)

http://www.sport.sf.tv/Sendungen/sportlounge

I found it quite interesting. ... in german for the multimedia yet you can still translate on a babelfish or another free translator.

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05-04-2010, 03:42 PM
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koh19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torero View Post
Their was a very interesting Sportlounge.

Invited were Sean Simpson, new national trainer
Thomas Roost, an NHL scout (very negative)
Matias Seger

While Roost has a very negative view about where Swiss hockey is heading, he seems to believe that we were lucky to be 5th in the U18 WJC and and 4th in the U20 WJC. And that if the national team can maintain the 8th rank, it will already be a very serious achievement. He was even suggesting that a second league team in Sweden would be as good as the SCB !!!
Simpson was much more positive globally.

Both agreed that the depth of the swiss players has increased seriously and that the players that would be in the WC, while not the best of the country, will not be significantly weaker than the "A" team. (15players from the Olympic team will NOT be in this WC)

http://www.sport.sf.tv/Sendungen/sportlounge

I found it quite interesting. ... in german for the multimedia yet you can still translate on a babelfish or another free translator.
Interesting stuff.

Could you, if you have the time, explain what the NHL scout said in general (about Swiss players in NHL, Ambuhl, etc...) because I couldn't understand a word (swiss german huh). Simpson I could understand most of it.

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05-04-2010, 04:10 PM
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torero
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Originally Posted by koh19 View Post
Interesting stuff.

Could you, if you have the time, explain what the NHL scout said in general (about Swiss players in NHL, Ambuhl, etc...) because I couldn't understand a word (swiss german huh). Simpson I could understand most of it.
Thomas Roost :

He was quite negative on Swiss hockey's future. For him, the trainers for young guys, between 10 and 15 years old are inferior to the other countries. Therefore we are inferior to the other nations and will be like this in the future unless we improve this. The basics aren't tought well according to him.

The fact that the swiss juniors lost to the Swedes by 10 or more several times is worissom. It is a sign. The 5th U18 and 4th U20 ranks were achievements "des exploits", he would have prefered that we would be expected to do so and to miss. Same for the European championship or for ZSC beating the Blackhawks. The unlikely happened. (according to him) These good results screen the hole.

He agreed that the depth of Swiss players is much better. (actually he came up with this point). Therefore the team that is being iced for the present WC isn't that inferior to the one sent to the Olympics. He therefore also agreed that the average player's level is better and that more Swiss players have a good level. Their is no superstar presently.

He also mentioned that the team who won the final in the 2nd liga in Sweden would not have been beaten by SCB.

He didn't really talk about swiss talents for the NHL, except that their is Nino and that is it. He sees no other talent behind and as said earlier ... the level of young players is far behind the other nations.

He also argued that Krueger made the best out of what he had. Therefore if Simpson does the same ... it will be an achievement.
For him we were closer to lose to Bielorussia and Norwegen rather than to win to the Canadians and USA.

He also believes that Simpson brings a more aggressive game into the Swiss team. (more forechecking) ... with this comes the risk to be severly "spanked" by "big" hockey nations. But that it would be a more interesting game and players would learn more from that.

His view on Swiss hockey was that it is of high entertaining level but technically it isn't the same and we lie far behind.

To me, he exagerated by playing the "i am clever" guy therefore i will only talk negatively. Simpson replied to him once or twice in a convincing manner showing that he was exagerating. He replied each time that he was picturing the negative and the thruth lied somewhere in the middle.

I simply wrote what this guy said. It was an interesting debate and conclusions were sometimes different when specific points were discussed.

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05-05-2010, 03:17 AM
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Roost has regulary written stuff on hockeyfans.ch for quite some time, and has always been very negative toward Swiss hockey.

Most of his points are clearly influenced by his job as a scout. He cares about the level of individual players while forgetting that team chemistry is the most important part of success. Also, when talking about player development, he forgets that a lot of sucessful players coming from smaller nations were trained in a better country (Vanek in the US, Kopitar in Sweden, all those Danes and Norwegian in Sweden...) and that the level of training in those places is certainly not higher than in Switzerland.

About the level of the Swiss league, results have proven time and time again that the NLA is on par with the Swedish and Finnish leagues, and although the Allsvenskan's level is very impressive for a tier 2 league, and seeing Leksand or AIK beat Bern is not out of question, expecting it is ridiculous (though I'll get a good laugh out of it ).

I'm all for being realistic about the level of Swiss hockey, and somewhat agree when he says Switzerland is closer from losing to Belarus than beating Canada (I stated many times here that I don't consider Belarus or Latvia to be inferior teams, and actually expect Latvia to win on Saturday), and that Krueger made the most out of what he had. But there's no way things are as bad as Roost paint them out to be.

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05-05-2010, 11:14 AM
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Thanks a lot! Really appreciate it!

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05-05-2010, 03:31 PM
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In fact ... to me Thomas Roost is negative ... and the whole lounge had a negative tone (typically swiss !!) we are champions in auto critic .... ! only Simpson was positive !!

1) of course we are closer to loose to Belarus and Latvia than to win to Canada and US. (although we were very close to beat Canada !!) Shoot out 0-0 after 3 shots !! but i agree on the shots on goal view !
Yet this is a stupide view. the smart question would have been : were we closer to win to Slovakia and Tchecks then to loose to Belarus and Norvegians. (the Norvegian game was a bad game for us. Hiller played like **** and the field players were 2 notches under the games they played agains the US and Canada and our game to the Belarus wasn't the best neither).
And we went to overtime and to Shoot out with Canada IN CANADA. How many accidents are needed like win 2-0 to Canada, 3-1 to the Tcheks, loosing 2-0 to the US and in SO to Canada in Olympics when these same US and Canada team thrashed the other teams they played with !!!

2) they showed that Danemark has 8 players in NHL germany 6 or ... something like that i do not remember the exact figures while we only have 2! first the 2 we have make 4mio + per year. They are not Superstars but are real Stars. Then other swiss players could be in NA !! we have a good league therefore they stay here. Only stars will go abroad to make more money! average good players will be well paid here (in NLA). Therefore to gauge the level of hockey with these indicators is just inapropriate.

3) As said by Simpson ... the young guns are more and more interested in going abroad ... it is a new trend and it is there

4) Our depth is bigger.

5) why were we able to produce World class goalies ?? Because we have a good ligue with good games. Maybe (according to Roost) a segment of it is not ideal (training of 10-15 years old !!) If it is the case then it should be fixed (and it will ... we have the humility to accept that and the cleverness and the means to call upon foreign input)

Morality : we are rising as a hockey nation ... No matter what is being said by NHL scout or whoever wants to say something on that. Wheter we loose or win to Latvia on Saturday and wheter we finish in quarter finals or not in this WC.
THE TREND IS OUR FRIEND.

In my view the new World Hockey Order (sounds like illuminati theory ) will be 4 (or 5) dominant countries Canada, Russia, Sweden, USA and maybe Finland. Then another group will be composed of Slovakia, Tcheckia, Latvia, Belarus, Germany and Switzerland (maybe Denmark or/and Norway). We could be leaders of that group. I say that it will be like this in 5 to 10 years.

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05-06-2010, 02:49 AM
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I agree about most of your points, but I'd still say that Switzerland is closer from Belarus and Latvia than from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. I think everyone would agree that Slovakia is the weakest top 7 team, and we saw in 2008 and 2009 that their lack of depth can get them out of the top 8, but their full team showed during the last Olympics that they still are way ahead of the rest. Switzerland simply doesn't have players as good as Chara or Hossa.

I agree when you say that Switzerland has had enough good results not to consider them accidents. Good coaching, team chemistry and a hot goalie can make you beat a superior team. Still, there is a giant step between winning a single game and contending for a tournament.

And I'd be careful when prediction a fall for the Czechs and Slovaks. They may have a hard time replacing the old generation right now, but the same could have been said of Sweden and Latvia some years ago, but neither of these teams fell in the rankings.

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05-07-2010, 10:00 AM
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Swiss scout(s)?!

After seeing this program in TV I was some sort of a amazed about that scout's comments and his negative attitude about swiss players and coaches. Does he come from ice hockey himself?

Being not quite familiar with the scouting system as such,but if I understood right, that ONE single person is scouting the whole country, and additionally, also Germany?

Now I got Simpson's point: guys; go aborad and get seen! In this country you won't...


Last edited by matterhorn: 05-07-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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05-08-2010, 06:10 PM
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You can call it negative or you could call it realistic. Which of the statements do you think is not true?

Even Seger said in that TV show that Switzerland is mainly strong because it has a strong team vs individual skills. That's the same for our junior teams.

But I agree that Thomi came out very negative in the show and I was afraid that it could cloud the reception of his statements.

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05-09-2010, 05:28 AM
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That scout is very negative, he seems like a jerk anyway.

Even at the Olympics, Ron Wilson, then coach of the USA hockey team, said that Switerland had guys that could play in the NHL right now (Seger, Wick,...perhaps Lemm).

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05-09-2010, 09:56 AM
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Just watched it online and Roost really showed a lot of negativity towards the Swiss junior program. But maybe he's really not that far off and it probably shows that scouts are still not thinking of Switzerland as a power house in European (junior) hockey.

The bright side of his statements is that there still is a lot of room for improvement. Once our juniors (12 - 15y olds) are taught really proper basics there will be even more Niederreiters and Sbisas coming our way.

I think in general Swiss hockey is heading the right direction and it will pay of in another few years.

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05-19-2010, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorkan View Post
You can call it negative or you could call it realistic. Which of the statements do you think is not true?

Even Seger said in that TV show that Switzerland is mainly strong because it has a strong team vs individual skills. That's the same for our junior teams.

But I agree that Thomi came out very negative in the show and I was afraid that it could cloud the reception of his statements.
It’s interesting for me to read stuff about the “Sportlounge” with Sean Simpson with some so called quoted comments from me.

Readers might be surprised that I react to comments from people who hide behind anonymous pseudonyms but I do so… I dare to be different. Yes, I do read magazines, newspapers, webpages and forums and yes, I do care what is also written about me and yes it hurts if people write negative wrong things. No, I never will back down in future with my personal opinion about Swiss Hockey because I’m one of the biggest fans of Swiss hockey, wants to add a small puzzle-piece for improvement with my observations and would definitely hurt Swiss hockey if I do give too high marks and green flags if the weather-forecast asks for yellow flags, read carefully…. I do write yellow flags not red flags.

So I do react as follows:

I didn’t tell that Leksand (2nd-league-Swedish-Team) would beat Bern, this is just bad-mouthing wrong.

I did tell that I did watch recently a game from the Swedish 2nd-league and was impressed with the good level and that I’m not sure that Bern would have an easy win vs Leksand.

One poster did criticize the statistics Swiss TV did show with the number of NHL-players and that we actually have more players who could play in the NHL and Sean Simpson did also tell that e.g. Mathias Seger (a player I actually highly respect) could play in the NHL. I can guarantee you: If the NHL-Managers would be convinced that there is a Swiss player who could help them, they would immediately sign him. And to the statistics…actually they did forget to add the KHL, the second-best league in the world. How many Swiss play there? How many Swiss did get offers from the NHL and KHL??? There are Germans, Norwegians e.g. in the KHL and no Swiss, Gerber didn’t get an additional offer yet. Do you really think that all 30 NHL-Organisations and all KHL-teams are complete idiots and just overlook Swiss players because of nothing???? Calculate: There are 30 NHL-opinions and maybe 20 KHL-opinions. Opinions from Managers who get consulted from different scouts all over the world and get consulted from Assistant GMs and Directors of Player Personel. And not one of these 50 organisations did come to the conclusion that we hire a Swiss player. Yes, I completely agree that the difference between 3rd and 4th-line NHL- and KHL-Players to our best players is very small and it wouldn’t make a big difference and yes I agree that this very careful and suspicious behaviour towards our Swiss players is probably not completely correct. But still… the basic answer to this stats is: We don’t produce players! …and this means we don’t produce world-class-players. Again…we have good players, a surprisingly big amount of good players but we don’t have extraordinary players and this I dare criticize and I dare to try to find answers to it.

I didn’t tell that our junior-program is inferior, this is again just bad-mouthing wrong.

In fact I did tell that I respect our junior-program and that our junior-program is good. If we are happy with the number 7 or 8 in the world-ranking nothing is wrong with our junior-program and I highly respect the numbers of good players we did develop recently and I did tell that because of this I do expect that our team at the World-Championship in Germany is just slightly worse than the one in the Olympics…and I guess the results did proof this. But then the moderator did ask about medals. Will we be top4 in the future? Just to this question I very clearly did tell no that I don’t think that we can be a stable medal-contender in the near future. I remember 8 years ago we did beat Sweden in the U18WJC and had tight games with the US (I don’t tell we were better than Sweden and the US at that time but we were very close). Nowadays we loose usually very badly vs the US and Sweden on a junior-level. Canada and partly the Russians are still top (although Russia has some small problems), Sweden and the US made huge strides and are now much more far away from the Swiss than 5-8 years ago. The Czechs and the Slovaks have some problems in their junior-system and in fact, I guess, we are closer to them than a couple of years ago, actually we are now on the level of the Slovaks. But – and this might be a negative view if you want – I guess this is more because of the big problems in the Czech and Slovak junior-system and not so much because of our improvement. I’m sure that Czech and Slovak-experts fully agree with me. I also do notice the improvement in countries like Denmark, Norway and Belarus…not so much in Latvia. These countries are starting to produce players and this is dangerous for the Swiss. I appreciate our now started programs with the Academy and the regional programs. I definitely think that this helps to further compete with Germany, Belarus, Denmark, Norway and the Slovaks. But I definitely also think that this is not enough if we want to improve towards the best in the world. I was asked what we have to do to close the gap to the high-end-worldclass and I did study this question a lot – you can believe me that – my conclusion is that we don’t have the best possible teachers on a kids-level, we have good teachers but not world-class. I did talk a lot with US-and Swedish representatives and I did come to the conclusion that we should try to hire the one or the other protagonist of this Swedish and/or US-hockey-miracle. I even did get in contact with these people responsible in Sweden and did find out two or three high-end teachers who did build the Swedish program. I even did ask them would you be ready to help our Swiss program and yes I did get positive answers. So I did dare to recommend my idea to the federation and I guess I’m allowed to tell this, my opinion also on TV if the moderator asks me. It would be great for our junior-coaches if they would be allowed to learn from these world-class-experts. Our junior-coaches deserve this because they do a very good job and invest a lot of passion and time in hockey, so they deserve to improve from good educators to world-class-educators and we all in Switzerland would benefit from this in 5-10 years with even better players and with probably bigger chances to win games on a regular basis vs Canada, Sweden, Russian and the US and we would frustrate the Germans, Belarus, Denmark and Norway because the try very hard to overtake us and will find out it doesn’t work.


In addition I did read in a quote that I did write a lot of very negative things in the past about Swiss hockey. It would be only fair if you would just tell exact what negative stuff I did write. Actually I can’t remember and if I did so I would like to have a chance to explain but these “sweeping” critics seem to be rather a “cheap bashing” but as I told, give me more specifics and I will answer them.



In the end some questions to think about.

Andy Murray commented recently with high-praise about Swiss players, how good they are and that this and this player could easily play in NHL and bla, bla, bla. Andy Murray was in charge for many, many years in LA and St. Louis. Why he NEVER did push to draft a Swiss player? Why he NEVER did push to just invite a Swiss player for tryout in a camp if the Swiss players are THAT good? Why he never played a Swiss player, not in LA and not in STL? The same for Ron Wilson... Why he didn't hire a Swiss player for the Maple Leafs???

Why does Sean Simpson recommends for young Swiss players to go abroad to improve their game if our junior-education program is world-class?

Why does one of the most profilic head-scouts in Switzerland, Christian Weber, sends his son to Austria in a hockey-academy and after that to Sweden and maybe NA…and not keeping him in Switzerland if everything is so fine here with our junior-education?

Last but not least:
The example of losing to Sweden most of times with double-digit-numbers (U18 and U20) is just an example. I also could have told that in this season our Swiss U18-team did play 5 games vs Germany U18 and did lose four out of these 5 times. I always read in what bad crisis German hockey is compared to Switzerland. This is ridiculous. It’s just not true. Germany is very, very close to our team on the senior-level ( I do write this before the Quarterfinal-Game at the World-Championsshipe) and on junior-level it was en even keel in the last three years.

One last statement:
We have to be very careful with overrating official statements of friendly coaches and experts from Canada and other countries. I can assure you that I always just get positive comments about our hockey when I discuss this issue with some friends from whatever country. They some sort of like me, like Switzerland and are just very friendly and polite. But I do also know the truth, the real respect about our hockey…I often sit in restaurant and bars and it’s dark and the one or the other did drink the one or the other beer and because I’m the only one from Switzerland most guys forget about me and forget about that I’m Swiss…so I listen to a lot of “honest” conversations about Swiss hockey and the basic tenor is….The Swiss did improve 5-10 years ago but lately I see a sightly negative tendency… and this is exactly true. This tendency doesn’t impact the senior-team for the next 5 years but in 5-10 years we will have some problems and we definitely won’t be around the medals…unless we try to improve and deal with critics.

Thomas Roost
Central Scouting NHL
Scout Switzerland/Germany

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Old
05-19-2010, 05:38 PM
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torero
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Mr Roost,

Thank you for posting a very interesting answer and congratulations for daring put your name. Respect.

I know that many professionals are reading in this site, some may even be intervening under cover. (i would do that as a professional for ideas fishing and to measure my popularity)

i found very negative your interventions because in all discussions you always were mentioning the half glass that is empty ! this is what i call negative.

Now, thanks to your explanations, i know that you are active at improving the level of swiss hockey and that you are trying to takle the weaknesses. Congratulations. I wish that you will be efficient because although i never played hockey, i love this sport and am all behind our national team and am so eager to see it improve and conquer medals.

About why Murray or Wilson don't hire Swiss hockey players ? I agree that it could be that they politely congratulate on the changes but they do not see in our players a solution that would fit their needs. On the other side, for having worked with anglo-saxons, i know that they are veeery conventional wisdom oriented. When taking decisions, it must be for the best of the organisation and politically correct. Hire a Swiss player is presently not politically correct. What i define by politically correct is the power of the move to protect his ass. Hiring a Swede will never be thrown at someone as a liability in a management meeting, while hiring a Swiss could be a liability.
Like :
" what did you do ? your team lost .... and stats are .... and what you do, you hire a Swiss ! We have so much cap available and you hire a Swiss ... their was X Y Z available, wanting a european player you could have chosen Xsson or Xquist, or even Ychev; but no, you hire a Swiss ! "
That would be a typical management round chair with anglo saxon type conventional wisdom used as arguments.

On the other side, it is true that Danemark has many players in NHL or other nations but look at their salaries ! The level of these players is not higher than swiss players in Switzerland. Therefore saying that Swiss players aren't as good as the Danish because their are more in NHL is not appropriate.

Thanks for your post, thanks for helping to improve the Swiss level Respect !
Thomas Spycher, Geneva

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05-20-2010, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by torero View Post
Mr Roost,

Thank you for posting a very interesting answer and congratulations for daring put your name. Respect.

I know that many professionals are reading in this site, some may even be intervening under cover. (i would do that as a professional for ideas fishing and to measure my popularity)

i found very negative your interventions because in all discussions you always were mentioning the half glass that is empty ! this is what i call negative.

Now, thanks to your explanations, i know that you are active at improving the level of swiss hockey and that you are trying to takle the weaknesses. Congratulations. I wish that you will be efficient because although i never played hockey, i love this sport and am all behind our national team and am so eager to see it improve and conquer medals.

About why Murray or Wilson don't hire Swiss hockey players ? I agree that it could be that they politely congratulate on the changes but they do not see in our players a solution that would fit their needs. On the other side, for having worked with anglo-saxons, i know that they are veeery conventional wisdom oriented. When taking decisions, it must be for the best of the organisation and politically correct. Hire a Swiss player is presently not politically correct. What i define by politically correct is the power of the move to protect his ass. Hiring a Swede will never be thrown at someone as a liability in a management meeting, while hiring a Swiss could be a liability.
Like :
" what did you do ? your team lost .... and stats are .... and what you do, you hire a Swiss ! We have so much cap available and you hire a Swiss ... their was X Y Z available, wanting a european player you could have chosen Xsson or Xquist, or even Ychev; but no, you hire a Swiss ! "
That would be a typical management round chair with anglo saxon type conventional wisdom used as arguments.

On the other side, it is true that Danemark has many players in NHL or other nations but look at their salaries ! The level of these players is not higher than swiss players in Switzerland. Therefore saying that Swiss players aren't as good as the Danish because their are more in NHL is not appropriate.

Thanks for your post, thanks for helping to improve the Swiss level Respect !
Thomas Spycher, Geneva
Hello Torero

Thank you for your very objectiv and factual post. I like to go into this as follows:

It's true that I always did tell more or less the opposite of the provocative positive statements/questions but this was also my role. It should be a discussion with theses and different opinions. It would have been very boring if everybody just would agree with everything. Of course it was not Sean Simpson's role to criticize his employer, so he did tell just moderate nice things and he did do this in a very professional, sympathetic way. He is really a good guy. On the other hand it was not just my role to be critical it is also my opinion and I just stand to it.

I agree with your statements about Murray/Wilson and the sometimes conventional NA-wisdom. I guess this is definitely a reason why we don't have more players there but it is not the only reason. No NHL-organisation will overlook a clear NHL-player. They do overlook so called "borderline-players" but not clear NHL-players and I tell here that we don't have clear NHL-players. Sometimes they hire some "borderline"-players and give them a chance (Von Arx, Patrick Fischer, Andres Ambühl) but the result is not so encouraging so far that they will do this much more aggressively in the future.

I didn't tell that the Swiss players are worse than the players from Denmark, we have much more depth and clearly better players in the third and fourth units. But I'm not sure about the top-end. I'm not sure whether our top-players - especially forwards - are better than Regin, Boedker, Eller, Nielsen e.g. (I actually think they are slightly better) and I do know that they have again a very good 93born player (Jensen) who is - at this point of the development - probably better than our best 93born forwards and Norway has a very good goalie-talent in Lars Volden and Germany will come with Kühnhackl and especially with Rieder (2001-draft). Yes, we have Niederreiter and can be proud of him but also our close competitors are not sleeping, they also produce players (Denmark, Norway, Germany), so Niederreiter is not the proof that we are better it is just what we at least need to have to further compete with them. Not to mention Sweden who produced... I guess... 7 SEVEN "first-rounders" in the draft 2009!

Thanks again for a good discussion.

Thomas

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05-20-2010, 04:28 AM
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Mr Roost,

First, thanks a lot for taking the time to clarify your point of view and for allowing us to discuss this topic with a professional such as yourself.

I admit my first reply in this thread was very critical of you. I didn't watch the TV show mentionned in the first post (not because of a lack of interest, more out of lazyness as I'm a French native speaker and watching things in German takes me some effort), and I replied based on what I read here and on an other message board. I regret engaging in this discussion without any first hand knowledge of the topic and I'll make a point of watching the show tonight before the game.

As you can see in my previous posts, I pointed out that the Swedish tier 2 league was of a very high caliber, and that I consider Switzerland closer from teams like Belarus than from the top 7. In fact, following closely the Eliteserien and SM-Liiga, I have pointed out the shortcomings of Swiss hockey many times when replying to overenthusiastic fans and would myself often pass as negative. I am very happy to see that you're point of view is not as extreme as I first thought and actually quite close from mine.

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Originally Posted by Pokechecker View Post
In addition I did read in a quote that I did write a lot of very negative things in the past about Swiss hockey. It would be only fair if you would just tell exact what negative stuff I did write. Actually I can’t remember and if I did so I would like to have a chance to explain but these “sweeping” critics seem to be rather a “cheap bashing” but as I told, give me more specifics and I will answer them.
That quote would be by me. It referred to some stuff you wrote for the hockeyfans.ch website, mostly during the lockout season, which struck me as very "pro-NHL". I just took a quick look at their "Background" section, and found the following article, on which I would love to read your comments:

http://www.hockeyfans.ch/background/050212.htm

My biggest critic is that your analyses are too individual player oriented, which is understandable considering your job, while we as fans are more interested in team success, and that you use NHL success as your only yardstick (again, this is your job) while I would argue that the difference in style of play can make some players more efficient in the context of international hockey, despite them having a less successful NHL career (take Ville Peltonen vs Chris Pronger as an example of this situation).


Last edited by stv11: 05-20-2010 at 05:26 AM.
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05-20-2010, 04:36 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
Mr Roost,

First, thanks a lot for taking the time to clarify your point of view and for allowing us to discuss this topic with a professional such as yourself.

I admit my first reply in this thread was very critical of you. I didn't watch the TV show mentionned in the first post (not because of a lack of interest, more out of lazyness as I'm a French native speaker and watching things in German takes me some effort), and I replied based on what I read here and on an other message board. I regret engaging in this discussion without any first hand knowledge of the topic and I'll make a point of watching the show tonight before the game.

As you can see in my previous posts, I pointed out that the Swedish tier 2 league was of a very high caliber, and that I consider Switzerland closer from teams like Belarus than from the top 7. In fact, following closely the Eliteserien and SM-Liiga, I have pointed out the shortcomings of Swiss hockey many times when replying to overenthusiastic fans and would myself often pass as negative. I am very happy to see that you're point of view is not as extreme as I first thought and actually quite close from mine.



That quote would be by me. It referred to some stuff you wrote for the hockeyfans.ch website, mostly during the lockout season, which struck me as very "pro-NHL". I just took a quick look at their "Background" section, and found the following article, on which I would love to read your comments:

http://www.hockeyfans.ch/background/050212.htm

My biggest critic is that your analyses are too individual player oriented, which is understandable considering your job, while we as fans are more interested in team success, and that you use NHL success as your only yardstick (again, this is your job) while I would argue that the difference in style of play can make some players more efficient in the context of international hockey, despite them having a less successful NHL career (take Ville Peltonen vs Chris Pronger as an example of this situation).
I agree with your quote in the very end. Yes, there is a different style of play between NHL and Europe and yes, some players are more fitted to European style and others more for NA, so there will be always a lot of discussions about player X and Y whether he will succeed in NA or the other way round in Europe. But these discussions will always be about good players and never about very good players. At the end of the day, the very good players will always play in the NHL the sooner or later and if not... it will be the KHL. And again we still don't have enough players where experts see a clear NHL-player without any discussion. As forwards we don't have a Kopitar (Slovenia), or a Vanek (Austria). We also don't have yet a Regin (Denmark), a Sturm, Goc (Germany)...so...this is one of our problems for not being able to push harder towards the medals.

I completely agree about teambuilding and that this is a major factor of success... and I can tell you that the Swiss are VERY good in this, Swiss players are also world-class in tactical behavior and in playing without the puck... nothing to complain about this. If we can add now world-class individual skills... it will be the last (but unfortunately very hard to achieve) puzzle-piece to become a serious medal-contender.

Thomas

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05-21-2010, 03:46 AM
  #17
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Originally Posted by Pokechecker View Post
As forwards we don't have a Kopitar (Slovenia), or a Vanek (Austria). We also don't have yet a Regin (Denmark), a Sturm, Goc (Germany)...so...this is one of our problems for not being able to push harder towards the medals.
Despite both having produced a top notch player, Austria and Slovenia fall way below Switzerland as hockey nations, and you could argue that had they not moved to Sweden and the US respectively, they wouldn't be the player they are now . I see those two players as exception and not as indicators of something right done in their respective countries (no offence to people from Austria or Slovenia here).

Regarding Sturm and Goc, despite their interesting NHL careers, in the context of international hockey they are not significantly better than a Roman Wick, for example. I'd even argue that if Switzerland had five players of Goc's caliber, the marginal gain in talent wouldn't make up for the loss in team chemistry, as those five players wouldn't be able to play in exhibition tournaments. And even if I'm wrong with that last point, the talent level would still fall way short of the top seven (Of course such players would still bring a lot to Swiss hockey simply by establishing presence in the NHL).

Now Regin is a more interesting case. Denmark has now produced four good caliber NHL players, and clearly are a nation on the rise, moreso than Austria, Slovenia or Germany. Still, the proximity of Sweden has a lot to do with this and I wouldn't say their development system is better than Switzerland's.

But in my opinion, comparing Switzerland to Germany, Denmark, Austria or Slovenia brings nothing. They all have significant differences (proximity of Sweden for Denmark, weak national leagues for Austria and Slovenia, country size and high caliber football in the case of Germany...) that make comparisons hard, and in the end their number of NHL players is too small to be considered a significant statistcal sample (Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean that we can't learn anything from them). I think we should rather look at a country like Sweden, which has many things in common with Switzerland (population, living standards, popularity of hockey vs football or other sports...) and see how they got were they are now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokechecker View Post
I completely agree about teambuilding and that this is a major factor of success... and I can tell you that the Swiss are VERY good in this, Swiss players are also world-class in tactical behavior and in playing without the puck... nothing to complain about this. If we can add now world-class individual skills... it will be the last (but unfortunately very hard to achieve) puzzle-piece to become a serious medal-contender.
Your remark about positionning is true, there are no national team player I would be afraid to put on the ice when protecting a lead. One other skill I think Switzerland is good at is skating, I find the pace of the NLA to be better than in the Eliteserien and as good as in the SM-Liiga.

Passing is ok, better than in Finland I think, and physical play, despite a tremedous improvement in the last 10 years, is nothing to write home about, espcially in junior games. There are too few players able to put pressure on the net and we saw during the world championship that with Gardner, Sannitz, Ziegler, Paterlini and Reichert all out of the team, opposing goalies have an easy day. That was especially obvious during the game against Italy.

Now the skills were Switzerland really lags behind are stickhandling and, the most obvious one, goal scoring. When I watch SEL games, I'm amazed how most teams have six forwards that can control the puck as well as only a few NLA players. The only Swiss having NHL caliber hands I can remember is André Rötheli. Now about goal scoring, there is not a single Swiss player than can punish the opponent by burying any puck lost in the slot. And in case someone wants to mention Riesen, trying that "sneaking at the far post and waiting for Von Arx's pass" would only get you to lie on the ice quicker than ever at the international level.

So that was my modest analysis on where the Swiss development system stand. I would love for Thomas Roost or anyone else to confirm or correct those points.

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05-21-2010, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
Despite both having produced a top notch player, Austria and Slovenia fall way below Switzerland as hockey nations, and you could argue that had they not moved to Sweden and the US respectively, they wouldn't be the player they are now . I see those two players as exception and not as indicators of something right done in their respective countries (no offence to people from Austria or Slovenia here).

Regarding Sturm and Goc, despite their interesting NHL careers, in the context of international hockey they are not significantly better than a Roman Wick, for example. I'd even argue that if Switzerland had five players of Goc's caliber, the marginal gain in talent wouldn't make up for the loss in team chemistry, as those five players wouldn't be able to play in exhibition tournaments. And even if I'm wrong with that last point, the talent level would still fall way short of the top seven (Of course such players would still bring a lot to Swiss hockey simply by establishing presence in the NHL).

Now Regin is a more interesting case. Denmark has now produced four good caliber NHL players, and clearly are a nation on the rise, moreso than Austria, Slovenia or Germany. Still, the proximity of Sweden has a lot to do with this and I wouldn't say their development system is better than Switzerland's.

But in my opinion, comparing Switzerland to Germany, Denmark, Austria or Slovenia brings nothing. They all have significant differences (proximity of Sweden for Denmark, weak national leagues for Austria and Slovenia, country size and high caliber football in the case of Germany...) that make comparisons hard, and in the end their number of NHL players is too small to be considered a significant statistcal sample (Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean that we can't learn anything from them). I think we should rather look at a country like Sweden, which has many things in common with Switzerland (population, living standards, popularity of hockey vs football or other sports...) and see how they got were they are now.



Your remark about positionning is true, there are no national team player I would be afraid to put on the ice when protecting a lead. One other skill I think Switzerland is good at is skating, I find the pace of the NLA to be better than in the Eliteserien and as good as in the SM-Liiga.

Passing is ok, better than in Finland I think, and physical play, despite a tremedous improvement in the last 10 years, is nothing to write home about, espcially in junior games. There are too few players able to put pressure on the net and we saw during the world championship that with Gardner, Sannitz, Ziegler, Paterlini and Reichert all out of the team, opposing goalies have an easy day. That was especially obvious during the game against Italy.

Now the skills were Switzerland really lags behind are stickhandling and, the most obvious one, goal scoring. When I watch SEL games, I'm amazed how most teams have six forwards that can control the puck as well as only a few NLA players. The only Swiss having NHL caliber hands I can remember is André Rötheli. Now about goal scoring, there is not a single Swiss player than can punish the opponent by burying any puck lost in the slot. And in case someone wants to mention Riesen, trying that "sneaking at the far post and waiting for Von Arx's pass" would only get you to lie on the ice quicker than ever at the international level.

So that was my modest analysis on where the Swiss development system stand. I would love for Thomas Roost or anyone else to confirm or correct those points.
I definitely agree that the junior-program in Switzerland is basically better than in Austria, Slovenia and Denmark – I actually never did tell the opposite. I just did single out some star-players from these countries (what we don’t have) who did develop in Sweden and/or the US – and this exactly supports my theses, that in these countries they have the best teachers, world-class hockey-teachers. Actually the German junior-program is underrated. Especially in Mannheim they run a very good junior-program! And in Austria I also like what basics the Red Bull Salzburg team is building. And in Belarus they also put a lot of money in hockey-developping-programs, I just don’t know in detail about the quality in Belarus but the junior-teams recently are quite competitive, just slightly behind the Swiss. But again…we absolutely can compete with our junior program with all these countries, we actually have the best, I think…but…we are unfortunately quite far away from the quality of the high-end junior-programs in Sweden and in Ann Arbour (US). And we have to think about how to close this gap.

I agree with your opinion about the physical play in our junior-league. I do also agree that it became better lately, yes this is true. But it’s still quite far away from the intensity of Finnish or Swedish junior-games, not to mention the CHL. This is a real problem in terms of developing exceptional talents. I do agree to a certain point about your view of our skating-level but I want to go into more details. I do agree that our average skating is swift, quick and mobile. E.g. Brunner and Jenni are swift, quick and mobile skaters. What is mostly lacking in our skating is the power and stability. Our players lack the huge leg and waist-power the world-class-skaters have and they lack the stability to resist heavy checking, so that they still stand on their skates after suffering a punishing hit. In this category we still have a lot of room to improve. I don’t quite agree that our junior-passing-level is better than in Finland. I have a slightly other opinion in this. I think Finnish junior-level is still slightly better than ours (in terms of skating and stickhandling) – but it’s not far away. I do agree with your view about the hand-skills, this is one of the biggest gaps we have to try to close in the future. The average Swedes, Russians, Canadiens, US and also Czechs and partly Slovaks have noticeably better hand-skills than our players and this leads to the answer to the question about lack of scoring. Yes, scoring has to do with positioning in front of the net, yes it has to do with composure and strong nerves but basically and most important are the quick hands and hand-skills. You very seldom have a goal-scoring chance with a lot of time and with perfect body- and stick-positioning for a shot. Most of the time you are out of balance, have just a split-second time for creating a deke, a move and/or a shot and if you need just a split-second more time to control the puck than the best then you will score a significant less amount of goals and this is exactly our situation. Because the best Russians, Swedes, Canadiens and US guys have the stronger, the quicker, softer hands and skills... they score more goals.

Coming back to your mentioned article on hockeyfans about the lockout-players. Yes, I agree, if I read this today it sounds a bit too harsh towards our hockey but in a way I also did find a small smile on my face when I did read it again - hey, this is a five year old article! - part of this article is definitely more entertaining than “teaching”. I also have to tell that five years ago (by the time I did write this article) our senior-hockey was not quite on the level as it is today. Our then junior-players like Wick, Sprunger, Bärtschi e.g. did now grow into their primes and will stay on this level for a couple of years, and this is exactly the generation who did come closer to world-class when they were juniors. And this is the generation when the Swedes and the US still had some problems with their juniors. As a scout I always do look into the future and this future worries me a bit if we want to become a medal-contender. My not so optimistic prediction is for the time in 5-10 years. In the next couple of years we will always have a pretty good senior-national-team. Niederreiter and Brunner will replace Plüss and Rüthemann the sooner or later. Josi and Sbisa will replace Streit and Seger e.g. and all this doesn’t look too bad. But in my eyes it doesn’t look like medal-contenders – it’s just not good enough and we have to try to find solutions. The good is the enemy of the best!

I also do agree with you that Wick is as talented as Goc and Sturm. He actually is even more talented skillwise but he didn’t proof yet that he also has the NHL-blood. Goc and Sturm did proof this and I wish that Wick will go to NA this summer and prove that he can translate his tremendous skill into an NHL-player, that he will prove that he also has the mental strength, the frustration-tolerance and the healthy egoism and nastyness to become a top-forward in the NHL. He has to prove that he is really willing to leave his comfort-zone.

Thomas

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06-15-2010, 04:37 PM
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interesting thread actually showing how NLA and Swiss hockey and Swiss hockey players are perceived by NHL scouts !!

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=580967

Kirk- NEHJ is a poster that seems to be a scout ... very interesting to read what he puts their ! that really shows the thought behind. And all posters knowing him defending him while he obviously lacks respect at the beginning of his posts. (his first posts are interesting ... then it turns into an endless "discussion")

It is impressive to see the power of conventional wisdom leveraged in a hierarchical structure.

So this is a clear negative energy against Swiss players in the NHL. (+ the 36 others of course)

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