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Study done on the decline of QC born NHL'ers

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Old
07-22-2010, 12:46 PM
  #1
Bitterman
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Study done on the decline of QC born NHL'ers

Very interesting read posted over at All_Habs:

http://allhabs.blogspot.com/2010/07/...-born-nhl.html

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07-22-2010, 12:52 PM
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Fascinating. Thanks for posting this.

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07-22-2010, 01:02 PM
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Kimota
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In my opinion the germ of the drop off occured in the 80s. It was a time were hockey became quite expensive due to the equipement change and so forth. This became a time were poor members of society had a hard time following the most fortunate as far as special schools and kids' developement. Since there was not a lot of rich Quebecers in the 80s, only an elite few were able to afford to have their sons playing hockey at the high level. And we saw the consequences of that directly in the next decade, in the 90s. Suddenly there were so few guys drafted in the first round, people were scratching their heads. People forget that Patrick Roy comes from a pretty Bourgeois wealthy family and he got access to the best hockey schools where he got to the own his craft. This is the complete opposite of the time the Rocket Richard played where all you needed was a wooden stick and most of the time a blade that you would attach to your own boots. Not too long after that, every male Quebecers were playing hockey from 3 to 93. But hockey has turned into a sport for the wealthy. It's not very accessible.

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07-22-2010, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
In my opinion the germ of the drop off occured in the 80s. It was a time were hockey became quite expensive due to the equipement change and so forth. This became a time were poor members of society had a hard time following the most fortunate as far as special schools and kids' developement. Since there was not a lot of rich Quebecers in the 80s, only an elite few were able to afford to have their sons playing hockey at the high level. And we saw the consequences of that directly in the next decade, in the 90s. Suddenly there were so few guys drafted in the first round, people were scratching their heads. People forget that Patrick Roy comes from a pretty Bourgeois wealthy family and he got access to the best hockey schools where he got to the own his craft. This is the complete opposite of the time the Rocket Richard played where all you needed was a wooden stick and most of the time a blade that you would attach to your own boots. Not too long after that, every male Quebecers were playing hockey from 3 to 93. But hockey has turned into a sport for the wealthy. It's not very accessible.
If it was just about hockey getting more expensive in the 80s wouldn't the WHL drop off as well, if not all of them? What got me was that the number of QC kids being drafted hasn't really changed so enrollment isn't down, something a more expensive sport should impact, no? It's the quality of those picks not being able to make the NHL and stay there that's the concern.

When I grew up, talented kids played more than one sport, not just to stay in shape off-season but because they were naturally good as well. Are the cream of the QC crop shifting to another sport and staying there?

I think an "Own the Podium" hockey program geared to QC born residents would be useful, especially if Quebec City is looking to get a team again at some point.

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07-22-2010, 01:46 PM
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Joe Cole
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Kimota has a good point.

Add in the fact that there are increasingly less 2 parent households, and the time and money commitment that double letter hockey team requires, and you thin the herd again.

Add in the rise of other winter sports, and the rise of gaming and the internet... thinned again.

Add in that hockey Quebec seems to focus on areas which drain all the fun and creativity....

For years I have wanted to start helping with assistant coaching but it amazes me that anyone with a professional career can make it to the arena for 6pm for a game or practice. Factor in inter city travelling...I know I just cannot make it consistently enough to be a full timer. I see the what I believe to be errors in what is taught in on-ice hockey tactics and understanding of the game, and I would love to share my point of view, but the scheduling and time commitments are just not doable.

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07-22-2010, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cole View Post
Kimota has a good point.

Add in the fact that there are increasingly less 2 parent households, and the time and money commitment that double letter hockey team requires, and you thin the herd again.

Add in the rise of other winter sports, and the rise of gaming and the internet... thinned again.

Add in that hockey Quebec seems to focus on areas which drain all the fun and creativity....

For years I have wanted to start helping with assistant coaching but it amazes me that anyone with a professional career can make it to the arena for 6pm for a game or practice. Factor in inter city travelling...I know I just cannot make it consistently enough to be a full timer. I see the what I believe to be errors in what is taught in on-ice hockey tactics and understanding of the game, and I would love to share my point of view, but the scheduling and time commitments are just not doable.
My brother-in-law helps train the kids that play with his kid. They're around three parents by teams and so far by what i've seen they've been doing a good job at helping them progress. They help them be stronger on the body(more than anything that was teached to us when we were kids). The training is about half the time and then the kids get to play hockey for the rest. They teach them all the basics and not being selfish. I think they're doing a good job and I can't see what else they could teach them. Also it's two times a week during the winter season so that's pretty damn demanding already for a family. They say everything should be changed in Quebec minor hockey. But is that really the problem? Maybe there's just not enough kids playing hockey? Maybe because of the cost or other reasons.

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07-22-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
In my opinion the germ of the drop off occured in the 80s. It was a time were hockey became quite expensive due to the equipement change and so forth. This became a time were poor members of society had a hard time following the most fortunate as far as special schools and kids' developement. Since there was not a lot of rich Quebecers in the 80s, only an elite few were able to afford to have their sons playing hockey at the high level. And we saw the consequences of that directly in the next decade, in the 90s. Suddenly there were so few guys drafted in the first round, people were scratching their heads. People forget that Patrick Roy comes from a pretty Bourgeois wealthy family and he got access to the best hockey schools where he got to the own his craft. This is the complete opposite of the time the Rocket Richard played where all you needed was a wooden stick and most of the time a blade that you would attach to your own boots. Not too long after that, every male Quebecers were playing hockey from 3 to 93. But hockey has turned into a sport for the wealthy. It's not very accessible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cole View Post
Kimota has a good point.

Add in the fact that there are increasingly less 2 parent households, and the time and money commitment that double letter hockey team requires, and you thin the herd again.

Add in the rise of other winter sports, and the rise of gaming and the internet... thinned again.

Add in that hockey Quebec seems to focus on areas which drain all the fun and creativity....

For years I have wanted to start helping with assistant coaching but it amazes me that anyone with a professional career can make it to the arena for 6pm for a game or practice. Factor in inter city travelling...I know I just cannot make it consistently enough to be a full timer. I see the what I believe to be errors in what is taught in on-ice hockey tactics and understanding of the game, and I would love to share my point of view, but the scheduling and time commitments are just not doable.
Why are these reasons applicable only to Quebec?

I think Quebec players are going into other sports. Take football. Until the return of the Als football was next to dead in Quebec. Since the return of the Als, Quebec has one of the strongest football programs in Canada. Same with speed skating. Blame Gatean Boucher for luring Quebec boys away from hockey.

Actually I think it's a combination of other sprots stealin the elite athlete and the Q not keeping up with the times when it comes to training players.

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07-22-2010, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
My brother-in-law helps train the kids that play with his kid. They're around three parents by teams and so far by what i've seen they've been doing a good job at helping them progress. They help them be stronger on the body(more than anything that was teached to us when we were kids). The training is about half the time and then the kids get to play hockey for the rest. They teach them all the basics and not being selfish. I think they're doing a good job and I can't see what else they could teach them. Also it's two times a week during the winter season so that's pretty damn demanding already for a family. They say everything should be changed in Quebec minor hockey. But is that really the problem? Maybe there's just not enough kids playing hockey? Maybe because of the cost or other reasons.
Maybe in Quebec, but a few years ago when I played, Ontario had a fair amount of kids. A town with a population of around 1000 was about to have one team. Not very good, but they still had a team.

I think the problem more lies in smaller towns with arenas that are old and the town not having the money to pay for a new one. A lot of small towns played in actual barns.

However, for some odd, odd reason my town wants to add a second arena, well ice surface (pop around 8,000) Arnprior, population around the same has 2. Pembroke and Petawawa, population 13,000 and 15,000 + have 3 arenas I believe and they're not even under the same roof.

We use to play Shawville every 2nd year, because they didn't have enough kids from time to time to play, but they're more like any small town in Ontario than any small town in Quebec. They even wanted to leave Quebec and become part of Ontario, but that's neither here, nor there. I think it's something to do with Quebec, more specifically, Hockey Quebec.

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07-22-2010, 05:35 PM
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IMO, the biggest problem is the corruption in the lower levels that start at Pee-Wee. Players don't play in the right category anymore. It's all politics now. For example, I'm a goalie and I played in Midget BB. When we were having tryouts, I played with the with the AA and was able to stand my ground fairly well. Then, I get a call saying I was cut because they wanted to bring up another goalie who's uncle runs the program in my town. Now, I play BB where I won't develop into a better goaltender, but another goalie, who couldn't stop a beach ball is playing at a too high level and taking the spot of some one deserving. I have millions of stories like these that happenned to me and to people I know. If we stop this corruption, then players will develop better and we might have more Quebec players in the NHL.

BTW, I am nowhere near the possibility of playing pro. I'm not even able to get drafted into the Q so people won't think that I'm full of it!

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07-22-2010, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
In my opinion the germ of the drop off occured in the 80s. It was a time were hockey became quite expensive due to the equipement change and so forth. This became a time were poor members of society had a hard time following the most fortunate as far as special schools and kids' developement. Since there was not a lot of rich Quebecers in the 80s, only an elite few were able to afford to have their sons playing hockey at the high level. And we saw the consequences of that directly in the next decade, in the 90s. Suddenly there were so few guys drafted in the first round, people were scratching their heads. People forget that Patrick Roy comes from a pretty Bourgeois wealthy family and he got access to the best hockey schools where he got to the own his craft. This is the complete opposite of the time the Rocket Richard played where all you needed was a wooden stick and most of the time a blade that you would attach to your own boots. Not too long after that, every male Quebecers were playing hockey from 3 to 93. But hockey has turned into a sport for the wealthy. It's not very accessible.
That's true. That's why so many quebecers are turning on to Soccer, where you need cleats, shin pads and like a 40$ entrance fee. Also, in Quebec there's no Timbits hockey or any hockey program to get youngsters who don't have the money to get started.

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07-22-2010, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ruski17 View Post
IMO, the biggest problem is the corruption in the lower levels that start at Pee-Wee. Players don't play in the right category anymore. It's all politics now. For example, I'm a goalie and I played in Midget BB. When we were having tryouts, I played with the with the AA and was able to stand my ground fairly well. Then, I get a call saying I was cut because they wanted to bring up another goalie who's uncle runs the program in my town. Now, I play BB where I won't develop into a better goaltender, but another goalie, who couldn't stop a beach ball is playing at a too high level and taking the spot of some one deserving. I have millions of stories like these that happenned to me and to people I know. If we stop this corruption, then players will develop better and we might have more Quebec players in the NHL.

BTW, I am nowhere near the possibility of playing pro. I'm not even able to get drafted into the Q so people won't think that I'm full of it!
Same thing happened to me. I tried out for a team, (most likely just a single A team, but could be double, I forget), I was one of the first ones cut. The year before and after I did better than most of the players who made that team. Hell, the year after I was cut, 6, or 7 of those players were on my team and I either scored, or assisted on 60% of our team's goals, but still didn't make it.

There's corruption here too and it's all about who you know. It doesn't help my mom wasn't the richest person and her being a single parent too probably hurt my chances, but that **** happens in Ontario too.

Hockey is really expensive too, like others have said.

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07-22-2010, 06:40 PM
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I stopped playing hockey I was 11, it costed too much for my poor single mom.

I could be a NHL forward now! I was actually a pretty darn good player at that age.

Ok, now, at 27, I'm 5'4", 135 lbs. But I got heart!

Needless to say, many of my friends (all of whom were bigger than me, I always was the smallest player) stopped around the same time. Some, I'm pretty sure, could have made it pro, maybe AHL. One of them could have certainly made it to the NHL, he had it all, except rich parents. We ended up playing together on free outside rinks, but it's not the same.

Stories like Glen Metropolit can't happen in today's Québec. It's impossible. That's where the system's fudged up. By forcing prohibitive costs, they are seriously reducing the talent pool, which is already small in a 7M Province, compared to Europe and the States. I'm actually quite well off, with a solid network security admin job, but if I have a kid, and the prices stay what they are, he's (she?) gonna play soccer. I could afford it, but barely, and the later years would probably suck hard.

Geez, GOLF IS CHEAPER! IT'S WRONG. Our national game shouldn't only be a treat for the rich. It makes no sense!

That was a great study. Really good read.

Also, well, not to say anything bad about rich kids, but I think having more kids from poorer neighborhoods in the Q would up the grit level, and the defensive skill. Less pampered cherry pickers, more kids ready to do EVERYTHING to win because they take nothing for granted. Yes, it's stereotyping, but I still think it's true.

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07-22-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruski17 View Post
IMO, the biggest problem is the corruption in the lower levels that start at Pee-Wee. Players don't play in the right category anymore. It's all politics now. For example, I'm a goalie and I played in Midget BB. When we were having tryouts, I played with the with the AA and was able to stand my ground fairly well. Then, I get a call saying I was cut because they wanted to bring up another goalie who's uncle runs the program in my town. Now, I play BB where I won't develop into a better goaltender, but another goalie, who couldn't stop a beach ball is playing at a too high level and taking the spot of some one deserving. I have millions of stories like these that happenned to me and to people I know. If we stop this corruption, then players will develop better and we might have more Quebec players in the NHL.

BTW, I am nowhere near the possibility of playing pro. I'm not even able to get drafted into the Q so people won't think that I'm full of it!
yeap I agree as well. Same thing happened to me in Quebec. We were 3 or 4 goalies stuck in BB because of some son of a ***** who payed for his kid to play AA. To give you an idea, I played with Jeremy Duchesne, for a few years, who made it to the Flyers this year, and even he wasn't taken in AA hockey here in Quebec city. The guy in AA couldn't even stop a beach ball. He was the worst double-letter goalie I've ever seen in my life.

Only one case, doesn't mean that there's fewer Quebec born players in the NHL because of the corruption but still. It speaks a lot about the quality, or lackthereof, of development that's made in Quebec.

Anyways, not sure if taking the n' of players drafted really is accurate for brushing a good portrait of hockey in a province. I think we're better off looking at players who actually make it to the NHL. We've been on this beaten path a tons of time before but there are far more WHL forwards drafted in the NHL, yet the quantity who make it to the NHL is almost the same as that of Quebec, and I mean quantity not %.

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07-22-2010, 06:59 PM
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Once again, this is a really interesting subject. I like what he said about expansion in the Q driving players away.

I did an informal study of the the Q during the Ray Bourque era and some of those players with amazing stats (Denis Cyr) and French names never came near the NHL, whereas some of the anglos with poor stats at least played a few games in the NHL (Mike Krushelniski), I suspect the teams have a bit of a pro-anglo bias, thinking anglos are hard-nosed team players, etc.

But other than that, firstly yeah the demographics in Quebec have seen the aging of the population, so there's fewer kids, but presumably other places have this same issue.

The incredibly high divorce rate in Quebec also means that the two parent system required to bring a kid around for hockey is another factor making it hard to produce players.

Soccer enrollment has outstripped hockey participation in Canada, I don't know if this has effected this province more than others.

The price of gas, the requirement to have two cars, the entire transportation issue involved in hockey is also very draining for families.

The lure of university is another.

The age where kids grew up learning the sport on frozen ponds near their homes is gone. I always prefer a player from Kenora or Winnipeg over one from Vancouver. The players from warmer climates were created in hockey sausage factories, they played exclusively on teams and in practices under adult supervision, never once having played outdoors seeing the snowflakes land on their tuques.

So maybe kids here would rather play the nintendo than hit the outdoor rink on a winter's evening or afternoon.

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07-22-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitterman View Post
Very interesting read posted over at All_Habs:

http://allhabs.blogspot.com/2010/07/...-born-nhl.html
I started to read then got lazy. I read up till the point where the author said that the number of Qc players has stagnated. However its possible that that is a good thing. I think the number of Canadian players has probably gone down overall.

Depending on the years of his study, I don't remember but Euro's seen a substantial increase in players. This obviously affected the percentage of Canadians in the league. So I think the number of Canadians as a percentage of players has decreased, I'm curious, if the author only looked at the number of players or if he looked at percentages of players...

edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by article
When adjusted for expansion, the percentage of QMJHL players drafted by NHL teams has declined from 11.1 percent to 10.4 percent
Ok I just seen this, so they barely dropped, less than 1%, I think the number of Canadian born players dropped 5-10% at least, so it seems that Qc may have actually fared better than the rest of canada.


ps I'm just making all of this up, so I have no clue if its correct. Am I on track or out to lunch?

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07-22-2010, 07:35 PM
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I think that the problem is related to the no hitting leagues in the QC. Anyone played a tournement outside QC when they were young? Everytime we got hosed like 8-9 to 1. They were use to hitting, maybe but still when you play full contact for the first time at 14-15 when you get in junior (major if you are really good) you are 3-4 years back in your developpement compârted to other canadians.

Quebec should follow the other provinces and allow hitting in the earlier stages. Learn to hit when everybody is small and not wait 1 or 2 years before it becomes important.

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07-22-2010, 07:44 PM
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The main reason Quebec-born players aren't as predominant as they were before the 1980's is because the rest of the world caught up, including the Maritimes and the US.

with the salaries being paid today - the American kid is a lot more apt to go to a foreign country with a foreign language also being the majority - and with the addition of teams out east since 1980 and the fact that the majority of coaches in the league speak English to the players...it has made it much more attractive for kids in the Atlantic provinces. Not having major junior hockey out east stunted the growth of a lot of good hockey players from eastern Canada before the 1980's - why uproot your family and friends to move to a far away province to play hockey on the off-chance you make it to the pros back when you could make as much money back home and marry your high school sweetheart... these days there's a lot more incentive for a star hockey player from Carbonear to try for a pro career - even in the minors you can make close to $100,000 per year.

Quebec players haven't necessarily declined - but they haven't improved enough through the years to maintain their old stats - especially when you have players from all over Europe and the US as well as Atlantic Canada to compete against that weren't really there to compete with in any large number prior to 1980.

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07-22-2010, 09:44 PM
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As the parent of an 11 yr old playing high level hockey, I don't think anybody has mentioned one thing that is not a part of the problem. Everybody is right on with their comments.

In general, the days of a pure natural talent that needs no developing are long gone. In order to develop to their maximum, due to a lack of both icetime, and coaching ability at the team level, parents of top prospects wind up having to arrange for skill development privately outside of what they are given by their team.
This is a huge expense for most parents, and a reason why so few are able to offer it to their children without major sacrifices at a personal level.

The curriculum, even for a young player like mine, includes such things as a powerskating and skating agility instructor, a stickhandling and shooting coach, an off ice strength and stamina coach, and this probably gets even more complicated and expensive as they grow older.

As a family, we have made a choice to forego things that others enjoy, like vacations, fancy cars and houses, expensive clothes, jewelery and good restaurants.
Not everyone is willing or able to do likewise and as such many players that probably could succeed with proper training wind up never reaching their potential.

I have no expectations as to how far he can progress in hockey, but as most parents try to do with all things concerning their children, I am giving him whatever tools I can in order to reach his maximum in something he enjoys. The choice has always been his as to whether he wants the extra coaching, and he wants it at the expense of t.v. watching and computer games as many of his peers prefer. The only place there is no compromise is with school, if this would be a problem he would not do all these things, fortunately he is a 90's average student as well. I actually believe the success in school comes from the same dedication and discipline he has for hockey.

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07-23-2010, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Haberdashery View Post
The main reason Quebec-born players aren't as predominant as they were before the 1980's is because the rest of the world caught up, including the Maritimes and the US.

with the salaries being paid today - the American kid is a lot more apt to go to a foreign country with a foreign language also being the majority - and with the addition of teams out east since 1980 and the fact that the majority of coaches in the league speak English to the players...it has made it much more attractive for kids in the Atlantic provinces. Not having major junior hockey out east stunted the growth of a lot of good hockey players from eastern Canada before the 1980's - why uproot your family and friends to move to a far away province to play hockey on the off-chance you make it to the pros back when you could make as much money back home and marry your high school sweetheart... these days there's a lot more incentive for a star hockey player from Carbonear to try for a pro career - even in the minors you can make close to $100,000 per year.

Quebec players haven't necessarily declined - but they haven't improved enough through the years to maintain their old stats - especially when you have players from all over Europe and the US as well as Atlantic Canada to compete against that weren't really there to compete with in any large number prior to 1980.
I would agree with a lot of this though I'm not sure about about the number of US kids eager to play in a foreign country. If they're anything like their parents, who only 15% of hold a US passport I bet most of them stay closer to home. Looking forward to part 2 to see how the QMJHL rates with the others.

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07-23-2010, 11:39 AM
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And here I thought it was the Habs, Gainey and Timmins's fault that Quebec produced less hockey talent then it used to.

There's something interesting about all this though. If it continues going downwards and scouts around the league pay less attention to the Q, we might just have more chances of finding a gem from our own place.

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07-23-2010, 11:47 AM
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I suspect the teams have a bit of a pro-anglo bias, thinking anglos are hard-nosed team players, etc.
Judging by the growing number of Francophones who are having trouble making the NHL, and those that do playing less physical, how is there a pro-anglo bias? NHL Scouts & GMs would target players born on Mars if they felt there was better talent to give their club an edge.

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07-23-2010, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bitterman View Post
Judging by the growing number of Francophones who are having trouble making the NHL, and those that do playing less physical, how is there a pro-anglo bias? NHL Scouts & GMs would target players born on Mars if they felt there was better talent to give their club an edge.
but but but the world is out to get quebecers

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07-23-2010, 11:55 AM
  #23
Crimson Skorpion
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Didn't Harper introduce this plan for single parents and families with low income to be given discounts on hockey equipment, or something like that?

At the price of hockey skates, and having to buy them every year or every two years, along with the rest of the equipment, I have no idea how I'd get my son and daughter (should either or both want to play) into this sport when it costs a ton of money. To look back, I don't even know how my mother was still able to pay for my stuff when my father was out of the picture.

Stuff is expensive. And now with composite sticks being such a rage with youngsters, there's another 100$ a stick and imagine breaking one every 4-5 games? Yikes.

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07-23-2010, 02:08 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
Stuff is expensive. And now with composite sticks being such a rage with youngsters, there's another 100$ a stick and imagine breaking one every 4-5 games? Yikes.
Even If I was a millionaire I wouldn't buy a 12 year old a 100$ stick, what stupidity.

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07-23-2010, 02:30 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
If it continues going downwards and scouts around the league pay less attention to the Q, we might just have more chances of finding a gem from our own place.
A sense a logic bomb in that statement.

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