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International Tournaments Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

Where would you say each major national team is in cyclical terms.

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Old
12-11-2012, 02:09 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
....and the sport isn't popular in Michigan? Minnesota? Wisconsin? New York? There are plenty of kids playing, they just simply aren't being taught properly.
I'd argue that it isn't popular to the level it is in Sweden, and most of the best athletes in those states end up playing basketball/football/baseball/soccer instead of hockey.

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12-11-2012, 03:07 AM
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I'd argue that it isn't popular to the level it is in Sweden, and most of the best athletes in those states end up playing basketball/football/baseball/soccer instead of hockey.
It may not be, but it's not suffering from participation in those states. Minnesota high school hockey is not popular? We have more than enough kids, with more than effort passion for the sport. It's a very popular sport from Minnesota to New England. We have plenty of amazing athletes playing hockey, one of some of the best skaters, the biggest hitters, athletically we have no problem in this sport. That's why our teams are consistently playing a style based on skating, speed and not based on skill. The best athletes argument fails to pass the smell test. We are not suffering from unathletic hockey players, we are lacking in skilled hockey players. Skills can be taught. They are taught in Sweden where sports such as soccer, handball, skiing and other sports are also popular. We have more kids playing hockey than almost any other country aside from Canada. I doubt that there is any skew that unathletic and untalented kids pick hockey for some reason. The same excuse is heard in soccer and the same reason is true there as in hockey. Skill can be taught and skill must be taught.

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12-12-2012, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
It may not be, but it's not suffering from participation in those states. Minnesota high school hockey is not popular? We have more than enough kids, with more than effort passion for the sport. It's a very popular sport from Minnesota to New England. We have plenty of amazing athletes playing hockey, one of some of the best skaters, the biggest hitters, athletically we have no problem in this sport. That's why our teams are consistently playing a style based on skating, speed and not based on skill. The best athletes argument fails to pass the smell test. We are not suffering from unathletic hockey players, we are lacking in skilled hockey players. Skills can be taught. They are taught in Sweden where sports such as soccer, handball, skiing and other sports are also popular. We have more kids playing hockey than almost any other country aside from Canada. I doubt that there is any skew that unathletic and untalented kids pick hockey for some reason. The same excuse is heard in soccer and the same reason is true there as in hockey. Skill can be taught and skill must be taught.
The US is dong just fine and anyone who takes a minute to look at the numbers will quickly see it. I agree that the US does not have a lot of the big name flashy forwards right now, but their depth is only exceeded by Canada. For example look at the top 50 scorers from the NHL last season. 25 were from Canada, 8 were American, 5 Swedes, 4 Russians, 3 Czechs and 2 Finns. Sure the Americans aren't as well represented in say the top 10 scorers right now, but a lot of that is just the chance of the cycle. Top to bottom the US are solidly number 2, by a fair margin.

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12-12-2012, 06:16 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
It may not be, but it's not suffering from participation in those states. Minnesota high school hockey is not popular? We have more than enough kids, with more than effort passion for the sport. It's a very popular sport from Minnesota to New England. We have plenty of amazing athletes playing hockey, one of some of the best skaters, the biggest hitters, athletically we have no problem in this sport. That's why our teams are consistently playing a style based on skating, speed and not based on skill. The best athletes argument fails to pass the smell test. We are not suffering from unathletic hockey players, we are lacking in skilled hockey players. Skills can be taught. They are taught in Sweden where sports such as soccer, handball, skiing and other sports are also popular. We have more kids playing hockey than almost any other country aside from Canada. I doubt that there is any skew that unathletic and untalented kids pick hockey for some reason. The same excuse is heard in soccer and the same reason is true there as in hockey. Skill can be taught and skill must be taught.
Ya... I think I agree with this. I find the whole "our good athletes don't play hockey (or soccer)" arguement kind of weird. It's not like in the US some government agency goes around testing the natural athletecism of young children and then funnels those kids into various sports depending on the test results. If someone wants to say a larger percentage of good athletes in the US choose a sport other than hockey sure... but the smaller percentage kids who do end up choosing hockey and going somewhere with it in life are still great athletes. The way some people frame the "good American athletes don't play hockey" arguement you would think most American's in the NHL are dudes who started playing the sport at the age of 16 after being cut from the high school football or basketball team.

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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
The US is dong just fine and anyone who takes a minute to look at the numbers will quickly see it. I agree that the US does not have a lot of the big name flashy forwards right now, but their depth is only exceeded by Canada. For example look at the top 50 scorers from the NHL last season. 25 were from Canada, 8 were American, 5 Swedes, 4 Russians, 3 Czechs and 2 Finns. Sure the Americans aren't as well represented in say the top 10 scorers right now, but a lot of that is just the chance of the cycle. Top to bottom the US are solidly number 2, by a fair margin.
Ya based on the raw numbers this shouldn't be surprising. American's now make up about 25% of the league so last year they were actually underrepresented in the Top 50. They were also underrespresented in the Top 100 and 200. I wonder if this has anything to do with what Xokkeu is sorta saying... Perhaps American kids are in general fast, strong, athletetic, etc enough to make the NHL in large (and growing) numbers but lack the technical skill it takes to be "elite" offensive players. It could also be a total cyclical cawinkydink and thinking to hard about it is just over analysing stuff.

With all that being said I think people overrate the amount of elite (or really just any) NHL talent a country needs to field a competitive and even contending national team.

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12-12-2012, 07:36 PM
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Ya... I think I agree with this. I find the whole "our good athletes don't play hockey (or soccer)" arguement kind of weird. It's not like in the US some government agency goes around testing the natural athletecism of young children and then funnels those kids into various sports depending on the test results. If someone wants to say a larger percentage of good athletes in the US choose a sport other than hockey sure... but the smaller percentage kids who do end up choosing hockey and going somewhere with it in life are still great athletes. The way some people frame the "good American athletes don't play hockey" arguement you would think most American's in the NHL are dudes who started playing the sport at the age of 16 after being cut from the high school football or basketball team.



Ya based on the raw numbers this shouldn't be surprising. American's now make up about 25% of the league so last year they were actually underrepresented in the Top 50. They were also underrespresented in the Top 100 and 200. I wonder if this has anything to do with what Xokkeu is sorta saying... Perhaps American kids are in general fast, strong, athletetic, etc enough to make the NHL in large (and growing) numbers but lack the technical skill it takes to be "elite" offensive players. It could also be a total cyclical cawinkydink and thinking to hard about it is just over analysing stuff.

With all that being said I think people overrate the amount of elite (or really just any) NHL talent a country needs to field a competitive and even contending national team.

The way I see it is you ask yourself, would Ray Lewis or Lebron James have become better hockey players than Parise or Kane simply because of their inherent talent? Or would they have gone through the same development system, played similar hours of hockey in similar situations, and likely ended up just a big bruising defenseman/forechecker?

There is nothing inherent in human beings that says, you will have good hands at hockey, and you won't no matter what. It's a skill that is developed with hours and hours of practice. We simply don't give our kids enough practice hours in the right situation to develop puck skills as good as other countries. WE have great skaters and athletes playing hockey and one way to look at why is to see an older youth hockey game where 8 year olds are playing 5v5 full ice. Is that going to develop close puck control and creativity? Or are they just going to chase the fastest guy on the ice all game? Hopefully we are slowly learning from that.

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12-12-2012, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
Ya based on the raw numbers this shouldn't be surprising. American's now make up about 25% of the league so last year they were actually underrepresented in the Top 50. They were also underrespresented in the Top 100 and 200. I wonder if this has anything to do with what Xokkeu is sorta saying... Perhaps American kids are in general fast, strong, athletetic, etc enough to make the NHL in large (and growing) numbers but lack the technical skill it takes to be "elite" offensive players. It could also be a total cyclical cawinkydink and thinking to hard about it is just over analysing stuff.

With all that being said I think people overrate the amount of elite (or really just any) NHL talent a country needs to field a competitive and even contending national team.
The US has produced loads of elite technical players, such as Modano, Roenick, Weight, LaFontaine, Tkachuk, Chelios, Housley, Leetch, Richter, etc. but every country cycles up and down in this regard and the US is no different.

I agree that people way over estimate the amount of talent on paper you need to win a best on best tournament. One thing that makes them so exciting is that by being so short there is a high degree of randomness in who wins. Over time the countries with better teams on paper will win more often but lesser teams always have a good shot too. I would also say that most hockey fans read way, way too much into single game or single tournament victories.

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12-12-2012, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
The US has produced loads of elite technical players, such as Modano, Roenick, Weight, LaFontaine, Tkachuk, Chelios, Housley, Leetch, Richter, etc. but every country cycles up and down in this regard and the US is no different.

I agree that people way over estimate the amount of talent on paper you need to win a best on best tournament. One thing that makes them so exciting is that by being so short there is a high degree of randomness in who wins. Over time the countries with better teams on paper will win more often but lesser teams always have a good shot too. I would also say that most hockey fans read way, way too much into single game or single tournament victories.
I think we have different definitions of elite technical players if you are including Chelios and a goalie.

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12-12-2012, 10:16 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
The US is dong just fine and anyone who takes a minute to look at the numbers will quickly see it. I agree that the US does not have a lot of the big name flashy forwards right now, but their depth is only exceeded by Canada. For example look at the top 50 scorers from the NHL last season. 25 were from Canada, 8 were American, 5 Swedes, 4 Russians, 3 Czechs and 2 Finns. Sure the Americans aren't as well represented in say the top 10 scorers right now, but a lot of that is just the chance of the cycle. Top to bottom the US are solidly number 2, by a fair margin.
To say their depth is only exceeded by Canada, I think, is stretching it too far. In my opinion, Russia has much better depth, you just need to expand your horizons past the NHL. Sweden and Finland could also match up very well with them in terms of depth, although here I'm not familiar enough to make a judgement call.

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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
There is nothing inherent in human beings that says, you will have good hands at hockey, and you won't no matter what. It's a skill that is developed with hours and hours of practice. We simply don't give our kids enough practice hours in the right situation to develop puck skills as good as other countries. WE have great skaters and athletes playing hockey and one way to look at why is to see an older youth hockey game where 8 year olds are playing 5v5 full ice. Is that going to develop close puck control and creativity? Or are they just going to chase the fastest guy on the ice all game? Hopefully we are slowly learning from that.
Couldn't agree more with you. Everyone talks about how talented this and that player is, but they're making that call after the players have put in the requisite hours and it's only made based on the results of that.

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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
TI agree that people way over estimate the amount of talent on paper you need to win a best on best tournament. One thing that makes them so exciting is that by being so short there is a high degree of randomness in who wins. Over time the countries with better teams on paper will win more often but lesser teams always have a good shot too. I would also say that most hockey fans read way, way too much into single game or single tournament victories.
Hear, hear!

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12-13-2012, 06:49 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
I think we have different definitions of elite technical players if you are including Chelios and a goalie.
maybe, it is a subjective term. why can't a goalie be elite or technical?

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12-13-2012, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
The US is dong just fine and anyone who takes a minute to look at the numbers will quickly see it. I agree that the US does not have a lot of the big name flashy forwards right now, but their depth is only exceeded by Canada. For example look at the top 50 scorers from the NHL last season. 25 were from Canada, 8 were American, 5 Swedes, 4 Russians, 3 Czechs and 2 Finns. Sure the Americans aren't as well represented in say the top 10 scorers right now, but a lot of that is just the chance of the cycle. Top to bottom the US are solidly number 2, by a fair margin.
It's not by chance. The importance of winning games has superseded skill development at the youth level. Our development system is inefficient.
At the end of this article is a cool Q & A with USA Hockey's Kenny Rausch discussing the situation. It mirrors what poster Xokkeu is saying.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/pa...-starts-bottom

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12-13-2012, 08:03 AM
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It's not by chance. The importance of winning games has superseded skill development at the youth level. Our development system is inefficient.
At the end of this article is a cool Q & A with USA Hockey's Kenny Rausch discussing the situation. It mirrors what poster Xokkeu is saying.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/pa...-starts-bottom
I respect his opinion but I still would say this is a natural cycle more than anything else. I don't think there have been that drastic changes in the play vs practice method in Europe and NA in a long time, so I don't believe it would all of a sudden have a huge impact when it didn't in the past. One thing that always cracks me up about the play vs practice argument is that kids don't handle the puck enough in games. Anyone who has watched kids play knows that what happens is there is usually one or two players who dominate and handle the puck way more than anyone else and those are the ones who might have a remote shot at a career in hockey. Practice is critical but no amount of practicing is going to change a pylon into a pro.


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12-13-2012, 08:13 AM
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To say their depth is only exceeded by Canada, I think, is stretching it too far. In my opinion, Russia has much better depth, you just need to expand your horizons past the NHL. Sweden and Finland could also match up very well with them in terms of depth, although here I'm not familiar enough to make a judgement call.
It's funny because when you compare most hockey fans opinions vs facts and figures you get the same thing over and over. Russia is by far the most overrated hockey country and the US is by far the most underrated. The US has roughly 5 times more kids playing hockey than Russia, roughly 5 times more arenas and before the KHL started had approximately 5 times more NHLers than Russia. Also the US has made it to the finals in 4 of the last 7 major mens tournaments, whereas Russia has only made it to the finals once in that period.

There are a whole bunch of reasons as to why the perceptions of Russia's greatness and the US's weakness exist but they are much more myth than reality.

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12-13-2012, 10:03 AM
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I respect his opinion but I still would say this is a natural cycle more than anything else. I don't think there have been that drastic changes in the play vs practice method in Europe and NA in a long time, so I don't believe it would all of a sudden have a huge impact when it didn't in the past. One thing that always cracks me up about the play vs practice argument is that kids don't handle the puck enough in games. Anyone who has watched kids play knows that what happens is there is usually one or two players who dominate and handle the puck way more than anyone else and those are the ones who might have a remote shot at a career in hockey. Practice is critical but no amount of practicing is going to change a pylon into a pro.
It's not a play vs practice time allocation issue, it's about how we approach play and practice and what elements within each we put importance on. As the game has grown the attitude of our hockey community has changed. As Kenny Rausch said, its gotten too professional. Too much emphasis is put on winning and not learning. As a parent who has 3 kids in hockey it's noticeable compared to when I played. There's more politics, parents have less appreciation for the game, kids don't seem to have as much fun and hot shot talents frequently aren't told what they're doing wrong.
We had a similar situation in Sweden. An overemphasis on winning with systems superseded skill development. As a consequence the skills of a generation of players evaporated. I'd also hesitate to call that a dip in the natural cycle.

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12-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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To say their depth is only exceeded by Canada, I think, is stretching it too far. In my opinion, Russia has much better depth, you just need to expand your horizons past the NHL. Sweden and Finland could also match up very well with them in terms of depth, although here I'm not familiar enough to make a judgement call.

Couldn't agree more with you. Everyone talks about how talented this and that player is, but they're making that call after the players have put in the requisite hours and it's only made based on the results of that.

Hear, hear!
Russia has a better depth at what position? Forward? I don't disagree that Russia's top end forwards are superior (we don't have anyone close to a Malkin or Ovechkin) but depth-wise? Also, you're not familiar enough on Sweden and Finland to make a "judgement call", but that's exactly what you're doing! The reality is the U.S. has very good DEPTH at all positions, with the exception (IMO) at center. We also lack the truly high-end forwards that other countries have. I think that's a skill issue-and one that I think will be addressed by USA Hockey's changes to their approach and more kids playing in the CHL.

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12-13-2012, 11:25 AM
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It's not a play vs practice time allocation issue, it's about how we approach play and practice and what elements within each we put importance on. As the game has grown the attitude of our hockey community has changed. As Kenny Rausch said, its gotten too professional. Too much emphasis is put on winning and not learning. As a parent who has 3 kids in hockey it's noticeable compared to when I played. There's more politics, parents have less appreciation for the game, kids don't seem to have as much fun and hot shot talents frequently aren't told what they're doing wrong.
We had a similar situation in Sweden. An overemphasis on winning with systems superseded skill development. As a consequence the skills of a generation of players evaporated. I'd also hesitate to call that a dip in the natural cycle.
Obviously there are differences in philosophy in how to teach hockey (or any other sport) as you move from place to place but I think it is too easily overstated how effective one can be vs another. The primary driver behind how many top level pro's a place produces is the overall number of people they have participating in the sport. Sure some developmental systems will be better than others. A good system may produce 15% more pro's per enrolled players than a bad one. A great system may produce 20% more. But if anyone tries to tell me that their system is so much better that they produce +300% more elite players per capita then I would say they are 100% full of crap.

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12-13-2012, 01:55 PM
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Obviously there are differences in philosophy in how to teach hockey (or any other sport) as you move from place to place but I think it is too easily overstated how effective one can be vs another. The primary driver behind how many top level pro's a place produces is the overall number of people they have participating in the sport. Sure some developmental systems will be better than others. A good system may produce 15% more pro's per enrolled players than a bad one. A great system may produce 20% more. But if anyone tries to tell me that their system is so much better that they produce +300% more elite players per capita then I would say they are 100% full of crap.
With our numerical advantage a I expect us to have superior depth. But why haven't we produced a high-end elite forward since the late 1960 early 70 generation? It's coming up on 20 years now. This can't be explained as a normal ebb and flow cycle. It's an obvious issue of development, or lack thereof. Our greatest potential superstar forward on the horizon is Galchenyuk and he's not even American trained.

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12-13-2012, 02:02 PM
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With our numerical advantage a I expect us to have superior depth. But why haven't we produced a high-end elite forward since the late 1960 early 70 generation? It's coming up on 20 years now. This can't be explained as a normal ebb and flow cycle. It's an obvious issue of development, or lack thereof. Our greatest potential superstar forward on the horizon is Galchenyuk and he's not even American trained.
Do you guys have hockey prodigies?

I think American development systems are great, but do they have the "rink in the backyard, playing 80 hours a week" kind of kids who start at age 3?

Once organized hockey takes over, I don't see any real advantage of Canada over the US.

More players to some extent, but elite American minor hockey teams are very good (I'm thinking Compuware, Honeybaked etc.).

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12-13-2012, 02:41 PM
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Do you guys have hockey prodigies?

I think American development systems are great, but do they have the "rink in the backyard, playing 80 hours a week" kind of kids who start at age 3?

Once organized hockey takes over, I don't see any real advantage of Canada over the US.

More players to some extent, but elite American minor hockey teams are very good (I'm thinking Compuware, Honeybaked etc.).
They exist, but they typically don't get funneled through "the system", and if they do they don't last long (see: Pat Kane). Think about the top shelf skill players the U.S. has developed over the last 20+ years and a good percentage of them came from the CHL. I think that will continue until the changes within USA Hockey kick in.

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12-13-2012, 03:35 PM
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With our numerical advantage a I expect us to have superior depth. But why haven't we produced a high-end elite forward since the late 1960 early 70 generation? It's coming up on 20 years now. This can't be explained as a normal ebb and flow cycle. It's an obvious issue of development, or lack thereof. Our greatest potential superstar forward on the horizon is Galchenyuk and he's not even American trained.
I agree with your general point but I don't think it is that bleak. I think you could easily argue that Kane, Parise and even Kessel are high-end elite forwards*. At the very least they have had a season or 2 or more where they produced like high-end elite forwards*.

*I guess part of the problem with these conversations is we all probably have different definitions of what a "high-end elite forward" is.

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12-13-2012, 03:42 PM
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I'd say Canada is in the Beatles white album phase, things are getting really weird but its still good.

Russias in the shirtless guy with an ak47 phase, firepower and not much else.

U.S.A. is in the Chastity belt phase, all they have is D.

Czechs are in the Lance Armstrong phase. They've lost everything and at the end of the ole day, they only have one nut.

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12-13-2012, 05:12 PM
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With our numerical advantage a I expect us to have superior depth. But why haven't we produced a high-end elite forward since the late 1960 early 70 generation? It's coming up on 20 years now. This can't be explained as a normal ebb and flow cycle. It's an obvious issue of development, or lack thereof. Our greatest potential superstar forward on the horizon is Galchenyuk and he's not even American trained.
Whether it is a dip in the cycle or development related or both there is really no way to prove it so we'll have to agree to disagree. Even if what you are saying is true is it necessarily a problem? Lots of countries have the flashy forwards yet can't come close to the success the US has had at the elite men's level. If you had to choose would you rather have a deep, well balanced team that does well at best on best tournaments or one with big names that usually doesn't go far?

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12-13-2012, 05:58 PM
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The US beat Canada soundly and almost beat Canada in their last two match-ups of their elite squads.

I'm not sure there is that much to worry about.

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12-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
Obviously there are differences in philosophy in how to teach hockey (or any other sport) as you move from place to place but I think it is too easily overstated how effective one can be vs another. The primary driver behind how many top level pro's a place produces is the overall number of people they have participating in the sport. Sure some developmental systems will be better than others. A good system may produce 15% more pro's per enrolled players than a bad one. A great system may produce 20% more. But if anyone tries to tell me that their system is so much better that they produce +300% more elite players per capita then I would say they are 100% full of crap.
Then why in football does England not produce tecnnically gifted players relative to the rest of the world? A game that dominates the sports market, incredibly high participation rate and a domestic league perceived to be the best in the world.

50 Million people. Popularity akin to hockey in Canada, yet much higher participation. Huge domestic league. Wealthy nation. Infact, money isn't even a huge issue for the sport, given it's a cheap sport and the majority of our best players are comprised of people from the lower class/less capital rich families.

Yet, there is a clear technical divide between our youth footballers and those in other leading European nations/South America. Are you telling me it's simple cyclical? That for 40 years, in a powerful economic nation that loves the sport, it is simply he nature of the cycle?

No. It's because at the youth level too much is concentrated on winning, deriving in strategies and simple skills over developing higher end skills. This is probably very comparable with where the US currently resides in hockey. A clear systematic issue exists here.

The US has very large numbers of players. Sure, many good athletes choose other sports, yet this is the case for every other nation. You think Russia has every best athlete choosing hockey? Even if you align with that irrational theory, the sheer population disparity between the US and Sweden and the player pool disparity means that problem would be overcome anyway.

People need to understand cyclical development doesn't mean years of developing little high end followed by a "golden generation". Cyclical pertains to fluctuations year on year. Over a 5 year period, the depth in each class should be relatively close. Elite players globally are produced randomy, but not 5-10 years apart if your system is big enough ; unless there is a systematic problem.

Sweden and Finland have had large gaps between their golden generations and what perceive today as a revival. Were these gaps random chance ; the function of the cycle of talent distrubtion and development? You'd have to be pretty naive to believe that it is. Economics and popularity can play a part, but based on the two case studies of Finland and Sweden, the concensus is that talent development struggled due to systematic issues at the youth level. It would be logical to assume the US lacks elite players at Forward because of systematic issues, rather than random chance implementing itself over a sustained amount of time.

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12-14-2012, 10:12 PM
  #74
Hanji
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Do you guys have hockey prodigies?

I think American development systems are great, but do they have the "rink in the backyard, playing 80 hours a week" kind of kids who start at age 3?
I don't believe the typical hockey kid skates for hours on ponds like he used to. Too much else to do nowadays.
When the US is behind Europe in skill development and the game isn't woven into the fabric of our society like Canada, it's no wonder we haven't produced a potential HOF forward in nearly 20 years.
We can no doubt field great teams but why settle for less? There's always room for improvement. Skill development is an area we can improve upon. I'm glad USA Hockey realizes as such and is proactively making changes.

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12-19-2012, 04:33 AM
  #75
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How much do you think we can learn in this topic from the upcoming WJC?

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