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01-27-2013, 09:14 PM
  #1
Cory Trevor
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Regarding Eastern Europeans and Hockey...

Hi Everybody!

I just recently returned from spending three months again in Bulgaria, my girlfriend is from there. It's a beautiful country with a rich and vibrant history. Anyways, the Eastern European culture is in large part, a reflection of those values imposed by Russia throughout the past century. That's not a slight, or a positive note, it's just a fact. Every Bulgarian I met said three things about Russia: "1. We don't like Russian people, 2. Russia freed us from the Turks and 3. We will forever be indebted and thank the Russian people, even though we don't like them."

One of the things that I have noticed(besides the fact that I'm not able to read Russian which helps when watching Russian broadcasting) is that no other country in eastern europe has really had an impact on the hockey world. The Czechs and Slovaks I consider central but I just didn't know why there really hasn't been any additional extension further south in Europe. It certainly is cold enough in the winter to support it and with its proximity to Russia, I didn't see why this area has never been expaned(outside of Kopitar that is)

Thanks!

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01-27-2013, 11:20 PM
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I am originally from Serbia and I have always wondered the same thing. However, winter sports have never been huge in Southeastern Europe for one reason or another, and their winter athletes are on par with the African countries for the most part. Even though for instance Serbia is one of the great pound-for-pound sports nations in the world, it has never won any kind of medal in winter sports in its entire history.

Simply put, sports such as football (soccer), basketball, handball, volleyball, water polo, tennis and some amateur sports have always been the priority.

When SFR Yugoslavia used to exist, the national team was rather solid, but that was mostly due to the Slovenians. Nonetheless, there was a hockey league in which Serbian and Croatian clubs were sometimes crowned champions and arenas were full. The country's breakup largely contributed to the fall of hockey in the other countries. Recently, Croatia has done some progress regarding hockey's popularity thanks to KHK Medvescak which plays in the EBEL League.

In Romania, hockey is only popular within the Hungarian minority and 90% of its national team players are of Hungarian ethnicity.

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02-08-2013, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Trevor View Post
Hi Everybody!

I just recently returned from spending three months again in Bulgaria, my girlfriend is from there. It's a beautiful country with a rich and vibrant history. Anyways, the Eastern European culture is in large part, a reflection of those values imposed by Russia throughout the past century. That's not a slight, or a positive note, it's just a fact. Every Bulgarian I met said three things about Russia: "1. We don't like Russian people, 2. Russia freed us from the Turks and 3. We will forever be indebted and thank the Russian people, even though we don't like them."

One of the things that I have noticed(besides the fact that I'm not able to read Russian which helps when watching Russian broadcasting) is that no other country in eastern europe has really had an impact on the hockey world. The Czechs and Slovaks I consider central but I just didn't know why there really hasn't been any additional extension further south in Europe. It certainly is cold enough in the winter to support it and with its proximity to Russia, I didn't see why this area has never been expaned(outside of Kopitar that is)

Thanks!
1. Russia and Bulgaria have probably on of the most complicated relations between slavic nations. For example Bulgaria fought on the side of the Nazis in WWII then swaped sides in 1944 to name a recent example. The bulgarian xenophobia I don't really get is full of ignorance. I'm not talking about all bulgarians. But this kind of attitude is there. The "we don't like russians" part is pretty laughable. If the regard the soviaet era, why russians? We didn't have only russians in the Soviet Union. It's the same if I'd mix up bulgarians and serbs for some reason. In my experience most bulgarians who talk like that can't really explain what they actually don't like about russians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Trevor View Post
a reflection of those values imposed by Russia throughout the past century.
That's not accurate. First of all why Russia again? And then I could not really see it in different eastern europaen countries. There is abig difference between politics and ordinary people's life. In most case the national culture and tradition actually prevailed over any political ideology from above.

2. I would consider Czechs and Slovaks eastern europeans.

3. It's NOT cold enough in most of those countries. Still there were good hockey schools in the Soviet Union which just fell apart after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Latvia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are the ususal suspects. Well Latvia is too small a country to become a real force, but they a doing well now with Dinamo Riga in the KHL and a formidable national team. Kazakhstan and Ukraine pretty must lost everything there was regarding their hockey schools and will have a tough time coming back. Kazakhstan of course lies mostly in Asia. Still the have the potential, but it would take a lot of time and money now. Ukraine is too warm and a football crazy country. There are ppl now trying to work on their hockey future, but I don't see them succeed big time in the near future. That's the countries with soviet hockey roots. Other eastern european countries dont' really have the tradition, mostly because of the climate.

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02-08-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
1. Russia and Bulgaria have probably on of the most complicated relations between slavic nations. For example Bulgaria fought on the side of the Nazis in WWII then swaped sides in 1944 to name a recent example. The bulgarian xenophobia I don't really get is full of ignorance. I'm not talking about all bulgarians. But this kind of attitude is there. The "we don't like russians" part is pretty laughable. If the regard the soviaet era, why russians? We didn't have only russians in the Soviet Union. It's the same if I'd mix up bulgarians and serbs for some reason. In my experience most bulgarians who talk like that can't really explain what they actually don't like about russians.



That's not accurate. First of all why Russia again? And then I could not really see it in different eastern europaen countries. There is abig difference between politics and ordinary people's life. In most case the national culture and tradition actually prevailed over any political ideology from above.

2. I would consider Czechs and Slovaks eastern europeans.

3. It's NOT cold enough in most of those countries. Still there were good hockey schools in the Soviet Union which just fell apart after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Latvia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are the ususal suspects. Well Latvia is too small a country to become a real force, but they a doing well now with Dinamo Riga in the KHL and a formidable national team. Kazakhstan and Ukraine pretty must lost everything there was regarding their hockey schools and will have a tough time coming back. Kazakhstan of course lies mostly in Asia. Still the have the potential, but it would take a lot of time and money now. Ukraine is too warm and a football crazy country. There are ppl now trying to work on their hockey future, but I don't see them succeed big time in the near future. That's the countries with soviet hockey roots. Other eastern european countries dont' really have the tradition, mostly because of the climate.
Atas, i would like to inform you Latvia is not a eastern european country,we are Northern Europeans,second of all,why cant we become a formiddable force someday,yeah our country is small,but finland is only 5 million big and theyre doing great,its all about the registered players in the country if we can double registered players we will be pretty good.

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02-08-2013, 11:01 AM
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Hockey is today more about sportculture than about it being cold. Since you don't play outside any longer you can play all year round of you have the rinks.
In NHL you have teams from warm subtropical areas (Florida, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles etc).
It's about popularity and money. Hockey is expensive - both when it comes to rink building/upkeep and player equipment. Poor countries will have a hard time finding enough kids with deep-pocketet parents, unless everything is state controlled and paid.

No reason why a country couldn't be a hockey power in the long run, if it really makes an effort towards that goal. Finland has 5 mil and Sweden 9 mil, so no reason why Denmark or Norway also with around 5 mil can't be equally good. Latvia is way smaller population wise with only 2 mil - but you "only" need around 50.000 players to be a real hockey power.
It's just that a national team or club need some big succes to lure large numbers of kids to play, and first then will rinks get build. Media just only focus on sports where the nation have succes so without it nothing will happen. It's a slow process, but it can be done.

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02-08-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinov View Post
Hockey is today more about sportculture than about it being cold. Since you don't play outside any longer you can play all year round of you have the rinks.
In NHL you have teams from warm subtropical areas (Florida, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles etc).
It's about popularity and money. Hockey is expensive - both when it comes to rink building/upkeep and player equipment. Poor countries will have a hard time finding enough kids with deep-pocketet parents, unless everything is state controlled and paid.

No reason why a country couldn't be a hockey power in the long run, if it really makes an effort towards that goal. Finland has 5 mil and Sweden 9 mil, so no reason why Denmark or Norway also with around 5 mil can't be equally good. Latvia is way smaller population wise with only 2 mil - but you "only" need around 50.000 players to be a real hockey power.
It's just that a national team or club need some big succes to lure large numbers of kids to play, and first then will rinks get build. Media just only focus on sports where the nation have succes so without it nothing will happen. It's a slow process, but it can be done.
Probably too big number for Any of denmark,latvia or norway but for all these three 10 000 registered players would be more than enough.

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02-08-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinov View Post
Hockey is today more about sportculture than about it being cold. Since you don't play outside any longer you can play all year round of you have the rinks.
In NHL you have teams from warm subtropical areas (Florida, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles etc).
It's about popularity and money. Hockey is expensive - both when it comes to rink building/upkeep and player equipment. Poor countries will have a hard time finding enough kids with deep-pocketet parents, unless everything is state controlled and paid.

No reason why a country couldn't be a hockey power in the long run, if it really makes an effort towards that goal. Finland has 5 mil and Sweden 9 mil, so no reason why Denmark or Norway also with around 5 mil can't be equally good. Latvia is way smaller population wise with only 2 mil - but you "only" need around 50.000 players to be a real hockey power.
It's just that a national team or club need some big succes to lure large numbers of kids to play, and first then will rinks get build. Media just only focus on sports where the nation have succes so without it nothing will happen. It's a slow process, but it can be done.
Also i reaallly hope for danish/latvian hosted WC in 2018 it`ll be a huge boost for both hockey programms!

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02-08-2013, 11:15 AM
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Probably too big number for Any of denmark,latvia or norway but for all these three 10 000 registered players would be more than enough.
Well its the rinks that sets the limit. Denmark have the finances to make 50.000 if we start getting real succes. Especially if Copenhagen and Århus started to be interested in hockey...it still a provincial town game. Huge areas have no rinks....I'm 125 km from the nearest hockey rink now...might seem normal in Russia?, but in Denmark its like half the with of the country
But 10.000 could be done fairly easily i think if the facilities were there!
For Norway being the wintersport country of the world, it's just a matter of interest building up, since it's not part of their sports culture like Sweden or Finland.

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02-08-2013, 11:17 AM
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Also i reaallly hope for danish/latvian hosted WC in 2018 it`ll be a huge boost for both hockey programms!
It's 2017....we are in bid with France/Germany - will be decided in May 2013.

Since Germany had it in 2010....it should be our turn

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02-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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It's 2017....we are in bid with France/Germany - will be decided in May 2013.

Since Germany had it in 2010....it should be our turn
Oops typo,yep it should be our turn,it would generate alot of interest and exposure is always good.

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02-09-2013, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
1. Russia and Bulgaria have probably on of the most complicated relations between slavic nations. For example Bulgaria fought on the side of the Nazis in WWII then swaped sides in 1944 to name a recent example. The bulgarian xenophobia I don't really get is full of ignorance. I'm not talking about all bulgarians. But this kind of attitude is there. The "we don't like russians" part is pretty laughable. If the regard the soviaet era, why russians? We didn't have only russians in the Soviet Union. It's the same if I'd mix up bulgarians and serbs for some reason. In my experience most bulgarians who talk like that can't really explain what they actually don't like about russians.



That's not accurate. First of all why Russia again? And then I could not really see it in different eastern europaen countries. There is abig difference between politics and ordinary people's life. In most case the national culture and tradition actually prevailed over any political ideology from above.

2. I would consider Czechs and Slovaks eastern europeans.

3. It's NOT cold enough in most of those countries. Still there were good hockey schools in the Soviet Union which just fell apart after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Latvia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are the ususal suspects. Well Latvia is too small a country to become a real force, but they a doing well now with Dinamo Riga in the KHL and a formidable national team. Kazakhstan and Ukraine pretty must lost everything there was regarding their hockey schools and will have a tough time coming back. Kazakhstan of course lies mostly in Asia. Still the have the potential, but it would take a lot of time and money now. Ukraine is too warm and a football crazy country. There are ppl now trying to work on their hockey future, but I don't see them succeed big time in the near future. That's the countries with soviet hockey roots. Other eastern european countries dont' really have the tradition, mostly because of the climate.
Nope we´re Central Europeans through and through Geographically there´s no way either can be considered Eastern European. Historically we share much more with Central Europe and a few decades that everyone remembers right now are not going to wipe out hundreds of years of history. And even if you want to take the most recent history and politics the development in the CZ/SK and the other Central European countries is somewhat different than in Eastern Europe/Southeastern Europe. As for hockey (at least in the years when it became popular in Czechoslovakia) the climate was much much more favorable to hockey than it is in Southeastern Europe.

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02-09-2013, 02:09 PM
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The Czech Republic and Slovakia are in Central Europe, but Europe is usually divided between West and East and these countries fall within Eastern Europe, much like Poland or Hungary who are also in Central Europe. Either way, they have much more in common with Eastern Europe.

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02-10-2013, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
1. Russia and Bulgaria have probably on of the most complicated relations between slavic nations. For example Bulgaria fought on the side of the Nazis in WWII then swaped sides in 1944 to name a recent example. The bulgarian xenophobia I don't really get is full of ignorance. I'm not talking about all bulgarians. But this kind of attitude is there. The "we don't like russians" part is pretty laughable. If the regard the soviaet era, why russians? We didn't have only russians in the Soviet Union. It's the same if I'd mix up bulgarians and serbs for some reason. In my experience most bulgarians who talk like that can't really explain what they actually don't like about russians.



That's not accurate. First of all why Russia again? And then I could not really see it in different eastern europaen countries. There is abig difference between politics and ordinary people's life. In most case the national culture and tradition actually prevailed over any political ideology from above.

2. I would consider Czechs and Slovaks eastern europeans.

3. It's NOT cold enough in most of those countries. Still there were good hockey schools in the Soviet Union which just fell apart after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Latvia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are the ususal suspects. Well Latvia is too small a country to become a real force, but they a doing well now with Dinamo Riga in the KHL and a formidable national team. Kazakhstan and Ukraine pretty must lost everything there was regarding their hockey schools and will have a tough time coming back. Kazakhstan of course lies mostly in Asia. Still the have the potential, but it would take a lot of time and money now. Ukraine is too warm and a football crazy country. There are ppl now trying to work on their hockey future, but I don't see them succeed big time in the near future. That's the countries with soviet hockey roots. Other eastern european countries dont' really have the tradition, mostly because of the climate.

Atas, I'm sorry if I offended you in regards to the way Bulgarians regarding Russians. There are always going to be something of a sticking point. There is no denying the influence. Most of them(Bulgarians) will say they don't like Russians however when you ask them, they are forever indebted and will always have respect for them.

It might be that it gets too warm here in Bulgaria to support it. Like I said it certainly gets cold enough in the winter but their summers are the same as Greece with 40 degree days. Don't get me wrong, their football players are talented but hockey just seems to never have an influence here. The closest thing to it I think would be Romania which use to have a solid program but then again, Romanians along with Moldovans do not speak a language even close to that of Russian based languages as its Roman based.

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02-10-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Justinov View Post
Well its the rinks that sets the limit. Denmark have the finances to make 50.000 if we start getting real succes. Especially if Copenhagen and Århus started to be interested in hockey...it still a provincial town game. Huge areas have no rinks....I'm 125 km from the nearest hockey rink now...might seem normal in Russia?, but in Denmark its like half the with of the country
But 10.000 could be done fairly easily i think if the facilities were there!
For Norway being the wintersport country of the world, it's just a matter of interest building up, since it's not part of their sports culture like Sweden or Finland.
I have a friend who just returned from the Danish Elite league. He enjoyed playing there however I think he became homesick which is understandable. That's an area that I would love to see develop in the hockey world.

The way I look at sports as its relative here in the US(Not in regards to american football) is that winter cities usually tend to a better job of supporting their professional sports franchises. As such, I feel the same could be applied if it were to gain steam in Europe. A linking of those colder nations would be ok with me. More reason for me to travel and scout players in those area

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02-10-2013, 04:12 PM
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Greetings from the UK.

Actually, countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia etc are called Eastern European in the EU.

Therefore, any Polish, Latvian or Czech that comes to the UK is officially considered an Eastern European. And there is nothing wrong with that.


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02-10-2013, 11:15 PM
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Greetings from the UK.

Actually, countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia etc are called Eastern European in the EU.

Therefore, any Polish, Latvian or Czech that comes to the UK is officially considered an Eastern European. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Well than it`s geographically wrong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_republic

Please educate yourself,only countries that can be called eastern european are Ukraine,Belarus and part of Russia.

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02-10-2013, 11:47 PM
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Well than it`s geographically wrong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_republic

Please educate yourself,only countries that can be called eastern european are Ukraine,Belarus and part of Russia.
It just depends how one wishes to split the continent, whether it's between Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western or even Central Europe. Therefore a country like Latvia is both Eastern Europe and Northern Europe, just like Bulgaria is in Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, therefore it is located in Southeast Europe along with the rest of the Balkans.

It also depends of the definition you use. Quite a few authors will group the countries differently than what you suggest, and there's nothing wrong with that.

There is no need to tell people to educate themselves, simply because there is no one single answer, and it's really not that important either way.

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02-11-2013, 12:09 AM
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Nope we´re Central Europeans through and through.
More Western Slavs through and through

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02-17-2013, 06:12 AM
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More Western Slavs through and through
Hardly, considering that throughout the history at least some or all of these groups: West Slavs, Germans, Hungarians, Vlachs, Eastern Slavs, Romas, Jews lived and mixed together in this area it can be hardly said that we are any kind of Slavs through and through. It's one of the reasons why I think that Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland and Hungary should be grouped as Central Europe, because they share a lot of identity and history that is somewhat different from that of the countries further east. Though of course as has been mentioned earlier they can be both Eastern and Central European. Actually I think that if it came to actual geographical division of Europe, parts of the Central European countries would be in Western and part in Eastern Europe as most if not all of them claim that the geographical centre of Europe is in their country.

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02-18-2013, 01:36 AM
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Atas, i would like to inform you Latvia is not a eastern european country,we are Northern Europeans,second of all,why cant we become a formiddable force someday,yeah our country is small,but finland is only 5 million big and theyre doing great,its all about the registered players in the country if we can double registered players we will be pretty good.
Come on, we are not Northern European country. Sure we can cite some designations by the UN or whatever and in our own country among themselves try to say that we are Northern Europe and maybe we indeed are (and I suppose in 20-30 years if economy continues to improve and we are even more integrated in Scandinavian circle with more Swedish and Norvegian companies and more ties here, someone would start to consider us Northern European but it will take a lot of time). We cann tell whatever we want but ask any person (not only from Russia or Western Europe what we are and the answer will be "half Russians in Eastern Europe") That's just reality. IMHO Czechs have already escaped this designation and are considered Central Europe already and maybe the same will happen with us (or at first Estonia) but we are not there yet...

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