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OT: Does the success of the Bruins directly affect our state's hockey talent?

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10-04-2006, 07:23 PM
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reidy
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OT: Does the success of the Bruins directly affect our state's hockey talent?

I just thought about this, and I think it makes sense. Back in the 70's and 80's, the Bruins were a BIG part of the Boston sports scene. They were successful and "cool." During that time, some of the best American hockey players were growing up in this area - Tkachuk, Guerin, Roenick, and Amonte, just to name a few.

Since the early 90's, however, the Bruins haven't been the powerhouse they were during the 70's and 80's, and the Red Sox and Patriots took a lot of the spotlight away from the B's. Is it only coincidence that there has been a major dropoff in Massachusetts talent, as well? The only 2 first-rounders from MA I can think of who have been drafted in the last 4 years are Brian Boyle and Cory Schneider, both playing at BC right now. I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones I know of off the top of my head. Further, it seems to me as though the best Americans right now are mostly from Minnesota - you only need look at the Winter Olympics roster from this past year to see that.

So, does anyone else agree that the success and popularity of the Boston Bruins has a major effect on this area's hockey talent? I've always been a proud fan (and participant) of Mass. hockey, and it saddens me that a state that has produced some of the most successful American hockey players of all-time has seen such a major drop-off in home-grown talent.

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10-04-2006, 08:03 PM
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I would think it has to effect it in someway. Lots of kids these days are already going towards the BMX/X-games type sports, and hockey may be a distant third or fourth anyways.

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10-04-2006, 08:57 PM
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Isn't Rick DiPietro from Mass? And didn't he get drafted 1st overall? (It was more than 4 years ago, I know, but it was still recently.)

I understand what you mean though by the drop in the number of kids playing hockey, but I don't necessarily think it's just a Boston/New England thing. Because of the lockout many kids weren't getting into hockey and therefore weren't wanting to play it. I'm sure in a couple of years the numbers of kids playing, and playing well, will rise again

~Chrissy

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10-04-2006, 08:57 PM
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greatly. call it the bobby orr effect. many, many rinks were built when mr. orr came to town.

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10-04-2006, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissy0418 View Post
Isn't Rick DiPietro from Mass? And didn't he get drafted 1st overall? (It was more than 4 years ago, I know, but it was still recently.)
~Chrissy
Yep, Rick "The 15 Year $67.5 Millon Man" DiPietro is in fact from Winthrop, MA and played his college hockey at Boston University.

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10-04-2006, 09:32 PM
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I think there are still a lot of MA kids playing hockey, although I have no idea what the numbers are vs. the Orr-era boom. Would be interesting to find out. Just go to a Pure Hockey annual tent sale and wait in line for two hours and you can tell there are a lot of kids still playing.

My son's a first year bantam and has been playing since he was five. Maybe the quality of youth programs has gone down a bit? These days just about anyone can make a select program if the parents want to pay the money since there are so many levels. They've been watered down, similar to AAU basketball.

Also kids today have so many options and hockey is a LONG season. That's the main reason most kids I know have quit -- it makes it hard to play a variety of sports. It's a big commitment -- time wise and financially.

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10-04-2006, 09:38 PM
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Personally, I think this is a moot point. No offense, but I was at a soccer game for little kids in the middle of New Hampshire tonight. The depth of the training and levels of soccer at this age, coupled with the costs ($1800/year), and travelling required by the parents makes me think that a 10th-tier game that gets that much attention must pale in comparison to hockey. One of the top-scoring forwards (for soccer)in this age-group bailed for hockey, which he has always played, but parents said "choose one". Of course he picked the better sport.


What I'm getting at is successful teams "do" trigger more a little more enthusiasm, but it's the *home-grown* effort, AND parental guidance that produces the eventual effect.

Oh yes. YANKEES SUCK! Go Bruins!

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10-04-2006, 11:46 PM
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Not anymore. Hockey is embedded in the New England area now. Yes, Orr had a huge impact with the building of rinks and all but rinks are still being built at a high rate around the area these days without any regard to how the B's perform.

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10-04-2006, 11:50 PM
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Plus a lot of kids from out of town attend the boarding/prep schools in this area for the hockey quality.

Not really an in-state thing, but hockey is still pretty strong. Especially at the girls level.

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10-05-2006, 09:06 AM
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I agree on the Bobby Orr effect.

I think the 1980 Miracle On Ice had quite a bit of influence too.

Seems to me also that the Orr era is tied to the 1980 team as well. How many of the Massachusetts kids on that team started watching the Bruins in 1968 and said "WOW! I wanna be like that!"?

Tough to get an 'era' going here in the time of Jacobs era turning the talent over, over and then over again.

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10-05-2006, 10:27 AM
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The Prep Schools work as funnels to the various Hockey East schools, because if a kid can succeed at a Cushing, Taft, Tabor or St. Marks, then he can succeed (academic wise) in college. This is a major reason many coaches (sans d2-d3) are wary of Junior players due to concerns that they might now keep up with the academic curriculum.

Has the overall hockey pool in the New England Area dipped? No, I think the overall talent every where else has risen. So now kids from California, Florida, etc are playing the game due the the exposure of the new clubs. Therefore when Team USA is put together now, it features more kids outside of the perennial outlets for hockey prowess, like New England and Minnesota.

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10-05-2006, 10:15 PM
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Jeff from Maine
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Not At All

I`ll bet that current numbers of kids enrolled in hockey programs in Mass. are much higher than at any other time in history.

The Bruins success or lackthereof is of little consequence. Kids will play regardless of how well the local pro team is doing.

The college hockey scene is much more infuential on young kids than the pro game is.

Later

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10-05-2006, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chippa13 View Post
Not anymore. Hockey is embedded in the New England area now. Yes, Orr had a huge impact with the building of rinks and all but rinks are still being built at a high rate around the area these days without any regard to how the B's perform.
Tend to agree. The revolution already happened with Orr's B's and the effect they had on the local culture. It likely would help a little bit if the Bruins were good and hockey was fashionable in the mainstream again...but at this point there wouldn't be some big noticable change.

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10-06-2006, 08:58 AM
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Ludwig Fell Down
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton1 View Post
Tend to agree. The revolution already happened with Orr's B's and the effect they had on the local culture. It likely would help a little bit if the Bruins were good and hockey was fashionable in the mainstream again...but at this point there wouldn't be some big noticable change.
I'll second that. When I was trying to find a weekend hour of ice for the team that I started, I talked to about every rink in Eastern MA and was hard-pressed to find an hour (Hobomock moved a few programs around to make room for us). I'd say hockey popularity is at an all-time high. There are two more rinks slated to open on this end of the world.

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10-06-2006, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff from Maine View Post
I`ll bet that current numbers of kids enrolled in hockey programs in Mass. are much higher than at any other time in history.

The Bruins success or lackthereof is of little consequence. Kids will play regardless of how well the local pro team is doing.

The college hockey scene is much more infuential on young kids than the pro game is.

Later
I think this nails it.

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