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Does ethnic origin relate to toughness?

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01-30-2004, 03:14 PM
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Where I come from (Ukraine), there aren't any enforcers but there are some tough guys in Vitaly Vishnevski and even Ruslan Fedotenko.

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01-30-2004, 03:15 PM
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IMO, yes and no.

There are players willing and able to play the 'goon' role from every country. However, only Canadian hockey allows fighting at the sub-pro level. Those 'goon' players from other nationalities don't make it very far unless they have other skills. If they don't, they typically end up out of hockey rather than going pro.

The result is that the overwhelming majority of enforcers hail from Canadian Junior programs simply because that is the only place that still develops them.

A second factor is that typically on the top-end players are brought over from Europe. Role players (i.e. enforcers) can be filled by North American leagues. Why would a European player come over to play a bit role or bounce around the minors unless they are paid hansomly for it? Why would an NHL team handsomly pay a European for a role that a North American can do for considerably less?

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01-30-2004, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hillbilly
American's aren't aloud to fight in junior hockey. so they don't grow up with that role when they are 16. They have to learn coming out of college. so I guess it's harder to learn

here are some american tough guys

Cummins(he's listed as being born in America on hockeyfights.com)
Andre Roy
Brad Norton
Ty Jones (AHL)
John Craighead
Chris Tamer
Chris Clark
Jesse Boulerice

BTW wasn't Tuzzolino born in the U.S.
Please do a little research before doing any name dropping. Although born in the US, Donald Brashear was adopted and raised by white french canadian parents from Québec. He never played in the US minor hockey system. He did however play for the US in the World Championship one year as the Americans were short, very short on players that year and had just been traded to VAN where he played on the first line with Pavel Bure.

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01-30-2004, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BLACKBURN
Ive read a couple of threads about various countries and players of various races and origins and thought id ask if it realted to toughness. I only am asking as it seems a lot of names from the UK are tough players in the NHL or were.

Examples of curreny guys are -

McCarthy (well he was tough)

many more and also names that I wasnt sure of origin like Doull, Erskine, Johnson etc.

Past players like -


Now im not trying so start a "my countrys tougher then yours" debate, but I just thought it would be interesting to see if there is any corrolation between tough guys and ethnic origin.
I don't think ethnicity has anything to do with player traits. The Canadian hockey system is by its nature a more physical, grittier system, especially in the West. All you have to do is look at the American collegiate game, the European game and you'll notice the quality of players is distinct on a very broad level. The settlement patterns of Canada could probably be attributed to the gritty, hardworking, blue collar culture that is prevalent to Canadian hockey. It's just certain things are stressed at a younger age, so you naturally get particular kinds of players. Particular attitudes are going to be brought into the game from everyday life. Also, when you consider that outside of urban areas, Canada still has a predominately Anglo Saxon country, so of course you're going to find higher numbers of Anglo tough guys, coaches, GM's, etc. And finally, when you can name a truckload of soft players of British descent and a truckload of tough players who are from other parts of the world, it really undermines the whole ethnic notion.

Last edited by Stephen: 01-30-2004 at 11:45 PM.
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