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02-19-2014, 10:38 AM
  #351
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Originally Posted by Caser View Post
I hate to say this, but finita la comedia

This is over, probably more devastating loss then Vancouver, at least there was a hope back then - some good games like Vs. Czechs and the loss against Canada still left hopes for Sochi, but now... what's left now?
We wait 4 years...as usual. I am kind of getting used to that. I don't even remember the last time we medaled....

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02-19-2014, 10:53 AM
  #352
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Major props to Ovechkin (whom I don't think very highly of as a hockey player) for being the guy to step up and speak to the media:

http://olympics.cbc.ca/videos/video/...s-finland.html

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02-19-2014, 02:09 PM
  #353
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We wait 4 years...as usual. I am kind of getting used to that. I don't even remember the last time we medaled....
soon we'll be like czechs, with whom we are gonna win? with kuznetsov and tarasenko?
i hope there'll be more players from the khl from now on. there're too many passenger from the nhl in our team. would nichushkin have got a spot in the roster had he stayed in russia? yeah, right.

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02-19-2014, 03:58 PM
  #354
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Does not matter if KHL or NHL Russians simply must work with the young players and develop them.

There is no other way sad but true.
Say goodbye to Ovechkin, Kovalchoke, Radulov, Semin and this types of odd players.
And might you will win.


Last edited by Raptor1990: 02-19-2014 at 04:37 PM.
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02-20-2014, 10:08 AM
  #355
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soon we'll be like czechs, with whom we are gonna win? with kuznetsov and tarasenko?
i hope there'll be more players from the khl from now on. there're too many passenger from the nhl in our team. would nichushkin have got a spot in the roster had he stayed in russia? yeah, right.
I like Kuznetsov a lot....Tarasenko as well.

I mean they are not dominant as Ovechkin, but our dominant players didn't really step up anyways. Finland was bleeding hard because of injures and still managed to win the game. Just once again shows that names aren't everything.

We might not have players who has been as dominant as Ovechkin and Kovalchuk, but I think we'll get a group of players capable of winning Olympics.

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03-14-2014, 08:33 AM
  #356
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Originally Posted by Raptor1990 View Post
Does not matter if KHL or NHL Russians simply must work with the young players and develop them.

There is no other way sad but true.
Say goodbye to Ovechkin, Kovalchoke, Radulov, Semin and this types of odd players.
And might you will win.
They should have went with Malykhin

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04-10-2014, 10:43 AM
  #357
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I think there is a lot of merit in having a KHL base for a national team. It seems to me that the biggest problems in Sochi were lack of a basic plan of attack and a unified defensive strategy. Its easier for a home-based national teams (e.g., Soviet national teams) to develop a plan, a philosophy and specific strategies that everyone can be brought in to carry out, as opposed to having a few NHL stars dropping by to play for themselves, as we seemed to see in Sochi. An example of what I am talking about is Malkin, who seemed to be playing more for Team Malkin than for Russia.

If building a national team around a few NHL stars worked, then I would favor continuing on as usual. But after 3 straight Olympic tournaments without a medal, its time to quit doing the same old thing, and to make some major changes.

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04-11-2014, 10:30 PM
  #358
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I think there is a lot of merit in having a KHL base for a national team. It seems to me that the biggest problems in Sochi were lack of a basic plan of attack and a unified defensive strategy. Its easier for a home-based national teams (e.g., Soviet national teams) to develop a plan, a philosophy and specific strategies that everyone can be brought in to carry out, as opposed to having a few NHL stars dropping by to play for themselves, as we seemed to see in Sochi. An example of what I am talking about is Malkin, who seemed to be playing more for Team Malkin than for Russia.

If building a national team around a few NHL stars worked, then I would favor continuing on as usual. But after 3 straight Olympic tournaments without a medal, its time to quit doing the same old thing, and to make some major changes.
Why? The problem wasn't on the players chosen, twice it was on being outcoached (2006 and 2014) and once just being outplayed (2010).

As for Malkin, it was obvious that he had the wrong linemate in Ovechkin. They just aren't the fit for each other. Malkin was doing just fine with other linemates at the 2012 Worlds. Had Bilyaletdinov shuffled lines a bit, the outcome could have been different. But we all know that changing lines or strategies during a game/tournament has never been Russia's forte.

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04-13-2014, 04:41 PM
  #359
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Why? The problem wasn't on the players chosen, twice it was on being outcoached (2006 and 2014) and once just being outplayed (2010).

As for Malkin, it was obvious that he had the wrong linemate in Ovechkin. They just aren't the fit for each other. Malkin was doing just fine with other linemates at the 2012 Worlds. Had Bilyaletdinov shuffled lines a bit, the outcome could have been different. But we all know that changing lines or strategies during a game/tournament has never been Russia's forte.
Getting rid of Bykov and Bilyaletdinov were the easy solutions (the RHF might want to take a second look at Bykov after Sochi). Bilyaletdinov probably should have been dumped after the 2013 Worlds, but by then it was too late. If Russia wants to have a better performance and keep getting better, something entirely different will have to be done. The system still isn't producing enough good players to win an international competition where all the best players are there.

In the end, they had to put guys like Kulyomin, Anisimov, Popov, Tarasenko, Tereschenko, Voynov, Nikitin, and Tyutin, and those guys aren't good enough to compete in a tournament where all the best players were there. Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk didn't play well enough to justify the whole system focused around them. The absence of strategy and tactics can best be fixed, IMO, by thinking outside the box and creating some semblance of a disciplined national team model. A national team model could only be created in Russia, and would have to be built around the KHL. The big NHL stars would of course be welcome, but they would have to make themselves available to buy into the team concept.

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04-18-2014, 08:01 AM
  #360
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In the end, they had to put guys like Kulyomin, Anisimov, Popov, Tarasenko, Tereschenko, Voynov, Nikitin, and Tyutin, and those guys aren't good enough to compete in a tournament where all the best players were there. Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk didn't play well enough to justify the whole system focused around them.
I think if good ol Stalin Znarocks set up a team made of from starved and winning hungry VHL-MHL players they will beat everything. Even on Olympics.

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04-19-2014, 07:01 PM
  #361
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I think if good ol Stalin Znarocks set up a team made of from starved and winning hungry VHL-MHL players they will beat everything. Even on Olympics.
The down side of a KHL-based national team concept is that, unfortunately, the best Russian talent is still flowing to NHL and the CHL, even if the results don't justify it. The up side is, as you say, KHL players are likely to be hungrier and willing to subordinate themselves to a team plan and strategy, just like the highly successful Finns do. Any way you look at it, after the third straight year of coming up empty, the intrinsic value of having Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk has really fallen.

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04-20-2014, 08:27 AM
  #362
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Any way you look at it, after the third straight year of coming up empty, the intrinsic value of having Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk has really fallen.
I think a re-driling practice will be usefull for these all-star players. Here is a good example. Znarocks is perfect type of couch though.

The point is that if they start to play the typical selfish non-interested team gameplay like always Znarocks will use this metode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLT4tSLU9G0

Right in the back.

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04-20-2014, 11:19 PM
  #363
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I think a re-driling practice will be usefull for these all-star players. Here is a good example. Znarocks is perfect type of couch though.

The point is that if they start to play the typical selfish non-interested team gameplay like always Znarocks will use this metode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLT4tSLU9G0

Right in the back.
Znarok was probably the only real option after Coach Bil imploded in Sochi.

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04-21-2014, 10:45 AM
  #364
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Znarok was probably the only real option after Coach Bil imploded in Sochi.
Bragin would have been a better option, but you can't beat the Dynamo Clan.

Watch out for more of the same from the different angle. Yeryomenko in net along with basically a very similar roster. And Ovechkin as captain.

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04-23-2014, 09:44 AM
  #365
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Bragin would have been a better option, but you can't beat the Dynamo Clan.

Watch out for more of the same from the different angle. Yeryomenko in net along with basically a very similar roster. And Ovechkin as captain.
I am also skeptical of what Znarok will accomplish. He will still face a relative lack of depth in the talent category, especially on defense, where the defects are so marked that it makes Gold Medals, or even medals for that matter, extremely unlikely.

It probably would have helped somewhat if Bil would have done simple, obvious things, like changing line combinations to get Malkin and Ovechkin off the same line, where Malkin's selfish play negated any real positive effect that could be derived from Ovechkin's ability to score. But in the end, the team was undone against Finland by two dreadful defensive plays by Nikitin and Voynov. After the score was 2-0, you could just feel that the guys realized that the tournament was over.

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04-23-2014, 12:00 PM
  #366
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The down side of a KHL-based national team concept is that, unfortunately, the best Russian talent is still flowing to NHL and the CHL, even if the results don't justify it. The up side is, as you say, KHL players are likely to be hungrier and willing to subordinate themselves to a team plan and strategy, just like the highly successful Finns do. Any way you look at it, after the third straight year of coming up empty, the intrinsic value of having Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk has really fallen.
We still need our key NHL players if we want to win anything. Namely Tuomo Ruutu and Mikko Koivu.

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04-23-2014, 02:13 PM
  #367
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I am also skeptical of what Znarok will accomplish. He will still face a relative lack of depth in the talent category, especially on defense, where the defects are so marked that it makes Gold Medals, or even medals for that matter, extremely unlikely.

It probably would have helped somewhat if Bil would have done simple, obvious things, like changing line combinations to get Malkin and Ovechkin off the same line, where Malkin's selfish play negated any real positive effect that could be derived from Ovechkin's ability to score. But in the end, the team was undone against Finland by two dreadful defensive plays by Nikitin and Voynov. After the score was 2-0, you could just feel that the guys realized that the tournament was over.
For some philosophical aspect, I'm going to post translated parts from Finnish hockey magazine Jääkiekkolehti's article on the post-match treatment of Bilyaletdinov here:

After getting "eaten alive" by Russian reporters post-game:

"Team Finland head coach Erkka Westerlund was astonished at the "grilling" of his Russian colleague.

- Sports shouldn't be like that. That was not what the meaning of sports is supposed to be, Erkka rolled his eyes and watched from the corner of his eyes how the Russian media literally cornered Bilyaletdonov.

YLE commentator Hannu Jortikka reminded before the post-game interviews had even begun that the mentality that "this is how sports goes, respect the result and move on" does not exist in Russia. "Absolutely not. In Russia, it's always someone's fault. Always." Jortikka declared.

For Westerlund, such a predatory search for someone to blame was completely alien.

- For me, sports is more a journey than a destination or a result. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, then you set new goals and move on.

- We approached this game by thinking that we have a tremendous opportunity to lay everything on the line and see how far we can go. If that's enough and we win, great, but if not, we move on.Most important is that we got everythign that's inside us, on that ice."

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04-24-2014, 10:19 AM
  #368
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For some philosophical aspect, I'm going to post translated parts from Finnish hockey magazine Jääkiekkolehti's article on the post-match treatment of Bilyaletdinov here:

After getting "eaten alive" by Russian reporters post-game:

"Team Finland head coach Erkka Westerlund was astonished at the "grilling" of his Russian colleague.

- Sports shouldn't be like that. That was not what the meaning of sports is supposed to be, Erkka rolled his eyes and watched from the corner of his eyes how the Russian media literally cornered Bilyaletdonov.

YLE commentator Hannu Jortikka reminded before the post-game interviews had even begun that the mentality that "this is how sports goes, respect the result and move on" does not exist in Russia. "Absolutely not. In Russia, it's always someone's fault. Always." Jortikka declared.

For Westerlund, such a predatory search for someone to blame was completely alien.

- For me, sports is more a journey than a destination or a result. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, then you set new goals and move on.

- We approached this game by thinking that we have a tremendous opportunity to lay everything on the line and see how far we can go. If that's enough and we win, great, but if not, we move on.Most important is that we got everythign that's inside us, on that ice."
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Westerlund.

Seriously, its easy for Westerlund to say that, when his team performed so well and, in my mind, but for the untimely illness of Rask, could have easily played for and won the Gold Medal. For Russia, its a story of a former perennial champion under the Soviet banner who now can't even buy a vowel. There is a lot of frustration after having fallen into the "also participated" category for the third consecutive Olympics. And with the games being held at home, the frustration was even greater. Maybe expectations in Finland are sufficiently lower that Westerlund won't have to fear being hung from a tree by angry fans for not having won the Gold, but I'll bet that if Finland finished in 5th or 6th place in the Olympics for 3 consecutive times, he would find that his "destination" was the unemployment lines.

The press was tough on Bill, but he made it much worse by responding to the "eaten alive" comment. He should have just said "next question." Its hard to defend Bil because, by most accounts, he did a really horrible job. He did an absolutely miserable job at the Worlds last year, but his job was probably saved by the sheer proximity to the Olympics. In my mind, Russia did not play even one single good game at the Olympics, and that falls on Bill. They struggled against Slovenia, Slovakia and Norway. They had a real opportunity to beat the US, but they found a way to lose. Once they went down 2-0 against Finland, admittedly as the result of 2 extremely demoralizing defensive atrocities, they skated around like zombies for the rest of the game. Except for Datsyuk, all of our big name NHL stars were exposed.

Its true that Russian journalism is like no other in the World, but I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't see the same behavior in Canada and the United States, for example, if the results were the same. Maybe the fact that sports in Scandinavia are a "destination, not a result" would tone down the press, but the coaches would certainly be fired the next day.

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04-24-2014, 01:37 PM
  #369
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Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Westerlund.

Seriously, its easy for Westerlund to say that, when his team performed so well and, in my mind, but for the untimely illness of Rask, could have easily played for and won the Gold Medal. For Russia, its a story of a former perennial champion under the Soviet banner who now can't even buy a vowel. There is a lot of frustration after having fallen into the "also participated" category for the third consecutive Olympics. And with the games being held at home, the frustration was even greater. Maybe expectations in Finland are sufficiently lower that Westerlund won't have to fear being hung from a tree by angry fans for not having won the Gold, but I'll bet that if Finland finished in 5th or 6th place in the Olympics for 3 consecutive times, he would find that his "destination" was the unemployment lines.

The press was tough on Bill, but he made it much worse by responding to the "eaten alive" comment. He should have just said "next question." Its hard to defend Bil because, by most accounts, he did a really horrible job. He did an absolutely miserable job at the Worlds last year, but his job was probably saved by the sheer proximity to the Olympics. In my mind, Russia did not play even one single good game at the Olympics, and that falls on Bill. They struggled against Slovenia, Slovakia and Norway. They had a real opportunity to beat the US, but they found a way to lose. Once they went down 2-0 against Finland, admittedly as the result of 2 extremely demoralizing defensive atrocities, they skated around like zombies for the rest of the game. Except for Datsyuk, all of our big name NHL stars were exposed.

Its true that Russian journalism is like no other in the World, but I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't see the same behavior in Canada and the United States, for example, if the results were the same. Maybe the fact that sports in Scandinavia are a "destination, not a result" would tone down the press, but the coaches would certainly be fired the next day.
Firing national team coaches isn't exactly the Finnish way. The last one to get fired/released was Raimo Summanen after the 2004 World Cup. Our coaches are usually on 2-3 year deals anyway, because there's a line to become the next NT coach.

I think if Westerlund had been in a similar position, the questions would have been very different. More like why were there no changes in the lines, tactics(line balance and distances between the forwards and defensemen), goalie rotation and stuff like that. Without giving too much credit to a certain individual, Finnish hockey media is very well educated on the tactical side and stories and interviews rely heavily on tactical issues.

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04-25-2014, 02:02 PM
  #370
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Firing national team coaches isn't exactly the Finnish way. The last one to get fired/released was Raimo Summanen after the 2004 World Cup. Our coaches are usually on 2-3 year deals anyway, because there's a line to become the next NT coach.

I think if Westerlund had been in a similar position, the questions would have been very different. More like why were there no changes in the lines, tactics(line balance and distances between the forwards and defensemen), goalie rotation and stuff like that. Without giving too much credit to a certain individual, Finnish hockey media is very well educated on the tactical side and stories and interviews rely heavily on tactical issues.
Russia has only had 2 coaches in the last 8 years. Because it was obvious that both the team and the program itself is headed in the wrong direction, there was no possibility that retaining Bilyaletdinov could be considered. No one would have tolerated retaining him. If the youth expansion programs don't bear fruit within the next 4-5 years, maybe Tretiak will be next.

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04-25-2014, 03:01 PM
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Russia has only had 2 coaches in the last 8 years. Because it was obvious that both the team and the program itself is headed in the wrong direction, there was no possibility that retaining Bilyaletdinov could be considered. No one would have tolerated retaining him. If the youth expansion programs don't bear fruit within the next 4-5 years, maybe Tretiak will be next.
It is all about development. This is the biggest problem. Russia lacks depth and is paying for it.

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04-25-2014, 07:10 PM
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It is all about development. This is the biggest problem. Russia lacks depth and is paying for it.
For comparison, Kärpät head coach Lauri Marjamäki is already an assistant in the national team and will continue next season when Kari Jalonen takes over as head coach. He will in turn take over after Jalonen moves on. I'd imagine U-20 head coach Karri Kivi will then be in his team as an assistant and be next in line.

Edit: just to add, we don't have even closely similar situation in our junior national teams or junior club teams in general. There's a huge lack of skilled coaches there.


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04-26-2014, 09:54 AM
  #373
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It is all about development. This is the biggest problem. Russia lacks depth and is paying for it.
If it is managed somewhat correctly, the creation and expansion of youth programs should address some of the depth issues. But it is still the case that there a just a few pockets dotted around the map where kids have a decent chance of having their talents developed.

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04-26-2014, 12:37 PM
  #374
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Hockey schools are still producing exceptionally skilled players, so I wouldn't suggest hiring many NA specialists at the school level, it could wreck skill development because perception in Canada is just ridiculously different.

Maybe hire NA specialists at the MHL level? But make them go through a mandatory course/class on maintaining consistency with certain Russian criteria, style etc to avoid the inevitable collusion of oil and water.

Too bad Russian greats aren't getting involved in coaching. The past era of greats include Bure, Fedorov, Mogilny, Larionov, none of which are coaching. Yuskevich, Zubov only former star calibre players to get involved. In 5 years or so these guys may be great coaches, but needs to be more. For example, what the hell happens to guys like Sergei Samsonov, Berezin etc?


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04-26-2014, 01:20 PM
  #375
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Hockey schools are still producing exceptionally skilled players, so I wouldn't suggest hiring many NA specialists at the school level, it could wreck skill development because perception in Canada is just ridiculously different.

Maybe hire NA specialists at the MHL level? But make them go through a mandatory course/class on maintaining consistency with certain Russian criteria, style etc to avoid the inevitable collusion of oil and water.

Too bad Russian greats aren't getting involved in coaching. The past era of greats include Bure, Fedorov, Mogilny, Larionov, none of which are coaching. Yuskevich, Zubov only former star calibre players to get involved. In 5 years or so these guys may be great coaches, but needs to be more. For example, what the hell happens to guys like Sergei Samsonov, Berezin etc?
If by "NA Specialist" you mean North American coaches, I don't favor hiring North Americans at all. I don't know of any special insight that North Americans have to offer. In Canada, youth hockey is based on the premise of mass development, or to put it another way, sheer numbers. In a nation of 33 million people, every small community within Canada has indoor and outdoor rinks, organized teams, and sufficient coaching to ensure that if anyone in the country has the ability to be a good hockey player, he will have more than ample opportunity to learn to skate, join a team, and get some fundamental development training. Canadians are very forthright in saying that a lot of the special skills training that they do was largely borrowed from Soviet hockey school methodology that they learned back in the '70's and '80's, when they used to travel to the Soviet Union to study it.

By contrast, the percentage of Russian kids who have easy access to the tools to build a hockey career is so small as to be almost anecdotal. My friend Allacbeth who posts here lives in the city of Kemerovo near Novokuznetsk, a city of half a million people for whom winter lasts six months a year. Allacbeth tells me that despite these characteristics, there is almost no hockey at all in Kemerovo. Any kid who has athletic ability and wants to skate plays bandy, which is wildly popular. So many parts of Russia have failed to develop any hockey infrastructure at all. The best hope is that the KHL, which is driving the expansion of organized youth hockey, will continue to build such infrastructure in order to feed needed raw materials to its league.

Hockey schools should be created everywhere, and all of the schools should adopt the methodology found at Traktor hockey school, which sets the gold standard for youth hockey development in my opinion. The best feature of Russian hockey, in my opinion, is the schools. Soviet player development, training and conditioning was the best in the World in its time, and all of those approaches should be revisited, IMO, to see which still apply today. The Canadian approach is really nothing more than spending money to fund mass participation, which is nothing that we didn't already know.

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