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General Talk '12 — Finland

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Old
02-10-2012, 08:20 PM
  #151
Needles
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
What's the point of that observation, if they still got to play? It's not like those who started as extras were ever destined for anything greater than to be utility players.
I was just trying to make a subtle point against the argument, that Jalonen is trying his darnest to bring a generation change. If he's actually trying that, he's doing a half-assed job. The German National Football Team and Joachim Löw's body of work are a much better example. You don't make a generation change with 27-29 year old players.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
It is a good argument, but a rather bad example. I somewhat doubt the Granlund we see today would be far apart from the Granlund who has not had that particular tour under his belt.
I wasn't talking about Granlund per se. I was talking about what a 20-year-old kid thinks he's learned from his EHT experience. And can he use that experience to become even better in the future. Plus, that was the best quote I could find.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
And what comes to the eternal problem of not having goalscorers, I don't think inducting even more bottom-sixers is exactly the most effective remedy for that, no matter how young.
Sakari Salminen would have been on that list, but he was selected to Sweden Hockey Games. I wouldn't call Vili Sopanen a bottom-sixer. He's had some bad years but the scoring potential is still there. Suikkanen's "school" could be the best thing that has happened to him in years. And there's always Pulkkinen&Armia and I wouldn't declare Rajala a bust just yet.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Somehow I doubt playing in EHT explains this away. I'd rather seek the main reason from another three-letter acronym, namely KHL.
Well, Mikael Granlund doesn't play in the KHL And I agree to a certain extent that those top talents don't necessarily need too much EHT experience. On the other hand, it's that 99% who would benefit the most.

Tough and intense games develop players in every sport and KHL is the second best league in the world. So Russians like Kuznetsov and Tarasenko might have a slight edge over Finnish prospects. That's why I would expose our top prospects to EHT the second the start to dominate shifts in SM-Liiga. Case in point, Joel Armia.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
There are different requirements for a player in top-six and bottom-six role. For the latter, sometimes it is enough that you're sound defensively and stay up with the speed. For someone in top-six however, it is completely justified to demand more. They're the ones who need to be on top of their game and find the net if we want to see our team win constantly. Being decent simply won't cut it.
Granted. But that raises the question why not permanently replace guys like Anttila & Tuppurainen with Rask & Pakarinen, for example. IMO there's no question that threats < possibilities. If you look at the big picture, one or two losses at EHT doesn't look like much.


Last edited by Needles: 02-10-2012 at 08:28 PM.
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02-11-2012, 05:52 AM
  #152
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Today's EHT game against Czech Rep. is shown on MTV3. Apparently Ahonen is sick and Ortio will fly to Sweden to be the secondary goalie. Pasi Nurminen was the back-up goaltender for the warm-ups.





Last edited by Haite: 02-11-2012 at 06:00 AM.
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Old
02-11-2012, 06:12 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
I was just trying to make a subtle point against the argument, that Jalonen is trying his darnest to bring a generation change. If he's actually trying that, he's doing a half-assed job. The German National Football Team and Joachim Löw's body of work are a much better example. You don't make a generation change with 27-29 year old players.
I never said the words "generation change", since I actually despise 'em. Generational thinking is what got us into this mess of needing that "change" so furiously. The passing main generation has been there from mid-to-late 90s and apart from few a cases from the early 2000s who have broken the ranks more out of necessity than anything they've been the faces we've had the joy and honor of following ever since.

A healthy player pool contains decent talent from all ages. 27-to-29-year-old players can still go for 5-to-7 years and in that time we usually have average eight, maybe nine major tournaments with equally many chances to win gold.

I actually applaud Jalonen for trying to keep our pool's age structure as stepless as possible. Changing a generation in one swell sweep where you still have aging guys as the main motor and the holes patched with junior players and nothing in between is not a good thing. If you need a case in point, look at the mess Slovakia is in currently.

What I do think is stupid is bringing a 35-year-old or so "newcomer" into a major tournament for one exit stage left and admittedly, Jalonen has been guilty of this once or twice. Though he's yet to pick a team full of 'em and I hope that doesn't even come to pass with our junior production picking up speed and whatnot.


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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
I wasn't talking about Granlund per se. I was talking about what a 20-year-old kid thinks he's learned from his EHT experience. And can he use that experience to become even better in the future. Plus, that was the best quote I could find.
Well, that is what Granlund thinks, not a generalization. And he's one of the smarter players we have out there, to boot. I don't mean to instill intellectual elitism, but what little experience I have of interacting with hockey players, they generally aren't very smart. And no, I don't mean they're "hurr-durr" stupid either (they can certainly tie their own skates), but not too many of 'em are actually capable of in-depth soul searching. Age notwithstanding.

And this is in fact a good thing somewhat. The team generally operates the best when the smartest guy in it is standing behind the bench, not sitting on it.


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Sakari Salminen would have been on that list, but he was selected to Sweden Hockey Games. I wouldn't call Vili Sopanen a bottom-sixer. He's had some bad years but the scoring potential is still there. Suikkanen's "school" could be the best thing that has happened to him in years. And there's always Pulkkinen&Armia and I wouldn't declare Rajala a bust just yet.
And if they do start showing signs of being standout players in the league, then they certainly deserve a chance to show what they can do in EHT. Preferably in top-six roles. Third line at the worst.


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Well, Mikael Granlund doesn't play in the KHL And I agree to a certain extent that those top talents don't necessarily need too much EHT experience. On the other hand, it's that 99% who would benefit the most.
I refer to my observations of average player's intelligence from above. Development is a long-term issue, there are no two-or-three game magic trick ponies that are suddenly going to drive a player to be better. I think Jalonen is wholly correct in his thinking that you need to pick 'em when they're ripe for picking, not because they might be that in the future.


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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
Tough and intense games develop players in every sport and KHL is the second best league in the world. So Russians like Kuznetsov and Tarasenko might have a slight edge over Finnish prospects. That's why I would expose our top prospects to EHT the second the start to dominate shifts in SM-Liiga. Case in point, Joel Armia.
In case Armia doesn't go all the way with Ässät, he must be in one of those preliminary teams leading to WHC, maybe even the final EHT depending on how many NHL aids have crossed over at that point. No argument there. U20 WJC, however, is still the main tournament for these guys and their season structure has to serve that end, so no mid-season EHTs until they're over 20. I actually didn't like Granlund being picked to Karjala Tournament because it limited Raipe's availability to him. It did no favors to either party in what came to preparations for WJC.


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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
Granted. But that raises the question why not permanently replace guys like Anttila & Tuppurainen with Rask & Pakarinen, for example. IMO there's no question that threats < possibilities. If you look at the big picture, one or two losses at EHT doesn't look like much.
You're right, it's no harm when you put it like that. It might even work, and Pakarinen & Rask become decent enough bottom-six talent even for WHC level, maybe even somebodies you can place into second line a pinch. But what happens to 'em when they hit that dreaded 27-29-year age mark? Do they suddenly become obsolete and we need to replace 'em with guys similar to what they were just a few years earlier?

Making young guys staples for EHT level can make 'em better players, I don't deny that. But it won't make them top talent. It'll make them better bottom-sixers and utility players, something which we have in abundance already. Once again, those who have the range and skill for that will pretty much get there regardless. All we're creating here is a loop where we bring young guns in and then eventually wish they'd be cast aside, and not because they've lessened in skill or speed, but because we've drawn tired to follow 'em and imagine there's something better just behind the corner.



And now for some extra stuff. Since I've got nothing better to do with my glorious Saturday morning, I dug myself into the stats again and compiled a list of those U25 players Jalonen has brought to EHT on his tenure as a head coach:

(The number in parentheses mark how many skaters in total have seen EHT action over said season.)

08-09
Marko Anttila
Toni Kähkönen
Leo Komarov
Jussi Makkonen
Antti Erkinjuntti
Jari Sailio
Jori Lehterä
Tapio Laakso
(53)

09-10
Juhamatti Aaltonen
Joonas Kemppainen
Mikael Granlund
Juuso Hietanen
Teemu Hartikainen
Harri Iivonen
Juuso Puustinen
Sami Vatanen
(59)

10-11
Jani Lajunen
Mikko Lehtonen
Ville Lajunen
Antti Tyrväinen
Perttu Lindgren
(43)

11-12
Harri Pesonen
Mikko Kousa
Tommi Huhtala
Juhani Jasu
Joonas Järvinen
Oskar Osala
Sakari Salminen
Teemu Eronen
Teemu Pulkkinen
(46 - so far)


By average we can state that Jalonen tries around 50 players in EHT per season, which is approximately two and half teams' worth. Out of those 50, about eight are young newcomers. I don't think that's bad, but there's certainly room for improvement.

Now, however, how many of these players are actually useful or we can conclude EHT has done something to 'em, well... I'll leave up to the rest of you to work out your own numbers, but I think we can all agree that not too many.


So, what does this tell us? While it's certainly far more interesting to see fresh faces enter these tournaments and it adds an extra layer of entertainment, what are the actual benefits of having them there if we are to consider player development? Next to nothing, it appears.



When our "silver generation" of Selänne, S.Koivu, Peltonen, Lehtinen, Nummelin, S.Kapanen, Timonen, Salo and so forth developed into that much-coveted top talent, there was no EHT at all, nothing that even compares to that. Which means EHT is not a development tool, but one which can help a coach to shine some light into the more murky depths of talent pool and see whether there's something worth fishing out for, age regardless.


Last edited by FiLe: 02-11-2012 at 06:22 AM.
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Old
02-11-2012, 10:03 AM
  #154
ToBBa
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Last few years we have had pretty interesting teams on WHC preparation camps. Here are some players I'd like to see there this year:

Armia
Jokipakka
Salomäki
Junttila
Donskoi
Hakanpää
Ma Granlund
Pakarinen
Haataja
Teräväinen

Ofc some of them are still playing playoffs by then. And most of them don't have any chance to WHC. Still, I would be very excited to see them in the team.

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02-11-2012, 10:36 AM
  #155
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Sakari Salminen looked real nice out there today vs. Czech Rep, btw. Definitely want to see more of him on this stage.

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02-11-2012, 11:08 AM
  #156
The Saw Is the Law
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToBBa View Post
Last few years we have had pretty interesting teams on WHC preparation camps. Here are some players I'd like to see there this year:

Armia
Jokipakka
Salomäki
Junttila
Donskoi
Hakanpää
Ma Granlund
Pakarinen
Haataja
Teräväinen

Ofc some of them are still playing playoffs by then. And most of them don't have any chance to WHC. Still, I would be very excited to see them in the team.
Is it some "who doesn't belong in this list" or why there's Haataja?

No one will make the team btw. And It's Not Even Close

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Old
02-11-2012, 11:18 AM
  #157
Jussi
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Originally Posted by ToBBa View Post
Last few years we have had pretty interesting teams on WHC preparation camps. Here are some players I'd like to see there this year:

Armia
Jokipakka
Salomäki
Junttila
Donskoi
Hakanpää
Ma Granlund
Pakarinen
Haataja
Teräväinen

Ofc some of them are still playing playoffs by then. And most of them don't have any chance to WHC. Still, I would be very excited to see them in the team.
Really? There's this thing called the U-10 Worlds that he might be focusing on a bit more. He might even miss the SM-liiga playoffs due to them. Not that Jokerit will be playing many games there with their current form...

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02-11-2012, 02:11 PM
  #158
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Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
Is it some "who doesn't belong in this list" or why there's Haataja?

No one will make the team btw. And It's Not Even Close
There's Haataja cuz I want to see him in national team. Just like I already said. He is just outstanding in SM-Liiga at the moment.

Did I say that anyone could make it to the team? No I didn't.

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Really? There's this thing called the U-10 Worlds that he might be focusing on a bit more. He might even miss the SM-liiga playoffs due to them. Not that Jokerit will be playing many games there with their current form...
U mean U18? Yeah I forgot those. Teräväinen wouldn't be able to play until EHT and he truly has zero chance to play there.

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02-11-2012, 02:18 PM
  #159
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But what happens to 'em when they hit that dreaded 27-29-year age mark? Do they suddenly become obsolete and we need to replace 'em with guys similar to what they were just a few years earlier?
No, they do not. If everything goes well, some of those 27-29yo players aren't even available for EHT (AHL/NHL). Plus, you always need some experience & leadership at EHT level. I'm not talking about the whole team being full of under 25 year olds.

And if you want to have all the best players in one tournament, the last one before WHC is the best option. That leaves 3/4 tournaments to our younger guys to hone their skills against the best players in Europe.

I understand we have to agree to disagree on many issues. But I think we're fundamentally talking about apples and oranges here. You are talking about raising young talent in Jalonen's/Kummola's/Finland's current EHT concept (best team to Karjala, experiments in Moscow etc). I'm talking about changing the entire concept.

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02-11-2012, 04:26 PM
  #160
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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
I understand we have to agree to disagree on many issues. But I think we're fundamentally talking about apples and oranges here. You are talking about raising young talent in Jalonen's/Kummola's/Finland's current EHT concept (best team to Karjala, experiments in Moscow etc). I'm talking about changing the entire concept.
The fundamental difference in our views is that you believe playing in EHT will somehow help a player hone his skills, in essence turning him into a better player and that it's worthwhile to use it to those ends.

And I'm not saying EHT does not have a developing effect. What I'm saying however is that those players who will benefit from playing in EHT level are destined for varying amounts of greatness even without it. Mikael Granlund may have learnt an important lesson from his first EHT games, but being Granlund, I think he would have become a standout in SM-liiga, airhooked over Konstantin Barulin, become someone who already has a place in Minny's top-six for 2012-13 season even without that experience.

Vili Sopanen, however, will not turn into another Granlund even if you drag him through 100 EHTs. He won't even become a Petri Kontiola. Or if he does, he'd become one even without those EHT games.


In the world of professional sports, the acquirement of talent happens through the competetive nature of various club teams. It's a truth that is not applicable to just ice hockey, but any teamsport. National team action exists for showcasing that talent. A club team coaching is somewhat about developing players. Junior coaching is mostly all about it. NT coaching, however, is about figuring out where that already-developed talent lies and bringing it out to limelight. So what you're talking about here is not merely a change in some silly concept. You're talking about a change of a whole dynamic, and one that is pretty deeply-rooted at that.


I'm not saying it's a perfect dynamic or one that the NT side can't misuse. Sometimes a NT coach simply becomes complacent with what he's already discovered and will continue nurturing those players 'til they clearly become too obsolete to be kept in the showcase.

I think I've built a pretty fair case for the fact that Jukka Jalonen is not a coach like that. He's not perfect in sweeping that searchlight all across the pool, I'll give you that. But he's not doing a particularly lousy job at it either. He's found us some new talent which the NT can utilize, some for longer, some a little while shorter.

Sure, we'd all love to see him enter more talent into the showcase, preferably some that is also young and fresh. And it's entirely possibly the man may have missed a spot or two. But the main reason we haven't seen it yet in the numbers we hope because you can't bring something out that simply is not there. Or in optimal case isn't there yet.

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02-11-2012, 10:28 PM
  #161
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The fundamental difference in our views is that you believe playing in EHT will somehow help a player hone his skills, in essence turning him into a better player and that it's worthwhile to use it to those ends.
Granted, although I don't necessarily believe that the process will be so straightforward. Development requires a huge amount of training, not just tougher games. In my scenario EHT is serves merely as a tool to follow your development.

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And I'm not saying EHT does not have a developing effect. What I'm saying however is that those players who will benefit from playing in EHT level are destined for varying amounts of greatness even without it.
IMO this is the core of the issue where we differ. I'm making the "counter-argument" that exposing still developing players to tougher competition, they might eventually reach their potential sooner or even become better than projected. Let's take an example: The speed of EHT hockey comes as a surprise to many SM-Liiga regulars. But when you are 25/26/27 etc, you really can't improve your skating that much. But when you are 19/20/21 and you see what it takes to compete/succeed at the highest level of European hockey, you can still improve your strengths and weaknesses accordingly.

And you can make the argument that hockey players aren't smart enough for this. Since we're just speculating here and speaking theoretically, why not get the Hockey Federation involved, like at Pohjola-leiri? After each tournament assigned individual coach gives feedback, an individual training program, advice on nutrition etc. Finally a suitable trophy job for our retiring NHL professionals who Kummola loves so much? I think I'm getting carried away so let's move on.

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Vili Sopanen, however, will not turn into another Granlund even if you drag him through 100 EHTs. He won't even become a Petri Kontiola. Or if he does, he'd become one even without those EHT games.
I agree. Vili Sopanen is a sad story really. He was basically Pelicans' joelarmia couple years back, but I guess the lack of work ethic caught to him. You can reach only so far on talent alone... He turns 25 this year so it's safe to say that NHL is out of the question. The only reason I brought him up was his scoring potential and the discussion of goalscorers in NT. Sopanen is an rare kind of Finnish player to be honest. He has the skills to be even a top player in KHL, but most of the time he couldn't care less.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
In the world of professional sports, the acquirement of talent happens through the competetive nature of various club teams. It's a truth that is not applicable to just ice hockey, but any teamsport. National team action exists for showcasing that talent. A club team coaching is somewhat about developing players. Junior coaching is mostly all about it. NT coaching, however, is about figuring out where that already-developed talent lies and bringing it out to limelight.
The thing is that EHT+WHC is pretty much an unique concept. Where else you can play basically 12 friendlies every year before the actual competition? In soccer, for example, you have 1-3 friendles per year where you usually see new players introduced. The rest are qualifying matches where results actually matter. But I see your point.

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So what you're talking about here is not merely a change in some silly concept. You're talking about a change of a whole dynamic, and one that is pretty deeply-rooted at that.
If you look at the dictionary, isn't that the definition of innovation or something? My arguments and suggestions may be waaaay out of the box. I don't have any stats or charts to back my claims. But I guess this is the right forum for having this type of discussion and it's worth having.

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But the main reason we haven't seen it yet in the numbers we hope because you can't bring something out that simply is not there. Or in optimal case isn't there yet
Again, we have to agree that we disagree on this issue. When it comes to those utility roles and the bottom-six, I think we are already there (Rask, Pakarinen, Donskoi, Salomäki, Talaja, T. Sallinen, Rissanen...). Fortunately our player production has improved so those other areas could catch up at some point. And I'm still talking about 3/4's of the EHT, so that Slovakia argument doesn't imply. Obviously we'll still have those Komarovs and Pihlströms available for the WHC.

But yeah, we are talking about different types of dynamics concerning Euro Hockey Tour's role in Finnish hockey. That's why we don't agree on many issues and that isn't likely to change.

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02-12-2012, 06:28 AM
  #162
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Granted, although I don't necessarily believe that the process will be so straightforward. Development requires a huge amount of training, not just tougher games. In my scenario EHT is serves merely as a tool to follow your development.
I don't technically shun this idea, as long as it doesn't happen at the expense of the national team's main function, which is to succeed in competition and regularly win games against varying levels of opposition. Those not-quite-there guys only fit into the mix when they're not counter-productive to that aim. Especially if we're talking about a country that is supposed to be a genuine member of the elite.

And by this I don't mean we need to go with the same old faces over and over again. I'd be quite happy if we first stopped passing by some of the faces who already are there before starting to look for the ones who're still on the road.

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IMO this is the core of the issue where we differ. I'm making the "counter-argument" that exposing still developing players to tougher competition, they might eventually reach their potential sooner or even become better than projected. Let's take an example: The speed of EHT hockey comes as a surprise to many SM-Liiga regulars. But when you are 25/26/27 etc, you really can't improve your skating that much. But when you are 19/20/21 and you see what it takes to compete/succeed at the highest level of European hockey, you can still improve your strengths and weaknesses accordingly.
This should definitely happen every now and then... but only in the areas and roles we're currently lacking. Sure, bring Armia, Pulkkinen, Eronen and in future names such as Teräväinen, Määttä and Barkov in occasionally even if they don't look completely ready. They're arguably the kind of guys we need to get better preferably sooner than later. But outside those roles we don't currently need huge improvement for... well, I get into that a little later.

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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
And you can make the argument that hockey players aren't smart enough for this. Since we're just speculating here and speaking theoretically, why not get the Hockey Federation involved, like at Pohjola-leiri? After each tournament assigned individual coach gives feedback, an individual training program, advice on nutrition etc. Finally a suitable trophy job for our retiring NHL professionals who Kummola loves so much? I think I'm getting carried away so let's move on.
Now this here is something that'll never work in reality. If I understood right you want NT to take a closer role in the development of player minutiae. The thing is, those guys already have people around 'em for that, in their club teams. Apart from the single head coach, there are assistant coaches, junior coaches, physiotherapists, medics and so and so forth... who probably wouldn't be too hot on the prospect that the player they're nurturing vanishes into NT duties for a week or so and then comes back with his head full of ideas that are maybe not bad, but still something the club staff will struggle with to implement due to differences in habit and vision.

It's one of the main reasons why NT needs to operate as it operates. If it starts stepping into the areas club teams do work with day in and day out, the result can be beneficiary, but more often than not it'll just create needless conflict. It's just like most social theories - look nice on paper but just won't work in reality, because human mind is, sadly, just like that.

And what comes to those old sauna buddies who figure it's time to hang up the skates, well, I don't think they need to hang around the NT at all. This is certainly something that's being done bass-ackwards in the current system. It's not really an on-ice or even rinkside issue though. No, this is due to a certain fat basterd meddling with things he should stay away from.

Oh, and there is a place where those retired players can do just that, by the way. It's in the various clubs, on the junior level. That's where the main body of that kind of work is being done, and that's where they'll need to bring their know-how. Instead of waiting for those few precious weeks you get to see some NT action and gaining veteran feedback then, there's a guy by your home rink who can tell you right now and then what you need to work on if you really wish to make it big. OMG, why didn't anybody think of this sooner?

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I agree. Vili Sopanen is a sad story really. He was basically Pelicans' joelarmia couple years back, but I guess the lack of work ethic caught to him. You can reach only so far on talent alone... He turns 25 this year so it's safe to say that NHL is out of the question. The only reason I brought him up was his scoring potential and the discussion of goalscorers in NT. Sopanen is an rare kind of Finnish player to be honest. He has the skills to be even a top player in KHL, but most of the time he couldn't care less.
And here we go. In order to make it, you need to have a package that has it all. And those packages will usually find their way no matter what.

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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
The thing is that EHT+WHC is pretty much an unique concept. Where else you can play basically 12 friendlies every year before the actual competition? In soccer, for example, you have 1-3 friendles per year where you usually see new players introduced. The rest are qualifying matches where results actually matter. But I see your point.
What you just described is EHT's de facto status. The problem is that officially, EHT is supposed to be more meaningful than that. While not IIHF-sanctioned, it's still the closest thing you have for an European Championship in national team hockey, even if it's lacking in plenty of areas and without a proper tiered system is technically a circle jerk ring for four big boys who could ice their Div I NTs and nothing would change. But good luck getting its organizers to admit that and change the dynamic accordingly.


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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
If you look at the dictionary, isn't that the definition of innovation or something? My arguments and suggestions may be waaaay out of the box. I don't have any stats or charts to back my claims. But I guess this is the right forum for having this type of discussion and it's worth having.
The thing is I don't think I argue against these ideas because I think they're bad. I argue against them because I know enough of the hockey world to deduce they just wouldn't work in reality. I'm all for improving the system and dynamics to achieve better results, but in the limits that is actually doable.

And by this I don't mean we can only do this much stuff because there's Kummola and bunch of other old dinos in place who'll oppose it, problems such as that can and eventually will be unrooted. But even when that glorious day finally comes to pass, the core dynamic will still be there and continue existing. It never can be completely upturned and it shouldn't, to be honest, because that would mean tossing out a large bunch of genuinely capable people as well.

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Again, we have to agree that we disagree on this issue. When it comes to those utility roles and the bottom-six, I think we are already there (Rask, Pakarinen, Donskoi, Salomäki, Talaja, T. Sallinen, Rissanen...). Fortunately our player production has improved so those other areas could catch up at some point. And I'm still talking about 3/4's of the EHT, so that Slovakia argument doesn't imply. Obviously we'll still have those Komarovs and Pihlströms available for the WHC.
I said earlier I'll need to comment later the visions concerning expanding those areas that don't really need expansion, so I guess now is the time.

Well, the first thing that pops to mind is that while we'll still have more than enough of Pihlströms, Komarovs, Petrells, Joensuus and whatnot available, it can't hurt having even larger number of those potential utility players brought to light, right? The thing is, I think it can. And I also think it's one of the main reasons why we're currently wailing over bona fide superstars and goalscorers. Because when your player pool is lopsided like that, the temptation to just patch the team up with those utility players and shoehorn 'em into the roles that are not natural for 'em.

It leads to the silly situation where we in absence of Koivu and Selänne the coaches pluck up guys who are far more suited as third-liners such as Hagman, Miettinen and whatnot and try to turn 'em into top-line players instead of actually trying to find that uncovered talent with genuine capacity to take up those key duties.

Sure, 20-year-olds such as Rask, Pakarinen and who else you're referring to might even develop to NHL talent if nurtured now, but they still won't become granlunds. What they will likely become instead are younger miettinens, which will lead to similarly lopsided player pool as we have now. This in turn will lead to more of WHC teams filled with workhorses who try to be snipers. And that in turn will lead to us hunting our next hockey gold for another 16 years when we're finally due for yet another generation change.

So yeah. What we don't need is that. What we need is a healthy, even-sized player pool with all age groups represented. We need to have an ample amount of utility guys to draw from, and enough top talent that we don't have to go into that other end when we find something lacking in those slots.

I'm all for nurturing the genuine top talent when the occasion allows it even if they're a little raw sometimes. But we don't need to speed up the development of the guys who are not quite in the elite, since we've already got more than enough of 'em. More should be sought out only when that already existing crop starts to fall out of limelight, due to age or other kind of decline.

So the next time you see someone like Jani Tuppurainen being picked to the EHT, don't groan "not him again", but instead be thankful that it's him there, because you can safely know he'll never make it to the level where he can genuinely threaten a more deserving player's spot in a major tournament and his inclusion doesn't hurt the prospects of those players who'll never even get there.


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But yeah, we are talking about different types of dynamics concerning Euro Hockey Tour's role in Finnish hockey. That's why we don't agree on many issues and that isn't likely to change.
Trust me, if I was the eternal emperor of the Hockey Realm with the power to change things in a blink, you'd likely be one of the first guys I'd invite to my honored ring of visionary brains.

But alas, I'm not, which means I can't help but disagree with some of the stuff you present because they'll never have a shot in working with this dull, drab place we call reality - no matter how much I wish that they would.

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02-12-2012, 11:47 AM
  #163
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Looks like Pesonen will most likely be picked for the WC now, unless we get too many NHL guys. Nice tournament by him. So best to put him with Immonen-Granlund again.

I wasn't watching the tournament that closely (multitasking), so who do you guys think were the biggest failures/disappointments this EHT tournament that lost their chance for the WC?

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02-12-2012, 12:40 PM
  #164
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Pesonen certainly looks like he's close to a spot no matter how many NHL aids we get. His status as a good complementary player for a line that already contains two locks certainly won't hurt.

It's hard to say if there were any royal disappointments. Couple of guys in the contention played so-so, namely Kontiola and Aaltonen. They were never locks but didn't exactly make cases for themselves to get any closer.

The most consistent forward apart from Pesonen was Komarov, who is pretty much a lock at this stage. Another one who was pretty neat was Joensuu, and Jesse might just actually get that 4th line slot which eluded him last year. He's big, physical, a beast in corners and covers the puck extremely well. Decent vision, too, sought out some open spots and made a couple of nice passes.

Pihlström - those legs, legs, legs. Guess he's still in contention simply due to them.

I won't evaluate the rest since I don't think there were any other realistic contenders in the team - well, maybe old sauna buddy JP Hytönen who didn't do himself any favors (but didn't stink royally either, I guess).

On defense, I guess the usual foursome of Väänänen-Kukkonen-Puistola-Jaakola is still in contention. None of 'em were outstanding but still decent enough.

Getting there - Joonas Järvinen. At times, he looked like an updated version of Väänänen. Don't know if he had a realistic shot to begin with, but after this tournament, well, it wouldn't be a complete shocker if he ended up pulling a Jani Lajunen.


Of those who didn't have much chance to begin with, Ortio looked really nice in goal and Sakari Salminen might end up sneaking into a major tournament at some later date.

All the rest - well, pretty meh.

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02-12-2012, 12:53 PM
  #165
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I'd say the biggest questtion will be how Jalonen adapts "Meidän Peli" to counter Swedens "60 minute pressure" since they seem to have scouted and countered our style perfectly. Do we make changes to it or rely that when we have better PMDs available, they can escape forechecking better and make the break-out passes to the centers? Not forgetting Russia's opposite way of countering it by going ultra passive.

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02-12-2012, 03:34 PM
  #166
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I'd say the biggest questtion will be how Jalonen adapts "Meidän Peli" to counter Swedens "60 minute pressure" since they seem to have scouted and countered our style perfectly. Do we make changes to it or rely that when we have better PMDs available, they can escape forechecking better and make the break-out passes to the centers? Not forgetting Russia's opposite way of countering it by going ultra passive.
I'm looking forward to see how "Meidän Peli" works against USA and especially Canada. Last year we avoided the North American teams completely. This year they are in our preliminary group.

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02-12-2012, 05:37 PM
  #167
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It's hard to say if there were any royal disappointments. Couple of guys in the contention played so-so, namely Kontiola and Aaltonen. They were never locks but didn't exactly make cases for themselves to get any closer.
Yes from what I saw, it looked like Kontiola was little bit disappointing. Or maybe I expected too much.

How good is Joensuu in PK btw? If we can't call him a PK specialist, does he really have a spot in Jalonen's system for WC? I probably underrate Joensuu too much, but I at least wouldn't give him a spot for WC. These guys go before him Komarov, Pihlström, Nokelainen, Peltonen plus the countless NHL bottom 6 guys we could have...

It's time to remake my team for WC once again . I'll skip the defenders as it's boring and they are mostly quite obvious who they are, especially if we get few NHL guys with.

Can't be chosen almost certainly: Filppula, Bergenheim

Coinflip pool. It's 50/50 if their team makes it in to the playoffs or the playoffs' second round, so we can coinflip and choose half of these guys randomly: Korpikoski, M.Koivu, Leino, Nokelainen

Granlund-Immonen-Pesonen
Selanne-S.Koivu-Hagman
J.Jokinen-T.Ruutu/M.Koivu-Leino/T.Ruutu
Komarov/Petrell-Nokelainen/Komarov-Korpikoski/Petrell

Reserve guys: Pihlström, Hartikainen, Aaltonen

I'd put Koivu as line #2 center instead of Saku if we could get him. Komarov goes to the center if we can't get Nokelainen for line #4 and T.Ruutu goes to the wing if we can get enough centers. Also if we get M.Koivu I'd do Selanne-M.Koivu-T.Ruutu line and drop S.Koivu & Hagman in line #3.

The reason I got some guys twice is that they are the first alternatives if we have to swap some players from center to the wing or from wing to the center. It's all based on who we happen to get and who we wont...

The bottom 6 lines look pretty messy but I think you get the point, these are the players. We are definately getting a lot of NHL guys, that's for sure, but it's a different thing if Jalonen values some guys from the championship team over some of these NHL guys. We know for a fact he doesn't like J.Jokinen, so Jalonen might put Aaltonen there for example or Pihlström.

Also as many say Leino is only good in certain type of roles and he hasn't had the best season (some signs of getting better lately though, because he plays in line #1 instead of injured Vanek), Jalonen would probably put someone like Pihlström instead of Leino in line #3.

Also i'm not sure who has had better season, Petrell or Hartikainen, but as a HIFK fan i'll have Petrell there of course .


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02-13-2012, 04:18 AM
  #168
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How good is Joensuu in PK btw?
At least from what we saw here, pretty good actually. Was one of the main forwards on PK and certainly knows how to use his abilities there as well. A big guy with great reach, covers a lot of zone and when he gets hold of the puck, rarely results into random panic attempts to clear it because he can just cover it while looking for an open lane. Was due to this capable of even creating some offense while short-handed.

It's hard to say whether that all will make him a specialist yet, but definitely didn't look out of place.

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Granlund-Immonen-Pesonen
Selanne-S.Koivu-Hagman
J.Jokinen-T.Ruutu/M.Koivu-Leino/T.Ruutu
Komarov/Petrell-Nokelainen/Komarov-Korpikoski/Petrell
With what Pesonen did here, he did take great strides towards the team and the rejoining of that line. It's a minutiae thing, but somehow I don't think they'll be the designated top line, in listed lineups I mean. Gameplaywise, it's a different matter naturally.


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Also i'm not sure who has had better season, Petrell or Hartikainen, but as a HIFK fan i'll have Petrell there of course .
No point in inserting either there, actually. It's been said a few times already, but you've obviously missed it: While the playoffs are a far cry for Edmonton, their farm team Oklahoma City is the top dog in the AHL and have to take a royal dive to miss the playoffs. Both Petrell and Hartikainen will be assigned down there almost certainly so can as well be written off from WHC.


EDIT: Maikkari surprises with a rather accurate evaluation on current EHT players and their chances. Well, there's still one "WTH have they been smoking" moment in ranking Aaltonen over Pesonen, but otherwise I pretty much agree with the categories.


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02-13-2012, 08:34 AM
  #169
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No point in inserting either there, actually. It's been said a few times already, but you've obviously missed it: While the playoffs are a far cry for Edmonton, their farm team Oklahoma City is the top dog in the AHL and have to take a royal dive to miss the playoffs. Both Petrell and Hartikainen will be assigned down there almost certainly so can as well be written off from WHC.
Yes I forgot about their farm team. Well not that big of a loss. Pihlström instead of them in line #4 then, pretty much (if not) the same thing. Even if Petrell/Hartikainen would be available I think Jalonen would take Pihlström over them.

Another thing I forgot is that, what if T.Ruutu doesn't resign/sign with any club at all before summer. Will he risk an injury to play at WC and possibly get worse contract if that happens? Or does Tuomo value the home games so high that he'll play in WC anyway. I actually think he'd play in WC and risk it. It's not like he'll go bankrupt any time soon anyways, the guy is a millionaire.

About the top line thing. I suppose it could be given to Selanne-Koivu, but they are in #2 line in Anaheim so I thought they could be comfortable with that, but there's so many ways to look at it. One being: Give Granlund's line #1 line status as they have to get used to carrying that role in the future, time to step on those #1 line boots officially or put Granlund's line in #2 to relieve pressure when instead Selanne-Koivu wont take too much pressures being so experienced. So either one will do.

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02-13-2012, 12:54 PM
  #170
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Yes I forgot about their farm team. Well not that big of a loss. Pihlström instead of them in line #4 then, pretty much (if not) the same thing. Even if Petrell/Hartikainen would be available I think Jalonen would take Pihlström over them.
Depends on a role, I suppose. Jalonen pretty much flat out stated he would have inducted Petrell last time if he hadn't been injured, so there's no chance he'd leave him out now that he's improved even from that and made a case for himself of being a solid 4th liner in the NHL.

So if there's a third line opening with semi-offensive role, Pihlström might make it over Petrell, but if it's 4th-line mostly defensive, Petrell makes it.

In fact, Petrell would in that case probably make it over pretty much anybody save for Komarov, which means if there was room in that team for Pihlström, Lennu would already be in.

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Another thing I forgot is that, what if T.Ruutu doesn't resign/sign with any club at all before summer. Will he risk an injury to play at WC and possibly get worse contract if that happens? Or does Tuomo value the home games so high that he'll play in WC anyway. I actually think he'd play in WC and risk it. It's not like he'll go bankrupt any time soon anyways, the guy is a millionaire.
While the climb's not completely out of the question for the Canes yet, there's also a very high chance of Ruutu being traded to a contender. Which means I'd snub him out of any projected fantasy roster anyway.

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About the top line thing. I suppose it could be given to Selanne-Koivu, but they are in #2 line in Anaheim so I thought they could be comfortable with that, but there's so many ways to look at it.
Definitely more than one way to string this cat. Like I said, it's a minutiae thing. I do doubt however that Jalonen will namely make the PIG line his top line if there are enough NHLers available.


And let's add the way I predict it at the moment...

NHL goalie (Lehtonen/Bäckström)
Vehanen
Hovinen/Ahonen

Pitkänen - Lydman
Niskala - Vatanen
Väänänen - Järvinen
Kukkonen - Jaakola

Leino - M.Koivu - Jokinen
Hagman - S.Koivu - Selänne
Pesonen - Immonen - Granlund
Komarov - Kapanen - Peltonen

Extras: Nokelainen, Joensuu


Goalies: Best available starter from the NHL. Bäckström would be nice, Lehtonen even better, Rinne orgastico-tico if the Preds drop out quickly. Vehanen earns the backup spot simply by being last year's golden starter. Reserve is the 2nd best from Europe or the most suitable otherwise.

Defense: Yes, I'm predicting Joonas Järvinen will be this year's blindside pick. He was really impressive in Stockholm and one of the better parts of the team in Moscow. The rest are what the NHL dispenses available and usual suspects from old Yurop.

Forwards: 2nd and 3rd lines are the Ducks and the Pigs.

First one is sort of a patch job, just but together from the rest of our NHL aids. Definitely a high risk, high reward combo but somehow I doubt Jalonen will end up not finding roster spots for Juice and Eikka if they wish to come.

4th line is Komarov, Jalonen familiar Niko Kapanen (no way JJ makes a team without him if he just wants to come) and one old warhorse making his final huzzah. There might be some of us who might wish him to roll over already, but c'mon... deep inside you know that just won't happen.

On extras, Pihlström might make it over Joensuu but I really think Jesse managed to make a case for himself in Stockholm.



And oh yeah... damn the time I've wasted in this thread lately. I wish I had similar productivity at work.


Last edited by FiLe: 02-13-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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02-13-2012, 03:00 PM
  #171
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4th line is Komarov, Jalonen familiar Niko Kapanen (no way JJ makes a team without him if he just wants to come) and one old warhorse making his final huzzah. There might be some of us who might wish him to roll over already, but c'mon... deep inside you know that just won't happen.
The last good arguments in favor of Peltonen's selection became invalid last spring. Those were 1) he's a leader and 2) he knows what it takes to win the gold. NT is Mikko Koivu's team nowadays + we have 25 new world champions. I doubt no one can give any good reason why Ville "MM-95" Peltonen should be involved with the NT anymore.

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02-13-2012, 07:01 PM
  #172
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I doubt no one can give any good reason why Ville "MM-95" Peltonen should be involved with the NT anymore.
In my ideal roster, Mr. Neverforget would likely be replaced with someone like Joensuu in a heartbeat. Once again, I'm actually trying to predict the roster as Jalonen might pick it, not my own fantasy.

The thing is, Jalonen has placed tons of immense praise on Peltonen, calling him the smartest player he knows and whatnot. Plus the fact it's home ice and the Gungan somewhere in the background... well, that's one equation which might just lead to the result I described earlier. When has the Chancellor for one cared about reasoning, whether good OR bad?

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02-13-2012, 08:37 PM
  #173
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Once again, I'm actually trying to predict the roster as Jalonen might pick it, not my own fantasy.
My points still stand. Ville Peltonen had a great season last year and wasn't selected. And as far as I know, he was healthy. This year he has regressed and was barely so-so at Karjala Tournament. Unlike Granlund, Immonen & co, he really needed to prove his worth in another EHT tournament. But he wasn't even selected to Oddset Hockey Games with Aaltonen, Kontiola, Lahti and all those other potential names.

2011 WCH team's bottom six was: Pesonen-Immonen-Granlund/Lajunen-Nokelainen-Pihlström. 5/6 of those players are available for 2012 WHC. Leo Komarov will play in bottom six when all those NHL aids arrive. And you have both 2011 WHC's extras (Lahti & Joensuu) avaliable and Jesse has really progressed this year. At the moment, I can't see even Jalonen shafting any 2011 world champion so that Peltonen could have his last hurrah.

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Plus the fact it's home ice and the Gungan somewhere in the background... well, that's one equation which might just lead to the result I described earlier. When has the Chancellor for one cared about reasoning, whether good OR bad?
So now Kummola decides our NT rosters? Obviously I have missed a meeting...

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02-13-2012, 09:13 PM
  #174
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Pitkänen - Lydman
Fun fact#1: Joni Pitkänen turns 29 this year. Hasn't played a single EHT or WHC game, ever.
Fun fact#2: Toni Lydman turns 35 this year. Last time he felt like playing in WHC was nine years ago.

Could it be that those guys don't give a rat's ass about WCH? And I wouldn't bet that those guys are necessarily thrilled to play for Jalonen after the Olympics. Obviously this years WHC is held in Finland and not in some Soviet Russian's former province, but the history speaks for itself.

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02-14-2012, 04:57 AM
  #175
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At the moment, I can't see even Jalonen shafting any 2011 world champion so that Peltonen could have his last hurrah.
Damn, are we going to turn this into another argument where we disagree simply due to different perspection on reality? Because I REALLY hope you're right. On both points.

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Could it be that those guys don't give a rat's ass about WCH? And I wouldn't bet that those guys are necessarily thrilled to play for Jalonen after the Olympics. Obviously this years WHC is held in Finland and not in some Soviet Russian's former province, but the history speaks for itself.
Suppose I'm counting on the draw of the home ice. Wouldn't be surprised if Pitkänen didn't show up though.

Lydman... well, time for another dip into the archives:

Last played in WHC: 2003
2004: Flames in playoffs (SC finals)
2005: Played only 13 games (for HIFK) in the whole lockout season
2006: Sabres in playoffs (2nd round exit)
2007: Sabres in playoffs (lost conference finals)
2008: Out due to injury
2009: Available but refused
2010: Sabres in playoffs (1st round exit) + lot of players skipped due to olympics
2011: Ducks in playoffs (1st round exit + injury)

In 2009 and 2010 he would have been available before the games or while those were still going but pledged exhaustion, other times I think he's had pretty valid reasons to skip the WHC. So... eh. I don't know what he figures of this year, but he does have a bigger bunch of "valid" reasons than what Pitkänen does.

Still, I don't think he's an automatic entry in my book, as isn't any Duck actually if we extend it out to forwards. They all could be no-shows. Selänne due to retirement from NT, Koivu for same reason, Hagman has no contract. And in some perverse way I kind of wish they wouldn't show, because they're not exactly the future.

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