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Lack of respect for Finns?

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10-04-2003, 12:29 PM
  #1
Starsdude
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Lack of respect for Finns?

I was wondering if there is a belief in Finland that their prospects lack respect in North America. As a Stars fan, I have come to respect the two way game of the Finns enormously. However, I recall kapanen got little or no respect as a prospect and now appears set as a third center at 24. Miettinen likewise got little hype nationally despite being MVP in Finland last year. He now is being discussed as aleast a third line LW or perhaps could see time on the second line. As far as I know he never made a top 50 or hundred prospect chart. Likewise, Jokinin who is now moved into the top 5 in scoring as a 20 year old fails to get much mention. What is the rationale other than no one has seen them? Russian seem to attract way more attention and have just as much problems with transistion to NA perhaps more. Any thoughts

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10-04-2003, 11:46 PM
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It probably has to do with Finland's quick development in Ice hockey and other aspects as well. As Finland grew big economically pretty quickly, other people expect more from them, perhaps to much as Finland seems to be ready developing (while it isn't, still some fine tuning to do) and is set to follow standards of countries that are already well-developed. Have patience.

 
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10-05-2003, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattihp
As Finland grew big economically pretty quickly, other people expect more from them, perhaps to much as Finland seems to be ready developing (while it isn't, still some fine tuning to do) and is set to follow standards of countries that are already well-developed.
??? What do you mean exactly? I couldn't understand any of that.

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10-05-2003, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Slime
??? What do you mean exactly? I couldn't understand any of that.
me neither I think that sometimes he himself doesnt know what he's saying...

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10-05-2003, 03:03 AM
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Expectations are higher than they should be on Finland because of it's quick development people believe Finland is already in a stage that for other countries has taken 300-600 years to reach while it isn't quite there even though it will be soon.

 
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10-05-2003, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattihp
Expectations are higher than they should be on Finland because of it's quick development people believe Finland is already in a stage that for other countries has taken 300-600 years to reach while it isn't quite there even though it will be soon.
Okay... and what are those things - or the "stage" - that Finland hasn't reached yet, but some other countries apparently have (other than that the finns haven't stopped running around drunk in their deep forests harrasing each other with sharp knives )??

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10-05-2003, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattihp
Expectations are higher than they should be on Finland because of it's quick development people believe Finland is already in a stage that for other countries has taken 300-600 years to reach while it isn't quite there even though it will be soon.
Okay... and what are those things - or the "stage" - that Finland hasn't reached yet, but some other countries apparently have?

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10-05-2003, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Slime
Okay... and what are those things - or the "stage" - that Finland hasn't reached yet, but some other countries apparently have??
A long history of consistency and wealth is among those things. Finland has for very long been a country/province of other country which future has been uncertain but has now for the latest 80+ years been strongly climbing up to the top with a progress rate that impresses others, a hope for a bright future is lit and hopefully will not be put down. It is hard to explain as it most are feelings and mentality and such. Finland is still building up it's history and at the same time must struggle to keep up with the time and has to put in alot more effort into it.

 
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10-05-2003, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Slime
(other than that the finns haven't stopped walking around drunk in their deep forests harrasing each other with sharp knives )??
I don't like that. That's too steep a hill to climb for you I think. Don't go places where your feet won't carry you. That joke is over the line IMO.

 
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10-05-2003, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattihp
It is hard to explain as it most are feelings and mentality and such.
Ahh...you mean the confidence of a nation/people, the view upon your strengths and weaknesses, your "position in the world", and those kinds of things.

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10-05-2003, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Slime
Ahh...you mean the confidence of a nation/people, the view upon your strengths and weaknesses, your "position in the world", and those kinds of things.
Yes. Sort of.

 
Old
10-05-2003, 05:03 AM
  #12
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Miettinen, Kapanen and Jokinen were all late round draft picks and don't have any particular skill worthy of raving about. Finnish prospects tend to be like that, just solid all-round two-way players trained to play for their team. That's boring. Russians are usually a lot more exciting thanks to their dazzling stickhandling skills, but Finns play a more NA type of game which helps them adjust.

If we trained players like they do in Russia, we wouldn't stand a chance against them. When the population of your country is barely over 5 million, there's just not enough natural talent to compete with.

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10-05-2003, 05:21 AM
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Matti what the fudge has this to do with hockey? Is this related to the "weak draft year" explanation you had?

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10-05-2003, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sampe
If we trained players like they do in Russia, we wouldn't stand a chance against them. When the population of your country is barely over 5 million, there's just not enough natural talent to compete with.
It's easy to think that way when comparing Finland with 5.2 M inhabitants to Russia with 144 M. But it isn't true. The truth is that through all the 50 years of the Russian/Soviet dominance in icehockey, most of their players have come from the Moscow area (which is no more than 5% of the population in Russia) - they weren't just recruited there, but they grew up there. I've read that nearly 50% of Soviet players were "kids of Moscow", and the basis for the dominance of russian hockey, the organization and science behind it - everything came from Moscow, including the talent. Also, during the '70s and '80s, not every russian family could have their kids play hockey like for example nearly every damn finnish kid can do today, with their parents driving them back and forth to practice, games etc. And modern russian hockey, of course, has it's roots in the Soviet union.

The incredible talent in russian hockey, has a lot more to do with tradition and the training mentality they have (with military discipline, with a lot more focus in playing technique etc) in russian hockey, than with the number of available talented kids.

If you want proof, look at basketball: a former Soviet republic like Lithuania, a small country with only 3.5 M has a better national team (they're euro champs!) than the big Russia!

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10-05-2003, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo
Matti what the fudge has this to do with hockey? Is this related to the "weak draft year" explanation you had?
What was my explanation for the weak draft year? Sorry I can't remember

I am not too bright but I am a moderator and you're not (just fooling with ya)

 
Old
10-05-2003, 12:19 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slime
It's easy to think that way when comparing Finland with 5.2 M inhabitants to Russia with 144 M. But it isn't true. The truth is that through all the 50 years of the Russian/Soviet dominance in icehockey, most of their players have come from the Moscow area (which is no more than 5% of the population in Russia) - they weren't just recruited there, but they grew up there. I've read that nearly 50% of Soviet players were "kids of Moscow", and the basis for the dominance of russian hockey, the organization and science behind it - everything came from Moscow, including the talent. Also, during the '70s and '80s, not every russian family could have their kids play hockey like for example nearly every damn finnish kid can do today, with their parents driving them back and forth to practice, games etc. And modern russian hockey, of course, has it's roots in the Soviet union.

The incredible talent in russian hockey, has a lot more to do with tradition and the training mentality they have (with military discipline, with a lot more focus in playing technique etc) in russian hockey, than with the number of available talented kids.

If you want proof, look at basketball: a former Soviet republic like Lithuania, a small country with only 3.5 M has a better national team (they're euro champs!) than the big Russia!
I'd rather ignore the basketball example as I'm sure the sport is nowhere near as popular as it is in Lithuania. Same goes for soccer, if you compare Sweden and USA for instance.

But the rest of your post is very interesting. I knew that pretty much all the best players played for ZSKA Moscow but I've always thought that they were recruited from all over the country. I must admit that I have major holes in my knowledge regarding Russian hockey and every time I've wondered why the 60 000 players in Russia are more talented than the 60 000 players in Finland I've been told that it's because of the difference in population and that only the most talented ones can play, even in junior hockey.

I've been to Russia a few times and I'm aware of that the majority of people are very poor and since ice hockey is a rather expensive hobby, only the ones from rich families can usually play (or watch) it. Furthermore, some places in Russia are simply TOO cold for outside rinks etc. But still, 144 million vs. 5.2 million sounds like too major a difference to me. I guess I have to take your word for it, unless there are some good sources on the net that you could share with me.

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10-05-2003, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sampe
I knew that pretty much all the best players played for ZSKA Moscow but I've always thought that they were recruited from all over the country. I must admit that I have major holes in my knowledge regarding Russian hockey and every time I've wondered why the 60 000 players in Russia are more talented than the 60 000 players in Finland I've been told that it's because of the difference in population and that only the most talented ones can play, even in junior hockey.

But still, 144 million vs. 5.2 million sounds like too major a difference to me. I guess I have to take your word for it, unless there are some good sources on the net that you could share with me.
I don't have a good source on the internet, I recall reading most of this a few years ago in the official magazine of the Swedish icehockey federation (I think it's called HOCKEY).

But you can simply check where the current russian NHL-ers were born, which should give an indication of where the talent is coming from. And I just made a simple check and found out that of the 20 top scoring russians at least 12 players were born in Moscow or in one of it's suburbs (like Voskresensk)! That's 60%!

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10-06-2003, 04:32 PM
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I think they get the credit that is deserved.

Going into this season 3 of the top 4 or 5 prospects in all of hockey are Ruutu, Pitkanen, and Lehtonen. Not too shabby.

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10-06-2003, 10:02 PM
  #19
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Actually the ones not getting enough respect are the Finnish coaches. They do a tremendous job of turning talentless kids to decent SM-Liiga players and average prospects into useful NHL players. That Brian Rafalski blossomed here was no accident, most North Americans improve their game by leaps and bounds in a season or two in SM-Liiga. This is partly due to better ratio (skill development wise) of traing and games, but the trainers deserve some merit too.

Other thing is that like Stars scouting Finnish coaches tend to emphasize hockey sense over size or skill. Niko Kapanen is a good example, I first saw him in 1997 WCs and my impression was: good, smart two-way player, tenacious, good on draws, not that skilled or fast and hopelessly small. Fortunately his coaches didn't agree.

You can't teach height, but brain implants tend not to work either; and yet a clueless 6-4 170 pounds with "good mobility for his size" (read can turn without taking out the first row of seats) has "tremendous potential", while a perfectly fine all-around player with no single stand-out skill or ability is a lost cause. News flash to the scouts stuck in 80's, unless you're Kovalchuk you have to be able to play an all-around game and just being big, fast or skilled isn't enough in todays game.

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10-09-2003, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattihp

I am not too bright but I am a moderator and you're not (just fooling with ya)
*cough*first powertrip*cough*

Actually that last comment would be pretty good signature material.

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Old
10-11-2003, 02:45 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starsdude
I was wondering if there is a belief in Finland that their prospects lack respect in North America. As a Stars fan, I have come to respect the two way game of the Finns enormously. However, I recall kapanen got little or no respect as a prospect and now appears set as a third center at 24. Miettinen likewise got little hype nationally despite being MVP in Finland last year. He now is being discussed as aleast a third line LW or perhaps could see time on the second line. As far as I know he never made a top 50 or hundred prospect chart. Likewise, Jokinin who is now moved into the top 5 in scoring as a 20 year old fails to get much mention. What is the rationale other than no one has seen them? Russian seem to attract way more attention and have just as much problems with transistion to NA perhaps more. Any thoughts
There is a great number of NA prospects who don't get the coverage either. Guys like Adam Hall, for instance. Any prospect playing in Europe is going to get different coverage, though.

There are several sites regarding Russian players, and one very good site covering Sweden prospects. There is little coverage of Czechs, Finns and others.

College hockey was also lacking in coverage but it is catching up. For a long while, CHL players have had all the spotlight. This era has ended. I don't think top 50 lists around here have a lack of respect for Finns.

The exclusion of Miettinen on many lists is simply due to other factors like his age (people around here are obsessed by youth) and his draft rank (people here prefer very high draft choices).

Miettinen doesn't get much respect but so does John Pohl, who plays for college. Same deal. Older guy, low pick. The same happened to Barret Jackman, who wasn't much talked about. He was a 1st round choice but a pretty low one. After the CHL he went to the AHL. That's when people begin to forget about the players (they think they are too old) and hype younger ones.

It's not a problem with Finland, it's a problem, in great part, because most people wouldn't recognize talent if it hit them right in the face. They look at draft ranks and read crap like Redline to decide who is good or not.

The only real negative to Finland is that guys get less exposure. I prefer to watch guys myself to decide if they are for real and I'm left in the dark with europeans except in tournaments.

The bottom line is that Finland coverage will improve if more guys in Finland provide more coverage. A good website about prospects would be a good start

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