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Hitting hurts Canada's talent depth

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Old
07-25-2009, 12:09 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
The probleam is some player start playing junior a at 15 a year to learn and how to take hits is not alot of time.
Most start junior at 16, and 14-16 is MORE than enough time. Learning to give and take hits properly can be accomplished in a matter of months, if not weeks. Granted our Junior Leagues are more physical than in Europe ...Still, Russians dont permit full contact till 14, and it hasn't hurt their developmental program.

Per capita ( in terms of the sheer numbers of hockey playing youth in Russia as compared to Canada ) Russians ARE producing more of the top skill guys, starting with far less...It follows, that there's considerable room for improvement / change on this side of the Pond.

IMO, time for Hockey Canada to start thinking OUTSIDE the proverbial BOX

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07-25-2009, 12:25 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by NHLHammerbound View Post
Most start junior at 16, and 14-16 is MORE than enough time. Learning to give and take hits properly can be accomplished in a matter of months, if not weeks. Granted our Junior Leagues are more physical than in Europe ...Still, Russians dont permit full contact till 14, and it hasn't hurt their developmental program.

Per capita ( in terms of the sheer numbers of hockey playing youth in Russia as compared to Canada ) Russians ARE producing more of the top skill guys, starting with far less...It follows, that there's considerable room for improvement / change on this side of the Pond.

IMO, time for Hockey Canada to start thinking OUTSIDE the proverbial BOX
There are players at 15 that are called up to play the game here and there when needed.The odd time a 15 year old does play full time at junior a.To learn and take hits the right way i really beleave it would take more then a few months 2 years would be ideal.Canada is still producing a good amount of top players.As for comparing russia and canada there are a couple issues with that.In russia as my understanding most of the leagues are only in russia and there is not alot of out side of russia games.In canada thats not the case minor hockey alone there is a good deal of out of country games etc so if you have one country who is hitting and one country who does not the chances are there will be injurys.The only way i can see something like this workign is if canada and the states agree not to allow hitting at 14 and under.

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07-25-2009, 12:41 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
The only way i can see something like this workign is if canada and the states agree not to allow hitting at 14 and under.
Well it would be more like 13 and under...With full contact beginning circa 14 ( again a la Russia ) ...IF hockey Canada adopted this rule...Doubtless, it wouldn't be long before USAHockey followed suit. And if youth teams crossed the border , in the interim, hopefully both sides would still agree to dispense with full contact, till 14.

I dont see how any of this, would present much of a Problem.

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07-28-2009, 06:06 PM
  #79
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Hey, quit trolling!!!



See, no gave you a hard time and went all ballistic on you here.

Why don't you think about doing the same?

You would be a better man for it.


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Originally Posted by Zine View Post
Siberian does have a point though.
Given your ridiculous advantage over European countries in 1. players produced; 2. number of facilities; 3. overall citizens playing the game, you should be dominating the NHL like America does NBA.....but for some reason you can't.
I mean Canada is the only country in the world where hockey is the far and away the clear cut #1 sport.

You can compensate because of numbers produced but, imo, Canada's development system isn't very good. If Canada focused more on skill development, think of all the Sakics and Crosbys you'd be able to produce instead of churning out the seemingly endless parade of Matt Cook type players. You guys would be literally unstoppable.

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07-28-2009, 06:27 PM
  #80
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a couple of points

1) In Canada, nobody makes you play hockey with hitting growing up unless you want to. You can easily opt-out into a non-contact league or level.

2) I played top level hockey between the ages of 5-17, and was a late bloomer (at 16 i was still 5'4 and scrawny), and played contact all the way through. There was nothing intimidating or overly physical about it, just like the NHL if you aren't a hitter you adapt your game to slip checks and take the occasional physical confrontation.

3) Bodycheck pain potential goes up the taller and heavier you get, when you are small and light, it's not a big deal I was never once injured and was playing AAA hockey.

4) If you think Canada's olympic drought was due to the lack of quality players in country, you are incredibly shortsighted.

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07-29-2009, 01:19 PM
  #81
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...1) In Canada, nobody makes you play hockey with hitting growing up unless you want to. You can easily opt-out into a non-contact league
You cant opt for non-contact ...IF u want to play in a top league/ level...and receive top coaching etc....

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...Bodycheck pain potential goes up the taller and heavier you get, when you are small and light, it's not a big deal I was never once injured and was playing AAA hockey.
Pain is subjective and impossible to measure. As for the rest, Plenty of smaller kids DO get seriously hurt due to huge size disparaties. Also, in every study ever conducted, the earlier you introduce full contact, the greater the incidence of serious injuries. & that's only part of the story. The other part ( which u seem to have conveniently ignored ) is the need to focus more on individual skill development, with more practice and less game time, less focus on systems/ team strategies/ winning...and more willingness to encourage individual creativity etc.

Full contact , at an early age, represents considerably more risk @ minimal ( if any ) reward. If this , in turn, stifles skill development ( as MANY BELIEVE ) it oughta be phased out until Bantam or Midget ...Perhaps the traditional age groups could also be re-aligned slightly ( a la Russia ) so there's NO full contact Hockey for anyone under 14...

IF u think the above would negatively impinge upon Canuck Hockey , one iota...Then, riddle me this : Why are so many of the Top skill guys Russian ??? This fact, seems even more enigmatic, when u consider that Russians represent such a small percentage of NHLers , compared to Canucks ?

Quote:
If you think Canada's olympic drought was due to the lack of quality players in country, you are incredibly shortsighted.
Everybody ( and his brother ) knows that Canada's best were ( unfairly ) excluded from OG's for decades, and would otherwise have won Many MANY MORE GOLDS, even vs. Eastern Europe's Best ( cough, cough ) amateurs

None of this changes the fact, that CCCP was often clobbering our NHL laden ' B/C teams' at WC's , in the late 70's/ 80's. Time after time, guys like Wilf Paiement ( who was by no means a journeyman but a solid pro ) and others, resorted to thuggery, when their skills were so OBVIOUSLY OUTCLASSED by Euros. Hells Bells, I remember team Canada losing to CCCP one year to the tune of 11 to one ! Yet even back then, there were many who insisted ' there's nothing wrong with our hockey'. That was a crock then, and to a significantly lesser extent, it still is...

***

Our Hockey mad nation has made considerable strides ( in terms of skill development ) since the ' Program Of Excellence' was instigated by Hockey Canada et al. BUT for any to imply that there's still not Considerable room for improvement, CONVENIENTLY IGNORES what we're ALL seeing played out on contemporary NHL Ice

CHEERS ET AL

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08-18-2009, 08:40 AM
  #82
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testify, brother.

the soviets would rather a thousand shallow victories than one genuine one. That said, canada was far, FAR, from being unbeatable; they would most certainly have lost their share of international events in the 1970s and 1980s even if they had their best available. Still, it is galling to listen to a self-serving russian or an ignorant american talk about canada's "gold medal drought" completely oblivious to the fact that canada was sending college kids to play world-class pros all those years.

Context is everything - even when discussing hockey

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08-18-2009, 08:53 AM
  #83
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canada is on the right track with hitting

Anyway, to get to hitting.....
I am going to support Hockey Canada on this one; they have made big strides since the 1980s and I actually think their decision-makers are pretty darn forward-thinking. Hitting is a skill, too, and players need to learn how to give and take a hit at an early age so that they avoid injury later. Of course, the ultimate focus must always be upon developing puckhandling skills; if you can;t make plays with the puck, then you can't play the game.

Also, just as a sidebar:

Canada does have a huge number of players in its system - but how many of those players are recreational players or players competing in house leagues? In russia, as Dave King as mentioned, the hockey system is fairly exclusive; in canada, it is inclusive and welcomes everyone to participate (the focus is not strictly just on developing world-class players but also on using hockey as a vehicle for participaction and fun). This might explain, at least to those familiar with the communist system, why the canadian system is "inefficient"

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08-18-2009, 10:55 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by whatsupcomrade View Post
Canada does have a huge number of players in its system - but how many of those players are recreational players or players competing in house leagues? In russia, as Dave King as mentioned, the hockey system is fairly exclusive; in canada, it is inclusive and welcomes everyone to participate (the focus is not strictly just on developing world-class players but also on using hockey as a vehicle for participaction and fun). This might explain, at least to those familiar with the communist system, why the canadian system is "inefficient"
I've been saying this for years.

They don't listen.

Meanwhile, I am yet another example of the Canadian system failing, being a recreational player within the Hockey Canada environment.

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08-18-2009, 01:27 PM
  #85
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That's exactly the reality that many non-Canadian posters ignore when talking about the numbers.

In Canada, every one-horse town has a rink. Literally, thousands of kids with no skill, no genetic athletic ability and no desire to pursue a pro career play the game for fun and because it's the only thing to do.

In places where hockey is more exclusive, if you're not good at hockey you don't play. Why would anyone play an expensive fringe sport if they suck at it when they could play a cheaper, more popular sport?

It's ridiculous to break the numbers down to equal ratios. The number of gifted, athletic hockey players is still higher in Canada than anywhere else but it's nowhere near proportional to the playing population, for reasons obvious to most but lost on some.

Canada's development of their elite hockey players is the envy of every other country. The fact that thousands of old men and kids who can't stand up on their skates also play recreationally is irrelevant.

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08-18-2009, 02:06 PM
  #86
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I guess a lot of Canadians here should take the pink shades off for a little bit and look around. One can say that outside of the goaltenders Canada has only one hockey star in Sidney Crosby who actually grew up in a remote location, which suggests that he became what he is despite the hockey system. Look - Canada fills all the European leagues with professional hockey players and that speaks a lot about the amount of players training to become top athletes in Canada but majority of them are journeymen. That's where all Canada's depth goes to, where are the superstars? I am not talking about Marios and Waynes, I am talking about second tier superstars like Messiers and Hulls?

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08-18-2009, 02:10 PM
  #87
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One can say that outside of the goaltenders Canada has only one hockey star in Sidney Crosby who actually grew up in a remote location, which suggests that he became what he is despite the hockey system.
Er, what?

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Where are the superstars? I am not talking about Marios and Waynes, I am talking about second tier superstars like Messiers and Hulls?
They're in the NHL.

They don't go to Europe.

There's always turnover going on.

The Sakics, Messiers, Yzermans, Hulls are slowly being replaced.

People always think the talent has dried up, and then Crosby, Richards, Carter, Getzlaf, Nash, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews, Doughty, etc. show up.

I, for one, am not worried at all.

Can we be better?

Sure.

Can we compete for gold in every tournament on the planet, even with our system the way it is?

Certainly.


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08-18-2009, 02:24 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Siberian View Post
I guess a lot of Canadians here should take the pink shades off for a little bit and look around. One can say that outside of the goaltenders Canada has only one hockey star in Sidney Crosby who actually grew up in a remote location, which suggests that he became what he is despite the hockey system.
You do gain credibility with this post. The fact that Sidney Crosby became what he is despite having no running water or electricity in his sod hut in Cole Harbour is remarkable.

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08-18-2009, 03:48 PM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Er, what?



They're in the NHL.

They don't go to Europe.

There's always turnover going on.

The Sakics, Messiers, Yzermans, Hulls are slowly being replaced.

People always think the talent has dried up, and then Crosby, Richards, Carter, Getzlaf, Nash, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews, Doughty, etc. show up.

I, for one, am not worried at all.

Can we be better?

Sure.

Can we compete for gold in every tournament on the planet, even with our system the way it is?

Certainly.
These guys you listed are way out of Messier's and Yzerman's league, at least for now...

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08-18-2009, 06:31 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Siberian View Post
These guys you listed are way out of Messier's and Yzerman's league, at least for now...
And they were out of Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe's league for the beginning of their careers too.

Only time will tell.


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08-18-2009, 06:38 PM
  #91
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It's just there were other Canadian who basically agreed with this and my point is that with some minor tweaks in Hockey Canada things may improve drastically for better in Canadian hockey.
The thing you can't seem to understand is:

(1) There are elite players in Canada.

(2) Hockey Canada can be improved.

Every hockey system can be improved. I'm not sure what kind of point you are making.

Will Canada ever dominate every senior level tournament for decades on end? Of course not. It's not going to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siberian
I just pointed out that at the pace that Canada has recently against Russia Canada will need about 40 years to achieve that.
Not that long ago, Russia didn't win a thing for over a decade. At that pace, they never would have ever won a Gold medal at the senior level ever again. Did anyone honestly believe that would happen?

Of course not.

And that's with a much larger sample size than Canada's relatively recent record against Russia in what, 3 or 4 games? LOL.

I think I'm willing to wait a few more years before raising the white flag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siberian
So as a Canadian you don't think it is an issue?
No, not really.

If anything, the quality of recent young Canadian talent demonstrates that our players are getting more skilled all the time.

I think we can continue to improve in that area, but if you used that brain of yours, you would realize that the changes that Canada put in place AFTER Nagano means that the first generation of players who have grown up in the modified system are 10 or 11 years old. You keep making that nutrition argument. It takes time to see the impact of change on the system.

Running around pointing at Canada's recent record at the senior level (which, by the way, is hardly horrid, considering they've medaled in 6 out of the 7 WC's since 2002 (3 gold, 3 silver) and won Gold in one of the two Olympics since Nagano. Not to mention the Gold at the World Cup which features more star players than most WCs.

If anything, it's Russia that still has a lot to prove as to whether they can be as consistent as Canada has been over the past 7 years.


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08-18-2009, 09:59 PM
  #92
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I personally agree with the story.. raising it to the age of 14 i think will be beneficial to all players.. obviously this is my opinion only..

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08-18-2009, 11:16 PM
  #93
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I personally agree with the story.. raising it to the age of 14 i think will be beneficial to all players.. obviously this is my opinion only..
I've agreed with it from the beginning.

But unlike Siberian, I don't think it would usher in an age of 50 Sidney Crosby's dominating the world.

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08-18-2009, 11:35 PM
  #94
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I've agreed with it from the beginning.

But unlike Siberian, I don't think it would usher in an age of 50 Sidney Crosby's dominating the world.
well i agree partially.. i do think we will see more players like crosby but bigger and a little less flashy, sort of a hybrid... whether it will be good or bad i dunno ol

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08-19-2009, 01:36 AM
  #95
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Dear Nyquil:

I think you and I are on the same page: the canadian model is not without flaw, but still pretty darn good. In any case, it is rather pointless to argue any of this with siberian or with any russian: I learned long ago that russians cling to their shibboleths like linus clings to his blanket. Overall, I beg to differ with those who insist that the russian system is "returning to normal;" i don't think it is because the world of the 1960s and 1970s is unlikely to be replicated. Specifically, you will never again see (I don't think) a situation where world-class pros compete against college kids year in and year out; I also don't think the russians (and this is true of any nation, by the way) will be able in the future to manipulate and control the IIHF as the soviets did under the "Stewardship" of Bunny Ahearne and Gunther Sabetzki. Also, the Russians will have greater difficulty collecting all of their elite talent under one roof as they did then (chiefly because so many kids want out of the country for obvious reasons) and - more significantly - I think that coaching and player development in canada is way ahead of where it was even a generation ago; canadian hockey is getting better all the time, too.

Finally, speaking of that elite Russian talent Zine was referring to: was any of that talent present when the Russian 1992s were waxed 9-2 by canada at the most recent Memorial of Ivan Hlinka or when the Russian 1991s were drubbed soundly in the U-18 world championship final by the United States? At the same time, if any of the players mentioned by Zine have yet to participate in international competition at the U-17 or U-18 levels, then it is merely hypothetical whether or not they will be great talents or simply over-hyped busts; certainly, Kabanov had plenty of hype going into last year's world U-18 championships (where he played well for most of the tournament but disappeared against the US in the gold medal game) and he also had plenty of hype going into this year's Ivan Hlinka yet was badly outplayed by Toffoli, MacFarland (sp?) and Seguin et al.

Finally, let's all agree that, when one gets right down to it, the Olympics and not the world championships are the true barometer of whether or not a nation is the best in the world at the senior level; each year at the WHCs, all nations miss out on many players that would surely help the national team cause and this prevents it from being the ultimate competition it should be. Certainly, were it not for the fact that the country has been plagued by an unconscionable number of NHL vets refusing to participate, sweden might very well have won at least 1 or even 2 of the last 3 world senior championships; i would have actually pegged them as at least co-favourites each of the last 2 years had all their solicited NHLers bothered to show up. Additionally, since they did win the last best on best competition, Sweden has every right to call itself the best in the world - at least until next february.

anyways, I'm not particularly troubled by the "state" of canadian hockey.

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08-19-2009, 04:45 AM
  #96
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Finally, speaking of that elite Russian talent Zine was referring to: was any of that talent present when the Russian 1992s were waxed 9-2 by canada at the most recent Memorial of Ivan Hlinka or when the Russian 1991s were drubbed soundly in the U-18 world championship final by the United States? At the same time, if any of the players mentioned by Zine have yet to participate in international competition at the U-17 or U-18 levels, then it is merely hypothetical whether or not they will be great talents or simply over-hyped busts; certainly, Kabanov had plenty of hype going into last year's world U-18 championships (where he played well for most of the tournament but disappeared against the US in the gold medal game) and he also had plenty of hype going into this year's Ivan Hlinka yet was badly outplayed by Toffoli, MacFarland (sp?) and Seguin et al.
Will all the players I listed be superstars? Of course not, you can’t predict anything when players are that young. However, what we’re seeing with the ’92-’95 is a collective overall talent level we haven’t had in recent years.

Unless there’s a significant drop in popularity (see Czechs and Slovaks), any idiot knows talent is generally produced in cycles….especially in European countries who have smaller talent pools. Russia is going through a lull right now; however, considering Russia’s history in the sport (ups and downs) in addition to the future talent outlook, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest talent is on the long-term downswing.

If we can defeat your best with our players produced throughout the 1990s, there's little to worry about talent wise.

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08-19-2009, 04:57 AM
  #97
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Back on topic.

Canada produces great depth, but its elite talent doesn’t match its resources, player base or overall popularity of sport.
Given that, unlike any other place on earth, hockey is almost a religion (everyone participates), they should easily be dominating to the extent America does basketball..….but for some reason they cannot. Why is this? Basketball in America is 'inclusive' too.

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08-19-2009, 08:23 AM
  #98
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Back on topic.

Canada produces great depth, but its elite talent doesn’t match its resources, player base or overall popularity of sport.
Given that, unlike any other place on earth, hockey is almost a religion (everyone participates), they should easily be dominating to the extent America does basketball..….but for some reason they cannot. Why is this? Basketball in America is 'inclusive' too.
One, America has hardly been dominating at basketball recently at the international level.

Two, the number of Americans in the NBA has actually been going down.

Three, the number of elite Americans relative to the total number of elite players in the league has been going down.

So thanks for the comparison, it definitely helps to make my point.

Anyway, there are all kinds of reasons why, reasons that any reasonable intelligent person could figure out.

One problem is that, in Canada, the emphasis is on hockey as a recreational sport, with a large portion of the resources devoted to ensure that as many people participate as possible.

If those resources were instead, directed solely towards the most promising athletes, then you might see the kind of result that you are looking for.

But Canadians are unwilling to change their attitudes towards hockey as a recreational sport, and are therefore unwilling to direct substantial resources away from the simple participation of their own children towards the more serious training of athletes.

For every "hockey parent" who wants their kid to be the next Gretzky, there are 20 who just want the kids to have fun.

Also, particularly in the last 20 years, competing attention for time is cited as a particular problem. Kids don't want to play hockey all the time, with TV, video games, the internet as distractions. The very "resources" you cite as a positive, in terms of the standard of living, are also a considerable negative.

Personally, I think another crop of "elite" Canadians is just around the corner. Any idiot knows talent is generally produced in cycles.

I'm just glad all of Russia's problems have clearly been solved because of their back to back victories at the World Championships. If only we could have been so lucky back in 2003-2004.

As I had made abundantly clear earlier, but which you apparently were unwilling/unable to read, changes to Canada's system took place within Hockey Canada following the 1998 Olympics. Meaning that, those players affected by those changes are around 10-11 years old. So give it a few years and let's see what pops out.


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08-19-2009, 11:56 AM
  #99
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As I had made abundantly clear earlier, but which you apparently were unwilling/unable to read, changes to Canada's system took place within Hockey Canada following the 1998 Olympics. Meaning that, those players affected by those changes are around 10-11 years old. So give it a few years and let's see what pops out.
Well, if you consider that the players affected by the changes would have been entering the game in '99, they're probably closer to 15 or 16, but the point is probably still apt. I'd argue as well that the change in the rules enforcement, now heading into its fourth full season, will put a greater emphasis on skills and lessen at least somewhat the impact of the physical game. The checking to the head rule, especially, has given smaller players a lot more confidence about going through the neutral zone without fear of having their heads removed.

I prefer a more skilled game. I'm a believer that body checks should be to separate the player from the puck, not the player from his vital organs. But it is hopelessly simplistic to think that if we de-emphasized hitting, we would see skyrocketing skill levels. The 98 summit that you referred to laid out the vast array of impediments to skills development.

In fact, our skill development model works extremely well to a point. Witness Canada's dominance at world junior championships. Arguments that those teams aren't as skilled as their European counterparts are weak in the face of, what, 11 straight medal finishes and five straight golds.

The problem with our skill development model is that such development wanes too early. Players that should be getting better through their teens and early 20s plateau too early. I suspect it has to do with the need of junior (especially major junior) teams to produce winning teams, and a greater emphasis on systems than on individual skills, but that's a gut feeling with nothing to back it up.

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08-19-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeHateMe
Well, if you consider that the players affected by the changes would have been entering the game in '99, they're probably closer to 15 or 16, but the point is probably still apt.
True, although I would guess that it would take time for the changes to filter through the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeHateHe View Post
I suspect it has to do with the need of junior (especially major junior) teams to produce winning teams, and a greater emphasis on systems than on individual skills, but that's a gut feeling with nothing to back it up.
I suspect it may go even younger than that.

The emphasis on winning as a team, as early as Pee Wee, is to me a bigger impediment to the development of skilled players than hitting is.

I suspect it leads to more mature junior players, who tend to be more competitive at the younger-aged international tournaments, but at a cost of skill development.

But I'm willing to consider raising the age for hitting. I personally don't think it would be a big detriment to Canadian hockey and the medical evidence seems to support it.

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