Is it just me or do other people notice this as well?
I feel like starting in 2009, the mentality of Habs management changed and they decided to aim for mostly North American players and minimize their dependance on Euros.
If you look at all the players that the Habs aquired since last year (2009).
Aquired 15 players:
1 European (Spacek)
Drafted in 2009:
1 Swede (7th round)
Our current Lineup (including RFAs)
16 North Americans (13 Canadians)
2008-2009 Lineup, Players that played for the Habs at least 1 game
23 North Americans (17 Canadians) - 13 players regularly in the lineup
10 Euros/Russians - 8 players regularly in the lineup
Coincidence that we reached the ECF for the first time in over a decade?
That's exactly my point.
Can it be that the myth is not really a myth?
That North American hockey players are more eager to compete to win the Stanley cup then European players who are considered to be here mostly for the pay, and for some a better way of life.
And it seems Habs management, with the trend they have taken in the last 2 years, have discovered this as well.
European players can be good but they have not been playing hockey in the kind of pressure and intensity the game is played here. They need to be more developped then N.-A. player. The ice surface is not the same, some rules are not the same...
We put ourselves in a better chance of winnig when we draft North American players since they have grown watching the NHL and they know how the game is played. The most important of all, its that N.-A. player are lot less risky to return back to europe since they most likely never want to go play there.