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It is time to talk about the future of Russian hockey

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05-29-2011, 02:14 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Absolutely correct! The Swedish and Finnish hockey development programs are examples of the good things that can happen when countries create their own youth development programs and focus on supporting them. Youth teams from both countries have been outstanding in the past six or seven years, and the fact that both Sweden and Finland were finalists in the WC this year is no accident. Few if any of those players were trained in North America, where the full emphasis is on league standings, and little emphasis on skills development.

For the Russians, compare the futures of Tarasenko and Kuznetsov with that of Kirill Kabanov. Tarasenko and Kuznetsov stayed at home and developed with their club teams, and now both are considered top prospects by all leagues. Contrast that with the career of Kabanov, who was considered the most talented of the three, but who is now virtually a forgotten man. Hopefully, Russian kids will learn from their example and stay home.
Finnish hockey development has been relatively sub-standard for the past decade. It's number of NHL picks and NHL impact players have stagnated and declined and the national junior teams have had little success. Citing Finland as an example of excellent development is not correct. There reasons for stagnation are different to the problems we are seeing in Slovakia and the Czech Republic (and even Russia) and they are working on it and i don't disagree with your idea in principle, it's just wrong to cite Finland as an example.

Russians should definitely be staying at home. Some will envitably still find success if they head to the CHL/AHL at a young age, but it is generally a poor choice because it can add so many other obstacles IMO to your development. Unneccessairy obstacles in general.

I think Kabanov is also a slightly unwise choice too as an example ; his personality leads me to believe that even had he stayed in Russia, his development may have stagnated.

The problem Russia has is its own development isn't that adequate. The creation of the MHL is a great idea. Practising is an essential part of development and the European way appeals more (More practice, less games and hard core competition) but you still need to be playing regularly, something many kids struggle to achieve at a high enough level.

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05-30-2011, 03:45 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
Finnish hockey development has been relatively sub-standard for the past decade. It's number of NHL picks and NHL impact players have stagnated and declined and the national junior teams have had little success. Citing Finland as an example of excellent development is not correct. There reasons for stagnation are different to the problems we are seeing in Slovakia and the Czech Republic (and even Russia) and they are working on it and i don't disagree with your idea in principle, it's just wrong to cite Finland as an example.

Russians should definitely be staying at home. Some will envitably still find success if they head to the CHL/AHL at a young age, but it is generally a poor choice because it can add so many other obstacles IMO to your development. Unneccessairy obstacles in general.

I think Kabanov is also a slightly unwise choice too as an example ; his personality leads me to believe that even had he stayed in Russia, his development may have stagnated.

The problem Russia has is its own development isn't that adequate. The creation of the MHL is a great idea. Practising is an essential part of development and the European way appeals more (More practice, less games and hard core competition) but you still need to be playing regularly, something many kids struggle to achieve at a high enough level.
Excellent points that you make! You are right in citing the fact that Finland hasn't won many tournaments, so maybe praise is a little overblown. With Finland, which is such a small country, the fact that they have remained so competitive with other countries that have a major advantage over them is worth noting, but you're right, they haven't won much.

I couldn't agree more with your point about the European focus on practicing and building skill instead of piling up the number of games, and the beneficial effect that has on developing talent. I look at the talent and potential of all the Russian players who have gone to North America, and the few who have realized success in the NHL, and the numbers seem so stark that it should serve as a warning to young players who have North American dreams (as another poster pointed out, Radulov is a clear exception of a star player who developed in North America, but it is hard to name similar cases).

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05-30-2011, 05:49 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Excellent points that you make! You are right in citing the fact that Finland hasn't won many tournaments, so maybe praise is a little overblown. With Finland, which is such a small country, the fact that they have remained so competitive with other countries that have a major advantage over them is worth noting, but you're right, they haven't won much.

I couldn't agree more with your point about the European focus on practicing and building skill instead of piling up the number of games, and the beneficial effect that has on developing talent. I look at the talent and potential of all the Russian players who have gone to North America, and the few who have realized success in the NHL, and the numbers seem so stark that it should serve as a warning to young players who have North American dreams (as another poster pointed out, Radulov is a clear exception of a star player who developed in North America, but it is hard to name similar cases).
If i recall correctly, the main issue with Finland is that they focused too much on "play for everybody" rather than focusing on elite development. They had a policy of giving everybody equal ice time instead of enabling the cream to be developed correctly and recieve enough intensive training. I may be wrong here and im sure a Finnish poster could articulate the idea in a better manner. Hopefully they model their system after Sweden and we begin to see more improvements. It is definitely looking like Finland is beginning to improve their development in the last 2-3 years.

If you look at English football, you can see that within youth development we have seen some stagnation. It's pretty widely known that English youngsters are considered to have inferior technique on average to some continental nations. I believe this is in part because too much emphasis is put on competition/winning and not enough on technique and skill development. Skill development especially at an early age is far more important than installing that winning mentality. Our development system is too focused on winning whatever method (inavriably the "wrong one") rather than technique.

Russian players going to the CHL/AHL at a young age is certainly a statistical barrage of failure. Most of these statistics are made up of players from the late 90's and early 200's though. It will be interesting to see how the recent generations fair. Many of the better 90/91/92/93 classes have gone to North America. It's too early to tell, but it will be most revealing to see how players like Grachev, Loktionov, Galiev, Yakupov, Kabanov, Burmistrov, Kulikov, Voynov etc etc pan out. It will give us a greater definitive answer in my opinion on the correct path ; although it is definitely widely acknowkedged that staying at home for all European prospects and their respective national programmes is the much better thing.

What Russia must do is find a way to develop players at home better. There seems to have been a 5-6 year gap where nothing really happened, no players were really developed or lead to anything. It seemed young players had no place to develop. The MHL seems a very positive thing. What is the level of this hockey? The KHL also must do a better job of integrating young players and offering them opportunities. In recent years Sweden has allowed some of its youngsters more playing time. Obviously it is still difficult to get ice time, but more opportunity is there. This has to be the reason for many of the hyped young Russians (Kuchin, Kitsyn, Petrov etc) of recent times to somewhat stagnate and not develop in line of what we thought they would be at 14/15.

Perhaps i ramble too much, but the situation Russia finds itself in is fascinating IMO. Some bad times have been had at the Junior level recently and this obviously seems like a transitional period for the infrastructure of Junior hockey.

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06-03-2011, 08:29 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
If i recall correctly, the main issue with Finland is that they focused too much on "play for everybody" rather than focusing on elite development. They had a policy of giving everybody equal ice time instead of enabling the cream to be developed correctly and recieve enough intensive training. I may be wrong here and im sure a Finnish poster could articulate the idea in a better manner. Hopefully they model their system after Sweden and we begin to see more improvements. It is definitely looking like Finland is beginning to improve their development in the last 2-3 years.
That was a fairly accurate description of our issues. To be more specific, it wasn't the "Nuori Suomi" program itself but rather the way it was interpreted by junior coaches. The program never forbid competition but far too many coaches took as strict guide line. As a result, Finland had really woeful '87 - '90 borns classes and though we had some gems in eeh '91 and '92 borns, the dman corp in '92 - '03 borns is looking so weak that the WJC squad will consist mostly of '94 borns.

Oh and I feel I still must remind that players moving to the CHL, whether they're Russian or Finns/Czechs/Slovaks, should all be judged individually, as each player's personal situation at domestic clubs can vary tremendously.

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06-03-2011, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post

Oh and I feel I still must remind that players moving to the CHL, whether they're Russian or Finns/Czechs/Slovaks, should all be judged individually, as each player's personal situation at domestic clubs can vary tremendously.
this - exactly. Couldn't have said it any better

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06-04-2011, 02:50 AM
  #31
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The World Championships revealed that Russian hockey is in a transition period.

On paper Russia had a good team, a very good team actually. But the result and especially the effort was not there. With better luck and without some questionable calls by the refs Russia could have beaten Finland in the semifinals, but still it was not a good effort by Russia.

In my opinion it is time for Russia to start playing more young players in the national team. But the question is that where are they going to come from. Russian team in the World Championships was very experienced and aside from Kulikov and Tarasenko lacked young players.

Right now Russia has only three players born in the 1990s that are good enough to play in the national team. They are Kulikov, Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Canada, the US and Sweden have far more talent in age groups born in the 1990s. Even Finland might have more talent in these age groups than Russia.

Russian coach Bykov said after the World Championships that he cannot artificially bring young players to national team if they are not good enough. He is right there. Russia cannot play Nikita Filatov and Alexander Burmitstrov in the World Championships until they have proven themselves in their club teams.

My vision of the future of Russian hockey is that unless Russia manages to catch up Canada, the US, Sweden (and possibly Finland) in junior development Russia will start to lag behind in a similar manner as Slovakia and to a lesser extent Czech Republic have. Russia's best players - Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Semin and Markov - are all declining. Pavel Datsyuk is still magnificent but he is 32 and will start to decline in 2-3 years. The famed ZZM line was at it's peak in 2005-2008 but has regressed dramatically since. The promising youngsters from early 2000s Nikolai Zherdev and Alexander Frolov never became stars despite promising starts. Defensemen Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin and Anton Volchenkov are not going to get any better. They are at the peak of their careers now.

Right now Russian hockey is in a stage where it's best players are either in their primes or aging and declining. There are a few players in younger generations such as Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Kulikov and Artem Anisimov who can become very good players, but this is not enough if Russia is going to become a top hockey nation again. Russia is going to fall behind if the age groups born in 1992 or after will not produce better talent than the previous age groups.

The national team needs better coaching and decision making than what Bykov managed to give this year, but the real challenges of Russian hockey are far deeper than how the national team is managed. Simply put: Russia needs to produce better young players than it has done in the last five or six years.
pure nonsense! put keep whining, its so amusing after all

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06-04-2011, 04:47 PM
  #32
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That was a fairly accurate description of our issues. To be more specific, it wasn't the "Nuori Suomi" program itself but rather the way it was interpreted by junior coaches. The program never forbid competition but far too many coaches took as strict guide line. As a result, Finland had really woeful '87 - '90 borns classes and though we had some gems in eeh '91 and '92 borns, the dman corp in '92 - '03 borns is looking so weak that the WJC squad will consist mostly of '94 borns.

Oh and I feel I still must remind that players moving to the CHL, whether they're Russian or Finns/Czechs/Slovaks, should all be judged individually, as each player's personal situation at domestic clubs can vary tremendously.
You make a good point about problem situtations in domestic teams, but the results seem to show that it is rarely a good move to head to the CHL/AHL. Two problems: CHL/AHL don't focus on skills development, and European kids have to learn to become North American hockey players. A good case in point is Avtsin. He was a sensation two years ago, and now he is completely forgotten. I think he is in the AHL now, but nobody in the NHL media talks about him as being a prospect. Expectations for him are about zero!

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06-04-2011, 07:04 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
You make a good point about problem situtations in domestic teams, but the results seem to show that it is rarely a good move to head to the CHL/AHL. Two problems: CHL/AHL don't focus on skills development, and European kids have to learn to become North American hockey players. A good case in point is Avtsin. He was a sensation two years ago, and now he is completely forgotten. I think he is in the AHL now, but nobody in the NHL media talks about him as being a prospect. Expectations for him are about zero!
Actually I believe that is false. I think someone here listed the weekly schedule of his town's CHL team and they did have skills training there. I think the amount may vary more. The schedules in Finland's SM-liiga (men's level) has gotten so hectic (60 game regular season ) that there's hardly any time anymore to have skills training during the season. Second, for some European's the bigger number of regular season can be a shock, it's no wonder some European rookies looked a little worn out towards the end of the season or at Worlds, so becoming accustomed to the NA amount of games in the CHL or AHL isn't that bad.

And like I said, pointing to the study about the success's of different development routes is futile in my case as I deem it incomplete due to the individual player situations not being considered.

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06-04-2011, 07:14 PM
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Having gone through Russian and Canadian hockey "skills" training - there are major differences. Russian practices are longer, slower pace and more drawn out. Canadian- high pace, quality is somewhat important but it's not nearly as enforced as in Russia. A Russian coach will usually stop the practice if he sees someone doing the wrong thing and can get very verbally violent and somewhat insulting to get his point across- to ensure that quality is up to snuff. In Canada, the idea is - if you want to develop your skills, it's up to you and no one will go out of their way to make sure you don't slack off.

Sure there are some differences here and there- but the mentality is certainly different. Anyone can skate around with the puck and half-ass the exercises, however its completely different focus and do it to a high standard and the coach making sure its done right.

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06-05-2011, 03:24 PM
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Actually I believe that is false. I think someone here listed the weekly schedule of his town's CHL team and they did have skills training there. I think the amount may vary more. The schedules in Finland's SM-liiga (men's level) has gotten so hectic (60 game regular season ) that there's hardly any time anymore to have skills training during the season. Second, for some European's the bigger number of regular season can be a shock, it's no wonder some European rookies looked a little worn out towards the end of the season or at Worlds, so becoming accustomed to the NA amount of games in the CHL or AHL isn't that bad.

And like I said, pointing to the study about the success's of different development routes is futile in my case as I deem it incomplete due to the individual player situations not being considered.
The collective has to be assessed to understand the current trends and developments in the youth programmes. By understanding these trends, we can then begin to know what is right and wrong about the system and what we can do about it.

For young Russians, the overwhelming history is that the CHL/AHL is NOT as a rule the place to be. None of the current NHL stars did this whilst those who did litter the biggest bust threads today. Individually we can say that some saw success ; Alexander Radulov for one. Some of the new NA Russian crop are likely to see success i'd suggest. Individuals can be successful taking this route. But a development system isn't really about the individual, it's about the collective. It's about maximising your resources potential. The stats do not lie ; potential is realized at a greater rate when the youth remain in Russia for important development years.

The statistically best option for any given youth player from Russia (without truely assesing him) would be to stay in Russia. Surely therefore it is entirely logical to edge to this side of the scale ; the success rate is higher. It's great and all that people can sit on the fence and say we must assess the individual and that these studies are futile, but in reality the opposite is the case.

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06-06-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
The collective has to be assessed to understand the current trends and developments in the youth programmes. By understanding these trends, we can then begin to know what is right and wrong about the system and what we can do about it.

For young Russians, the overwhelming history is that the CHL/AHL is NOT as a rule the place to be. None of the current NHL stars did this whilst those who did litter the biggest bust threads today. Individually we can say that some saw success ; Alexander Radulov for one. Some of the new NA Russian crop are likely to see success i'd suggest. Individuals can be successful taking this route. But a development system isn't really about the individual, it's about the collective. It's about maximising your resources potential. The stats do not lie ; potential is realized at a greater rate when the youth remain in Russia for important development years.

The statistically best option for any given youth player from Russia (without truely assesing him) would be to stay in Russia. Surely therefore it is entirely logical to edge to this side of the scale ; the success rate is higher. It's great and all that people can sit on the fence and say we must assess the individual and that these studies are futile, but in reality the opposite is the case.
I think Fulcrum is right when he says that for skills development, in NA it is expected that you bring those skills with you, or develop them on their own. It is not something that is worked on for hours in practice, as in Russia.

The cultural adjustment should not be underestimated either. Making the transition to living in NA is tougher for Russian kids, I believe, than for Finns or Swedes, who have a more Western-style culture. If you aren't mature psychologically, it makes the transition that much tougher. Also, the style of hockey is much different, and Russian kids are expected to conform to NA norms and practices, rather than the reverse.

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06-13-2011, 11:05 AM
  #37
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Is anyone able to speak to the hierarchy of Russian Hockey? How do the 2 different factions work ( Medvedev, Fetisov, Yurzinov vs FHR, Tretiak, Mikhailov)? I know that there are more rinks being built but is there a plan to expand the footprint for more athletes?

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06-15-2011, 11:38 AM
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Is anyone able to speak to the hierarchy of Russian Hockey? How do the 2 different factions work ( Medvedev, Fetisov, Yurzinov vs FHR, Tretiak, Mikhailov)? I know that there are more rinks being built but is there a plan to expand the footprint for more athletes?
Just my opinion, but it seems that both the KHL faction (Medvedev, Fetisov) and the FHR have taken initiative in building new rinks, although it falls more under the role of the FHR. The KHL launched the MHL, the major junior league, but seemingly with a lot of coordination with the FHR. I think it is important to keep up the pace in building more and more rinks. The IIHF lists the number of indoor rinks in Canada as 1,275; 327 in Sweden; and 240 in Finland, in comparison to 316 in all of Russia. Finland has about the same population as the city of St. Petersburg, and at the same time, about 80% of the number of indoor rinks in Russia. Other countries have invested a lot more in hockey development, and Russia needs to catch up.

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06-18-2011, 11:01 AM
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Just my opinion, but it seems that both the KHL faction (Medvedev, Fetisov) and the FHR have taken initiative in building new rinks, although it falls more under the role of the FHR. The KHL launched the MHL, the major junior league, but seemingly with a lot of coordination with the FHR. I think it is important to keep up the pace in building more and more rinks. The IIHF lists the number of indoor rinks in Canada as 1,275; 327 in Sweden; and 240 in Finland, in comparison to 316 in all of Russia. Finland has about the same population as the city of St. Petersburg, and at the same time, about 80% of the number of indoor rinks in Russia. Other countries have invested a lot more in hockey development, and Russia needs to catch up.
Actually it says 2475. So by comparison Russia is doing very well.

How long has the MHL been in existence? Is the MHL looking stable?

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06-18-2011, 04:53 PM
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Actually it says 2475. So by comparison Russia is doing very well.

How long has the MHL been in existence? Is the MHL looking stable?
Thanks for correcting my error on the number of Canadian rinks. I still believe that Russia must, at a minimum, keep up the current pace if there is to be more talent to choose from and develop in the future.

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06-19-2011, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for correcting my error on the number of Canadian rinks. I still believe that Russia must, at a minimum, keep up the current pace if there is to be more talent to choose from and develop in the future.
James Bond,

Sorry I didn't answer the second question. The Russian MHL junior league was founded for the 2009-10 season. They will start the third season this year.

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06-20-2011, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for correcting my error on the number of Canadian rinks. I still believe that Russia must, at a minimum, keep up the current pace if there is to be more talent to choose from and develop in the future.
Bear in my mind that in Canada there's also a lot more competition for the ice time. Also, there hasn't been built many new rinks in Finland for a long time and ice times are already in great demand.

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06-20-2011, 10:23 AM
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Bear in my mind that in Canada there's also a lot more competition for the ice time. Also, there hasn't been built many new rinks in Finland for a long time and ice times are already in great demand.
Good point! But it is still true that in order to develop hockey players in a meaningful way, access to indoor ice is necessary. I think it is true that in any city or town in Finland that has 50,000 or more people, there will be at least one indoor arena. There are many regions of Russia where cities or towns with 50,000 population don't have an indoor arena anywhere near them. That is the gap that Russia must try to close.

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06-20-2011, 08:15 PM
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Good point! But it is still true that in order to develop hockey players in a meaningful way, access to indoor ice is necessary. I think it is true that in any city or town in Finland that has 50,000 or more people, there will be at least one indoor arena. There are many regions of Russia where cities or towns with 50,000 population don't have an indoor arena anywhere near them. That is the gap that Russia must try to close.
well, MHL-B will be a good step towards it. They need to work on smaller amount of "blatnie" and tighten the age in the league.

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06-20-2011, 09:43 PM
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well, MHL-B will be a good step towards it. They need to work on smaller amount of "blatnie" and tighten the age in the league.
since when has that been an issue?

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06-21-2011, 07:07 AM
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since when has that been an issue?
lol u serious? I read an interview with the coach (he didn't name himself) of an MHL team - he said he had 40-50 players in the camp and a list of 14 he must have on the team, that is 3 complete lines...

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06-21-2011, 02:12 PM
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well, MHL-B will be a good step towards it. They need to work on smaller amount of "blatnie" and tighten the age in the league.
One MHL team that seems to be doing a great job of mobilizing and developing junior players is CSKA itself! They have some great young talent - Grigorenko, Kucherov, Gusev, Prokhorkin, and so on. If CSKA can somehow hold on to those players, the future of the KHL team will look bright.

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06-21-2011, 03:42 PM
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lol u serious? I read an interview with the coach (he didn't name himself) of an MHL team - he said he had 40-50 players in the camp and a list of 14 he must have on the team, that is 3 complete lines...
Thats whack. Its somewhat of a surprise actually to hear that 3 lines on a single MHL team can be arranged. I thought it was more of in a way like the CSKA scandal where the underpaid coaches of hockey schools took money for ice time and stuff, not player positions in the highest junior league.
Either way the director of the MHL has numerously said that the league does not take any king of vzyatki for its all star teams and its events- so thats kind of good.

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06-21-2011, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by yunost View Post
Thats whack. Its somewhat of a surprise actually to hear that 3 lines on a single MHL team can be arranged. I thought it was more of in a way like the CSKA scandal where the underpaid coaches of hockey schools took money for ice time and stuff, not player positions in the highest junior league.
Either way the director of the MHL has numerously said that the league does not take any king of vzyatki for its all star teams and its events- so thats kind of good.
pure populism, I don't believe a single word, this "Red Stars" team seems to be like an icing on the agent's games. And the coaches taking money for the ice time is left and right as well.

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06-21-2011, 06:25 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
One MHL team that seems to be doing a great job of mobilizing and developing junior players is CSKA itself! They have some great young talent - Grigorenko, Kucherov, Gusev, Prokhorkin, and so on. If CSKA can somehow hold on to those players, the future of the KHL team will look bright.
and yet if you look at the cska as an organization it's a face-palm at best...Grigorenko if he goes to NA is a potential top-3 pick in the NHL - if I were him - I am GONE! Unless the rumblings about "fixed" age are true. Gusev didn't get drafted and too small for the NHL, Kucherov is smallish as well and most likely can be retained in the KHL - whether the latter two will be playing in CSKA - not so sure. But even the red army team had Kravchuk, Guryanov and a couple of "blatnie" goalies in the past few years and the adult team is just signed Butsaev's younger brother who didn't do much even in the VHL, then you add Korotkov, Sayustov and a ton of suspect signings from abroad in the past years, like Netik, Pilar and others.

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