WILL there be 8 big hockey countries?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Faktisti*, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Faktisti*

    Faktisti* Guest

    do u think that there will be more than 7 BIG hockey countries after few years?

    i think that after 7 big there are switzerland, germany, belarus and latvia, but none of those is going to be more than second level hockey countries. i think that junior development and hockey culture isnt going on in these countries..

    or what do u think. slovakia has done great and become a great hockey land, but if u look at germany's developtment, do u see anything big has changed?few years ago many thought that germany will become 8th big hockey country but it hasnt happened.

    what do u think about this and what u think is the biggest reasons to this?
     
  2. fong p88

    fong p88 Registered User

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    for a few years Germany did seem to be on the verge of becoming a competitive counrty but then they tailed off with prospects coming over to the NHl but they do seem to have gained a little bit of their momentum recently. Although when Kolzig retires they are going to be in big trouble. Of the others I'd say Switzerland has the best chance to compete (they did at the last Olympics) they have been developing more and more prospects and look to have a solid foundation to build upon.
     
  3. Sanderson

    Sanderson Registered User

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    Kölzig rarely plays for Germany actually. In the last eight years he only played in the 2004 World Championships, 2005 World Cup and 2006 Olympics.

    They did quite well in this WC, even though they were without the best three goalies. Thomas Greiss was needed in Worcester+San Jose, Robert Müller was out because he needed treatment for a brain tumor.

    I don't think that Germany has any real chance to get to the top 7, at least not on a consistent level. They might challenge them now and then, but that's it.
     
  4. Faktisti*

    Faktisti* Guest

    i think that they just need ONE BIG STAR. like slovenia, they have now kopitar, who will be a big name
     
  5. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    To call Olaf Kölzig German is a bit of a stretch. Yes he is a citizen (through his father??), and yes he has played for Germany, but he is 100% a product of North American hockey. My understanding is that he has never actually lived in Germany, and even struggles a bit with the language.
    His name sounds really German though!
     
  6. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    The best way to judge an emerging nation's development is by the number of elite players they produce, not necessarily by the team results in international tournaments. There are a number of factors that make teams like Germany and Switzerland look much better than they actually are:
    1. They have more prep time as a team before the tournament starts.
    2. IIHF rules and rinks are based on European standards which gives them an advantage over NA teams.
    3. Most importantly, the Big 7 teams have a hard time motivating themselves to play these second tier nations, especially when they are usually meaningless preliminary round games.

    The top 7 nations are all capable of icing very competetive mens teams, any of which could win a gold medal. After that there is a huge drop in talent for teams 8 and below.
     
  7. Booba

    Booba Registered User

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    Austria has Vanek and they are not in the top countries...
     
  8. BAuldie

    BAuldie Registered User

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    Denmark may make a push soon too. They are starting to develop some NHL calibre players like Hansen and the Islanders dude who's name escapes me at the moment. With guys like Lars Eller coming down the pipes who knows.
     
  9. Sanderson

    Sanderson Registered User

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    It's not a stretch at all.
    He's German because he was born to German parents. He grew up in Denmark, spent the summers in Germany, before going over to Canada. By now he has zero trouble speaking German.

    Heck, Uwe Krupp had trouble speaking German when he became assistant and later head coach of team Germany. It simply happens when you don't really get to use a language all that often.

    If someone was never anything but a German, how can it be a stretch to call him one?
    Whether he is a product of North Amerian hockey or not, doesn't matter one bit, nor does it have anything to do with the topic.


    As for Germany having more time to prepare for international tournaments, heck no!
    They have a minor advantage at the regular World Championship, but even then do they miss quite a lot of players because the playoffs aren't over at that point. Not to mention that unlike the big nations, Germany is really hurt by not having their NHL-players.
    It is one thing to miss top players when you still have lots of NHL-stars available, it's something entirely different when you are without all your star-players.

    Just take the defense, the difference between the German top 4 and the rest of the defensemen is as big as the difference between Anaheim's top 3 and the rest of their defense, it's like night and day. Without their top-4, Germany's defense has no offense whatsoever, is much slower and not nearly as good defensively.

    That's the big advantage Switzerland has over Germany. They do have almost all their skilled players in Europe, and can play all the tournaments together. That may change in the future, with more and more Swiss players going to North America, but right now they still have that advantage.


    Smaller countries might actually be hurt much more by the NHL-playoffs than the big nations are, because they lose a much higher percentage of their star-players, simply because they have less.

    IIHF rules are not an advantage or disadvantage for anyone. The big 7 are full of players who have played in Europe or one of the big tournaments before, they know the rules.

    The only thing I can agree with, is the drop in talent after the big 7, which is quite large and won't be closed anytime soon.
     
  10. Faktisti*

    Faktisti* Guest

    i disagree, most denmark players go play to sweden in young age so its allmost impossible to denmark have their own elite league which could be one of the best in europe. i really hope that future will look much different but i gues that there wont become any fan cultures, at least not for few next years.
     
  11. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    http://www.hockeytalk.biz/europe_archives.htm

    If I am reading this article correctly I think Olaf came to Canada when he was about 3 years old. He speaks English perfectly, which does suggest he was raised here from a young age. I would imagine he has at least three, if not four citizenships. South African, Canadian, German and possibly American? If he had been good enough to make a Canadian squad, I'm sure there is a good chance he would have played for us, just like Dany Heatley.

    When Olaf retires from hockey, where do you think he is going to live?
     
  12. MAF

    MAF Registered User

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    I don't think that you are allowed to have 3 or 4 citizenships...at least not when the German one is among them.

    But I think Kölzig only has the german citizenship. If he had 2 citizenships and decided to play for one nation, he needs to play 3 years in that country...and Kölzig has not played 3 years in Germany yet. There is some IIHF rule about it...see Sven Butenschön, who is German, but not yet allowed to play for us.
     
  13. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    You might be right about German citizenship, there are lots of different rules out there. I know that Canada has no restrictions on multiple citizenships. My wife is originally from Sweden, and when she became a Canadian citizen back in the 1980's, Sweden revoked her citizenship, as they did not allow dual citizens. Then in around 2001 Sweden changed their rules, and gave her back her citizenship. Now even our children are dual Swedish - Canadian citizens. I think the US is still makes it very difficult to be a dual citizen there.

    I believe Olaf got around that three year rule because he would have been a German citizen since birth. If I understand correctly, that rule is to prevent players from just moving to another country for the sake of playing for their national team, when they had no affiliation with that country previously.

    By my calculations Olaf has lived in these countries as follows:
    South Africa 2yrs
    Denmark 1yr
    Canada 15yrs
    USA 18ys
    Germany 0yrs
     
  14. MAF

    MAF Registered User

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    Exactly. If you have 2 citizenships you need to play 3 years in that country. That is the problem with Sven Butenschön. He was born as a German, but moved to Canada early in his life and even got the Canadian citizenship. But although he is German since his birth and has never played for any national team, he is not yet allowed to play for Germany, because he's played here for only 2 years.
    And since Kölzig is German since birth and has never played 3 years in Germany, it's safe to assume that he only has the German citizenship. But I don't know what happens if you get a second citizenship AFTER you have played for a country.

    This rule makes sense...maybe not in every case, but in general. You see that quite often in other sports like skiing or so that people start for some country, but they don't speak a word of their language, let alone be a citizen of that country.
     
  15. stv11

    stv11 Global Moderator

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    Actually I think Switzerland and Germany would benefit from playing on NHL rinks, both being defensive minded teams trying to push their opponents to the outside.

    If the rules didn't change afterward, Ulf Samuelsson being kicked out of the Nagano olympics proves that there is no exception for players getting the second citizenship after playing for a country. I also think it's safe to assume he only has the german citizenship.

    Regarding the original question, in my opinion it's safe to assume that it's bound to happen, as it happend with Finland and the US in the late 80's. Switzerland is probably the best bet considering their improvement over the last ten years, while Germany hasn't really evolved from their "just behind the best" level for decades (I would like to read some opinions from german fans about this). I also wouldn't rule out improving programs like Belarus and Denmark.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  16. MAF

    MAF Registered User

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    I think Samuelsson got kicked out because his swedish citizenship was not valid anymore or he even had lost it completely.
     
  17. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    Back then the rule in Sweden was that you lost your Swedish Citizenship if you became a citizen of another country. Ulf became an American citizen, but didn't notify the Swedish authorities, so they thought he was still a Swede. A Swedish reporter discovered this during the Olympics and let out Ulfie's little secret.

    Ulfie claimed he wasn't aware of Sweden's rules on citizenship.
     
  18. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    It might help them against the other 2nd tier teams from Europe, but the top 7 teams can all producer rosters full of NHLer's. If they tried under those conditions they would crush the Swiss or Germans. I would like to see the Swiss team tour the AHL, I think they would have a pretty tough time.

    As the NHL and IIHF make rule changes to try to open up the game, it will further expose the drop between the 7th and 8th teams.
     
  19. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    If Olaf had represented Canada at an IIHF tournament, then yes, he would have to live in Germany for four years before he could play for Germany. He was never good enough to play for Canada, so it's a bit of a non issue. Since he never played for Canada, he was free to play for Germany.

    http://www.iihf.com/news/iihfpr2603.htm
     
  20. Eagle Eye Cherry

    Eagle Eye Cherry guitar player

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    Yes, the Swiss will be the next elite hockey nation. We have the culture, junior program and improved results internationally speaking. Our golden boy Luca Cunti WILL make the NHL! You can compare him to Marc Savard, in terms of playmaking talent and is the slickest skater in the first round of draft. I have seen him play and rushes from end to end so good, similar to this one rush I've seen from nikolai zherdev.
     
  21. Faktisti*

    Faktisti* Guest

    swiss have more registred players than slovaks, am i right?

    i just heard this from somewhere, or was it germany
     
  22. stv11

    stv11 Global Moderator

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  23. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    That's a bold prediction coming from a country that has never produced an elite hockey player. I realize the term "elite" is subjective, but I don't think there has ever been a time when a Swiss player would be considered one of the top 10 players at his position in the world. To the best of my knowledge there was only one Swiss player who played regularily in the NHL last year.

    I hope you're right, but Switzerland has got a loooooong way to go to reach "elite" status!
     
  24. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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    On paper Slovakia will have a great mens team in 2010, and should have a good shot at the gold. After that I'm not so sure how they will do. A lot of people are concerned that development in Slovakia is declining, and in reality we may be faced with an "Elite 6" in the future, not an "Elite 7 or 8".
     

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