Is it fair to call Sweden a Third World Hockey Nation?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Papa Smurf, Dec 28, 2004.

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  1. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Registered User

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    Having watched yesterdays Canada/Sweden game, it was mentioned by either Bob Mackenzie or Pierre Maguire that Sweden was "Once a powerful hockey nation." but "Is now a Third World Nation in hockey."

    Is this fair?

    I don't have enough information nor knowledge about Swedish hockey to either support or deny the statements made.

    Does anybody agree? Disagree?

    They had also brought up Swedens 8th (or 6th?) place finnish at last years event. I don't think that is really relivant since Canada ended up in the same situation in '98.
     
  2. That was also just one horrible tournament after 5 straight Gold Medals...and Canada rebounded after that. Although there is no Gold to show, they have won a medal in every tournament since that dreadful 8th place finish in 1998.

    I don't think it is quite fair yet. Sweden's professionals are still very powerful and very much a threat at the World Championships, Olympics and World Cup.

    However, their junior program has gone down the crapper over the last 8 years. Their last medal was a silver in 1996. Their World U20 finishes since then have been as follows...

    1996 - 2nd
    1997 - 8th
    1998 - 6th
    1999 - 4th
    2000 - 5th
    2001 - 4th
    2002 - 6th
    2003 - 8th
    2004 - 7th

    This year, Sweden could be lucky that they are in the weaker pool. If they can get a win against either of Finland or Slovakia, they might just sneak into the quarter finals.

    However, again, once this generation moves into being Sweden's "go to" players for their mens national team, Sweden's world ranking is going to plummet.
     
  3. An Ape called Yoko

    An Ape called Yoko Registered User

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    I dont think so. Swedens system is based on depth. Lots of players are sitting on the bench and develope their game at older age. Pretty much all swedish players that becomes really good are latebloomers and are around 22-25.
     
  4. Riddarn

    Riddarn 1980-2011

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    Hmm but you could wonder if you couldn't do anything to improve this depth system. Finding quality ice time for 19-22 year olds for example. It seems to be getting harder and harder in both the SEL and Allsvenskan.
     
  5. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    No.

    They still have one of the top leagues in the world, some of the best NHL-players in the world (despite them getting older) and there are some really good players coming up.

    I think their biggest problem is the federation which seems to lack a clear direction, coaches come and go and generally the 'big picture' is not that clear.

    There are still craploads of depth and talent coming in the swedish junior system.

    Uh, I feel so dirty now defending them swedes... :help:
     
  6. But how does this explain that the 2004 NHL Entry Draft was the first in 10 years where a Swedish player was not selected in the first round?
     
  7. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Nope, clearly a Second World Nation.
     
  8. London Knights

    London Knights Registered User

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    Top 10 drafts picks are good when you are hoping for sure-fire players, but just because you don't have a top 10 pick one year doesn't mean that it is possible for players to develop into "top 10 pick" players later on.

    Sweden may be on a downward turn right now, but it in no way means they are a third world hockey nation. They still beat up on Germany 6-0, so they are nowhere near that low of a level with regards to ability. They just aren't in the league of the top team in the tournament.
     
  9. User571

    User571 Registered User

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    I think you have to look at the International Hockey Tournaments in two tiers:
    There are the current generation tournaments: World Cup, Olympics, World Championships etc.

    Then there are the next generation tournaments: World Junor U-20, U-18, U-17, etc.

    I think based on the Swedes late results it would be fairly accurate to place them at about 6th in a ranking.

    Canada would be the obvious choice for first, I think you have to put Russia second, I think the Americans and the Finns are interchangeably 3 and 4, and the Czechs have fallen to 5th.
     
  10. MOGiLNY

    MOGiLNY Registered User

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    Canada hasn't won gold since 1997, are they a 3rd world hockey nation too? No.

    Sweden is having tough times right now, but everybody goes through those, I'm sure the Swedes will rebound in a few years..
     
  11. An Ape called Yoko

    An Ape called Yoko Registered User

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    Well. First of all. Is the NHL-draft really that accurate at determing future skill? Future is always impossible to tell. There are some serious rawtalents who are selected late - who later become top stars.

    Secondly. I think 2004 was a good draft for the swedes. Quite many taken during the first day actually - more than the finns for example(although they had three first rounders). That no one taken in the first round was because Johannes Salmonsson had been injured A LOT during the season, same thing with Johan Fransson. Otherwise i think we could have had two.
     
  12. RorschachWJK

    RorschachWJK Registered User

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    I don't think it is a fair statement. The Swedes are very good at team sports in general, they are proud of their way to play hockey, and I think they will rebound in a few years.

    A side note: it was interesting to see three guys on the Swedish team having partially Finnish background: Rautio, Heino-Lindberg and Savilahti-Nagander :)
     
  13. e-e

    e-e Registered User

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    what makes you feel that russia is second? :dunno:
    what peroiod of time do you take into account? last game of world cup? last nhl season? last 5 years in IIHF competition? last 10 years of any international tournament?

    you ranked russia as 2nd hockey nation?

    as for seniors:
    what has russia done in last 10 years? if i'm correct they've got one silver (2002) from world championship and bronze from olympics (2002). some one could consider russia one year wonder.

    czechs are 5th?... :eek: i'm not sure if we both are on the same planet
     
  14. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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    Maybe he was talking about the junior tournaments. :dunno:
     
  15. User571

    User571 Registered User

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    Yeah I was combining the two, and I was talking about recently not historically. Truth is Czechs havent won much recently other than the Gold in 98.
     
  16. Kaizer

    Kaizer Registered User

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    You know, after early and middle 90's I'm pleased that we didn't relegated to pool B. Only now our hockey schools alive a little bit after that crisis.
     
  17. CeskyHokej

    CeskyHokej Registered User

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    Hmmm let' see,

    U20
    Gold 2000, 2001

    World Championship
    Gold 1999, 2000, 2001

    Looks like they have won a bunch since 98.
     
  18. Third, No

    Second, yes.

    Simply put, their Junior program hasn't done anything in years, and even their entrees into the World Championships, Olympics and World Cup failed to net any positive results either.

    Swedish hockey would love to have half of the same results Canada has had lately.
     
  19. Predatore

    Predatore Registered User

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    Third World Junior Hockey Nation perhaps, but definitely not in general :)
    I don't see this year's Finnish or Slovakian team being really (that) much stronger than team Sweden. I still think Sweden will make the quarterfinals, but maybe I am just crazy :)

    I predict Sweden will have another tough tournament (meaning no semifinal) next season, with the 86's, but then things will look better with the up until now quite impressive 87's, and the fact that, that tournament will be held in Sweden will not hurt either.
     
  20. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    Ironically, the IIHF has Sweden ranked 2nd in the world behind Canada. :eek:

    Of course they didn't take the World Cup into consideration.

    Sweden is certainly not a "third world" hockey nation. Swedish hockey is definitely in a slump though. They just can't seem to get the job done when it counts.

    I think poor goaltending is hurting Sweden at all levels right now. Of the top 7 hockey nations they may have the weakest netminders.
     
  21. Riddarn

    Riddarn 1980-2011

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    I agree that the results the last years haven't been very good. But even if the team medalled in almost every championship from 1990 to 1996 you have to remember that the there have been no new Forsbergs or Sundins coming after 1993. The class born 1980 had a bad, bad tournament but in retrospect was that team that bad?

    Team U20 Sweden from 99-00:

    Defenders:
    Christian Bäckman
    Niklas Kronwall
    Jonas Frögren
    Peter Messa
    Herman Hultgren
    Erik Lewerström
    Viktor Vallin

    The first four have all played at the SEL level or higher, the last three are tier 2 players, which still is a decent league. (Lewerström and Viktor Vallin have played in the SEL though)

    Forwards:
    Henrik Zetterberg
    Daniel Sedin
    Henrik Sedin
    Christian Berglund
    Jimmie Ölvestad
    Rickard Wallin
    Tony MÃ¥rtensson
    Björn Melin
    Gabriel Karlsson
    Kenneth Bergqvist
    Per Hallin
    Magnus Hedlund
    David Nyström

    All of these forwards except Nyström have made it to the SEL. Notice that there's no Mattias Weinhandl in this team (also born 1980).

    My point is that even though the results are disappointing it doesn't mean that sweden is not producing both SEL and NHL-worthy talent.
     
  22. They haven't been in that "league" for 8 years now.

    ...And I said first round pick, not Top 10.

    Since the tournament's inception in 1977, Canada has won medals every year except the following...

    1979 - 5th
    1984 - 4th
    1987 - DQed with USSR
    1992 - 7th
    1998 - 8th

    That's just 5 out of 28 tournaments where Canada has not taken home a medal, and they would have in 1987 had the game with USSR not turned into a freak show.

    Sweden hasn't won a medal since 1996. Not including this year, that is 8 straight tournaments with no medal. If Sweden is in Group A instead of Switzerland this year, it would be a near guarantee that the Swedes would be playing in the relegation round next week. Hell, it could still happen in the weaker Group B.
     
  23. wilka91*

    wilka91* Registered User

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    Bob Mackenzie or Pierre Maguire have no clue about ice hockey!
     
  24. :lol
     
  25. espo*

    espo* Guest

    Definately not a third world hockey country whatsoever but they are in a slump right now and have'nt been doing a good job of player producing the last years in recent memory.That will change as hockey is extremely popular in Sweden and they will correct things,before you know it tre Kroner will be fighting it out for first place again in international competition.
     
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