Pittsburgh growing as a hockey hotbed?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by WickedWrister, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. WickedWrister

    WickedWrister Registered User

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    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=544245

    Central Scouting RankingNorth American Skaters:
    8 SAAD, BRANDON SAGINAW OHL 6' 1.25" 208 LW
    13 MILLER, JONATHAN USA U-18 USHL 6' 1.25" 198 C
    42 TROCHECK, VINCENT SAGINAW OHL 5' 10" 184 C
    175 KAIB, BARRETT USA U-18 USHL 5' 9.5" 188 D

    North American Goalies
    1 GIBSON, JOHN USA U-18 USHL 6' 2.75" 205


    Were talking perhaps 3 first round picks from Pittsburgh and the immediate surrounding areas. Thats pretty incredible for an area that isn't really known for producing hockey talent... yet. This isn't including the players in the last few years that have had some success either.

    Don't get me wrong, it's nowhere close to the talent of the Northeast, or the Minnesota areas, but it's definitely getting better.

    In Western Pennsylvania, football is king, but hockey is defintely growing there. This years 2011 Entry draft is evidence. It's not like these are crappy prospects either, these are highly talented kids.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  2. Doublelift

    Doublelift Registered User

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    Funny I heard a Pens Beat writer on the radio in MTL saying the Exact same thing, almost word for word.
     
  3. WickedWrister

    WickedWrister Registered User

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    Probably Rossi.
     
  4. Minister of Offence

    Minister of Offence Registered User

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    They always talk about the Gretzky effect....well I guess here is the Lemieux effect.
     
  5. Doublelift

    Doublelift Registered User

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    yup it was
     
  6. edog37

    edog37 Registered User

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    in about ten years, it will also include the Crosby effect....
     
  7. SomeDude

    SomeDude Registered User

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    FSN Pittsburgh did a special on Western PA hockey a year or so ago and it's amazing how much it has grown and developed since Mario came to town. Even just in the past 5 years since I played high school hockey it has gotten noticeably more competative. When I was playing you could bet on the same 3 teams to be competing for the State championship, not that way anymore.
     
  8. WickedWrister

    WickedWrister Registered User

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    If you can't tell, I'm from Pittsbugh and most of these prospects are what, 92's? They were probably too young to really appreciate Mario, seeing as how we last won the cup in 92. I'm sure it has had SOME residual effect.

    I'll tell you this much, ever since about 2006-2007, I've been seeing more Penguins gear, and kids playing street hockey than I have ever seen before in Pittsburgh. This of course, is due to Crosby & the cup runs. Western Pennsylvania has produced some pretty outstanding athletes, and in about 10 years, watch out!
     
  9. SomeDude

    SomeDude Registered User

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    That's what I was thinking too, it's funny that most of these kid's early memories of the Pens are watching Rico Fata, Richard Lintner, and Ramzi Abid with Mario playing maybe 8 games a year.
     
  10. edog37

    edog37 Registered User

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    yes, but their parents watched Lemieux play & got the kids signed up for ice hockey. That is the first wave which is now cresting into the NHL. I was playing high school hockey when the Pens won their first Cup & the popularity of the team with people in their mid 20s & above skyrocketed. They had young kids so they signed them up.
     
  11. Sheriff66

    Sheriff66 Registered User

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    Pens success in the last 20 years has really taken some great athletes from other sports. A lot of options to play AAA hockey in Pittsburgh(Pittsburgh Hornets, Amateur Pens, Viper Stars), D1 Robert Morris in town and Penn State coming soon helps as well. There is a good bit of talent in the Pittsburgh area and I've seen at lot of young kids that can play the game at a high level at a young age, just need to get the proper coaching in place going forward. You'll hear plenty about Pittsburgh kids for many years to come...
     
  12. Robert604strom

    Robert604strom Registered User

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    For me it would make sense,its typicaly cold in the winter. Pittsburg is a city full of very strong and competitive people and its close enough that the kids can get looked at by Chl teams,or play college for one of the strong east coast teams.
    And dont get be Wrong but Gibson is Finnish,growing up in the area was his parents idea.
     
  13. Dallasman

    Dallasman Registered User

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    I may be wrong when I say this but do people see Ovechkin having the same affect in the DC/Maryland area as well? I don't know much about the hockey programs out that way.
     
  14. Big McLargehuge

    Big McLargehuge Registered User

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    I'd say this current generation is a combination of Mario & Jagr considering most of these kids weren't in elementary school yet when Mario retired for the first time...but they were probably playing hockey by then anyway and their parents probably influenced by Mario.

    I don't see things slowing down any time soon, the sport grew rapidly in Pittsburgh throughout the past 25 or so years to the point where my high school has a rink on its property...but by the time that was built I was already 10 or 11. These kids are the ones that are growing up with the rinks being more common and closer to home. Where I went to high school the Penguins and Steelers were pretty much on even levels in popularity...and I'm class of 2005.


    It takes a long time for places to start producing talent, but once Malone broke through its been a steady stream of a Pittsburgher a year basically, and now the flood gates are starting to open.



    The same could happen in Washington with continued success...I'm sure Bondra and the 90s Caps will have a few players here and there breaking through soon, but the Ovechkin effect won't kick in for years, same with the Crosby effect in Pittsburgh.
     
  15. wej20

    wej20 Registered User

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    I think you're confusing Chris Gibson and Johns Gibson.
     
  16. AK

    AK Registered User

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    Ross is an ass clown whose knowledgeability on the sport is trumped by the casual fan. I'm going to guess, wildly, that he may have overplayed this a little bit.
     
  17. eXile59

    eXile59 Shirts on.

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    It took an entire genertation to feel the effects of Mario. You probably won't start seeing hockey programs start blowing up every where until a couple of years & better prospects for a decade. Though from my time in East PA along the Baltimore state line there were a lot of rinks.
     
  18. JFA87-66-99

    JFA87-66-99 Registered User

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    Also in pittsburgh in-line hockey is very big and there's definately some talented hockey players around the western pennsylvania area.
     
  19. JeromeHP

    JeromeHP Registered User Sponsor

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    good point but when Mario Lemieux made his comeback in 2000-2001 those kid (92 /93 born) were 7-8 years old im sure that had an impact.

    the Pens were the talk of the nhl that year
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  20. PensFreak

    PensFreak Registered User

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    Slippery Rock University is 11th in the country in D2 for the NCRHA :)
     
  21. Sheriff66

    Sheriff66 Registered User

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    This is true, as is Dek Hockey.
     
  22. JFA87-66-99

    JFA87-66-99 Registered User

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    Oh yea dek hockey for sure. There's always tournaments in pittsburgh
     
  23. TheFountainhead

    TheFountainhead Red Nation

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    Pretty long response below as I've been giving this type of question some thought for a while now. I won't make it as comprehensive as it could be because of the fact that I realize people on messageboards typically don't log on to read expository essays.

    It's possible that there will be an Ovechkin effect in the DC metro area, I remember reading in the Washington Post a year or so ago about developers breaking ground on multiple ice rinks in some of the immediate areas that surround D.C., so perhaps that is evidence of an upsurge in the kind of activity necessary to produce the type of results you are referring to. The area (the city of DC especially) certainly produces enough elite level athletes to contribute to the general health of the game, it's just that those athletes invariably choose to play different sports.

    D.C. is famous for producing elite basketball talent amongst those that follow the sport closely. Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Adrian Dantley, Johnny Dawkins etc are veritable titans of their sport, and contemporary players from D.C. litter the NBA, including perhaps the best player in the NBA (Kevin Durant), and other talented players like Michael Beasley, Steve Francis (from a suburb of DC), Ed Davis, Roy Hibbert, Delonte West etc. I'm not sure how realistic it is to expect Ovechkin's presence in the city to affect the sporting calculus of young athletes who actually live in the city, especially when you consider that a lot of the players I named (and there are literally reams more that I didn't name for expedience sake), didn't come from affluent backgrounds, and it's possible that the next wave of great athletes from the city won't either. Hockey of course is a capital intensive venture, and given the economic circumstances some face in the inner-city here*, it would probably take some type of government catalytic in conjunction with an "Ovechkin-effect" to spur the type of development in the sport necessary to facilitate the type of growth that would make the city of D.C. itself a producer of pro-level hockey talent. Until then, the Joshua Cribbs and Vernon Davis' of the future are likely to stick with football or basketball instead of hockey.

    The suburbs of DC are a different story. They hold a great deal of promise for a sport like hockey to take hold. They are massive, numerous and EXTREMELY (and I mean extremely) wealthy. That's likely where most of the talent will be drawn from if the area is to eventually become a hockey hotbed.

    *The demographics of the city of D.C. have changed a great deal too. It's a GREAT city to raise a family in now. When I was growing up a lot of the actual residential neighborhoods in the city were Detroit-like. My neighborhood was extremely challenged economically, and the crime rate in D.C. was through the roof. We've seen a precipitous drop in the number of murders in the city (across the gamut really as it pertains to crime), and a huge demographic shift toward far wealthier residents in the last decade (kind of like our own Harlemnization; I coined the phrase just now. I appreciate neologism :nod:.) It still remains that, for the most part, the high end athletes produced in the city generally come from some of the pockets of deprivation that still remain.
     
  24. spcastlemagic

    spcastlemagic Registered User

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    We've always been producing high-end talent... for baseball, football and track. If Darrelle Revis grew up in Allison Park instead of Aliquippa, and really, really liked Jaromir Jagr growing up, he'd be tearing the league apart right now.
     
  25. JFA87-66-99

    JFA87-66-99 Registered User

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    I think revis would have been better served staying with football. It takes more than just speed & athletic skills to make it in hockey
     

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