When Does the USA Surpass Canada as the #1 Hockey Country?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by sunb, Dec 18, 2005.

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  1. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Canada has arguably been the #1 hockey country in the world in terms of producing the best hockey players. It has been as such since the inception of the game and despite the recent rise of European players, I don't see a country like Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia and other countries taking the lead considering that soccer is still the most popular sport in most of those countries and that their standard of living is still lower than that of Canada's.

    However, the United States can potentially, and realistically, catch up soon. The population of the United States is around 300 million while the population of Canada is around 30 million. The standard of living in both country is relatively equal. The only advantage that Canada has is that hockey is still our #1 sport while it is the #4 or #5 favorite team sport in the US.

    Some think the movement is already occuring with the US outputting high-profile prospects like Phil Kessel, Alvaro Montoya, Jack Johnson, Bobby Ryan, Jack Skille, Dustin Brown, Brian Lee, Rob Schremp, AJ Thelen, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise et al. Others argue that it will still take several decades for at least the US psyche about hockey to change or establish a better development system.

    My question is, when do you guys think the USA will surpass Canada as the premier hockey country in the world? In both quality and quantity.
     
  2. IBleedOil247

    IBleedOil247 Registered User

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    2 words: NEVER or IMPOSSIBLE!!! :yo:


    Die HARD CANADIAN!!!!!!! ;)
     
  3. cvman_16

    cvman_16 Registered User

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    uh, never...
     
  4. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Some time after you go to sleep and before you wake up.
     
  5. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    In Finland standard of living is equal to Canada and soccer is no.2 sport. We have only 5 million people so it's impossible for us to catch Canada.
     
  6. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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  7. Slay

    Slay Registered User

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    Wait until Russia starts building hockey rinks on mad pace ;)
     
  8. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    ;)
     
  9. Kaizer

    Kaizer Registered User

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    Heh... China has about 1.3 billions, football is very popular there but they still suck.
    Czech Republic has about 8-10 millions and they are among the best in football and hockey.
    It's hard to compare based only on population.
     
  10. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    Saying that you're even overrating em :D
     
  11. someguy44

    someguy44 Registered User

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    Yes, but China has zero interest in hockey. They don't even have a developement system unlike Japan. Anyways, there's a lot of interest in soccer/football in China and China did make it to the last World Cup. If there will ever be any interest in hockey in China, then bet on that nation to climb cause the Chinese are determined at everything they do if they had an interest in it. Btw, I was living in China in 2004 and the only hockey highlights I ever saw during my time there was that Bertuzzi incident.

    But I do agree, population might help in terms of finding more talented people, but if there's no interest / developement, then population becomes a mood point. I mean, India has over a billion people yet they're never close to the top of the medal standings at the Olympics.
     
  12. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Kill! Jeff, Kill!!!

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    I'm assuming you mean talent wise, and not popularity wise So...I'm not sure when it will happen, but you can damn well be sure to blame Gretzky when it does.
     
  13. UvBnDatsyuked

    UvBnDatsyuked Registered User

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    Not anytime soon. The good athletes in Canada play hockey. The good athletes here play other sports. Parents typically steer their kid into sports they know. Not many parents played ice hockey. The only reason you see a lot of kids playing soccer even though their parents never played is because
    1. It's cheap
    2. It's like a snow ball rolling down the hill (Little johnny plays it so my little Timmy will too. Cost for hockey is too expensive to start that kind of snow ball to get bigger)
    3. Most parents don't think it's a complicated game, but hockey is to most. (Hey I can kick a ball so I can help or at least help my son understand the game. Forget it when it comes to hockey)

    I think the one thing you'll find with hockey in the states though is the growth of inline. Bobby Ryan, TJ Oshie, Brett Sterling, TJ Hensick are all well known in the inline hockey community. It's a wide open game that puts puckhandling and passing at a premium. It's wide open (no offsides, 4 v 4) It can be played pretty much anywhere and is
    Inline is USA's version of pond hockey but without the shrinkage
     
  14. someguy44

    someguy44 Registered User

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    I'm not sure who you're responding to, but I think it was directed at me? A lot of people could be quited talented at a lot of things that they themselves wouldn't know unless they start doing it. Pavel Bure was a pretty good soccer player when he was young, but he chose hockey as his passion. If he chose soccer, we hockey fans might've never even heard of the name Pavel Bure.

    Anyway, if China's hockey developement system (which they don't even have one) was anything like Canada/USA/Sweeden/Finland/Russia/Chezchs/Slovakia's, I can pretty much guarantee you that China would be producing more hockey talent than Canada. There are more hidden talent out of 1.3 billion than there are out of 30 million. Popularity leads to huge demands in certain sports, and with that demand, the nation will pump money into a developement system. That leads to more talented sports athletes.
     
  15. bigdeal44

    bigdeal44 Registered User

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    Can you image if athletes like Micheal Jordan, Mike Vick, Barry Sanders, or any other freaks of nature grew up playing hockey if any of them would have made the nhl?
    Go to Canada and you will notice hockey is by far number one.
    In the USA its behind the nfl, nba, mlb, ncaab, ncaaf, nascar, poker, and golf. Until the NHL comes to more of a public role, it will never be close.
    For the US having Kessel, Parise, Johnson, Ryan, and Lee, Canada has Crosby, Perry, Phaunef, MA Fleury, Staal, Speeza......need I say more?
     
  16. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    I think it's nuts to say it could "never" happen or that it's impossible. Even if hockey stays on the periphery of popularity in the USA, the population differential and the pockets of rabid Canada-like interest in the sport in some regions still make it entirely possible that the USA will pass us. Plus, if you want to factor in a potential subtraction of Quebec from "Canada", and continuing generations of American hockey players like Chris Bourque and Blake Geoffrion, etc...

    I'm going to say 25 years. It could be just 10. There could be a lengthy period of argument over who's doing better and a long, perhaps perpetual period of equality. But I think it's more "inevitable" than "impossible" that the USA will eventually get ahead. :dunno:
     
  17. Gert B Frobe

    Gert B Frobe Registered User

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    Being that the US has 10 times the population of Canada - hockey would not need to be our #1 sport to compete but would definitely have to gain a lot of popularity.

    But that won't happen. Hockey will always be more popular in Canada because kids can wake up, strap on skates and head down to the pond. That only happens in the US in our most Northern states (northeast mainly) Hockey is becoming much more popular for kids in the US - there are a lot more local rinks but it remains a very expensive sport especially if your kid isn't very good at it. Football is expensive too but most schools provide all the equipment. Most of the time schools in the US don't pay for hockey equipment or ice time. I remember wanting to play hockey when I was a kid but the ice was $300 a season and equipment was at least $100 - and that was in 1983! So it was 2-3 months of pond hockey for me at best.
     
  18. luv_canadian_hockey

    luv_canadian_hockey Registered User

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    the US will NEVER EVER pass Canada....we are just that good :yo:
     
  19. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Culture is largely accountable for that shortage. In the Chinese way of life, there is an expectation for kids to work hard, focus academically and strive to stay on track for a future career. This expectation is reinforced not only in the households but also in the media and by the government. Children are socialized to adhere to that expectation and that is their goal in life.

    There is a powerful social stigma in these Asian cultures: occupations in the sciences are highly pursued while athletics, cinema and the arts are seen as second-rate jobs. Couple that with the one-child policy and you'll see parents forcing their kids to study hard for a future doctorate as opposed to fostering a career in sports.

    Soccer is a huge passion in China but at the end of the day, it is merely an entertainment. When it is all said and done, kids who would otherwise be great athletes abandon those endeavors and will be forced to invest their time in more "constructive" means. Potential Ronaldo's and Beckham's become IT technicians or dentists instead.

    There are always expections however. Huge guys like Yao Ming will still be Yao Ming ad physically gifted athletes will still be recognized and developed for the Olympics, an event recognized by the government. The government sees the Olympics (Summer though, Winter Olympics is a joke to them) as a point and pride and places a lot of emphasism with it. Consequently, China is improving yearly and they finished 2nd or 3rd (depending on whether the measuring stick is aggregate medals or amount of gold medals) in the last Olympics.

    That's another compelling factor in the development of athletics. China, under the guide of a central government, is a extraordinary machine. With the formation of a more sensible and prudent central government around the 1970's, China's economy has soared and is only 2nd in the world. They may surpass the US by 2050 economically speaking and financially, the already own 30% of all the United States' national debt. The reason for China's amazing economic success is the central government's setting economic growth as the nation's #1 goal.

    In China, athletics is a secondary concern. The central government uses propaganda to convince their citizens that athletics plays second fiddle to many other aspects of life. But I guarentee you, if the Chinese government established a athletics development program and slowly steer the psyche of the Chinese towards athletics, China's population of 1.3 billion will churn out unbelievable amounts of quality athletes.

    I guess it is all a difference in values right now. Culture plays such a critical role in the dynamics of athletics and China's doesn't give their citizens that many chances to express their athletic potentials. As a Chinese, I can't fault them. I have tremondous faith in the government. From growing up in Canada and the US, I recognize many of China's faults but their goal isn't one of them. Economic growth should still be their #1 concern. Raise the standard of life for everyone, even if it is at the expense of athletics. First and foremost, you improve the lives of your citizens.
     
  20. PatrickRoy

    PatrickRoy Registered User

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    When hell freezes over. And I am American.

    Like stated hockey is the number 1 sport in Canada and every little child wants to play.
    Here in the states or at least in my area it cost a damn fortune to get your child in hockey. Travel teams fees are 500-800 dollars plus all the gear that is needed and then when you travel you have to pay to stay at whatever hotel the team picks.
    Football, Basketball and Baseball is just more affordable.
    At least that is my issue and a whole lot of other parents issues that I have spoken with.
    Coupled with the fact that even the stinking NASCAR has surpassed hockey in the US. Hockey has fallen so far off the charts in the country it's a shame.

    I am sure there is much talent here in this country but we will never know.
     
  21. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Some states like Minnesota love hockey to death. Other states like Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota also seem to like hockey a lot. Unfortunately, those population total of those states is only around 15 million and even then, hockey is still the #2 or #3 sport.

    I think the growth of a post-expansion era NHL could stimulate interest in the game a lot. Since the Gretzky trade 13 years ago, a new generation of youngsters have come out of nowhere. Guys like Kessel, Schremp, Montoya, Johnson, Ryan et al were toddlers back then and the arrival of hockey probably had a deciding factor in their entry to hockey.

    Hockey will always be the #4 or #5 sport in the US but eventually, the overwhelming difference between 300,000,000 and 30,000,000 will force the talent gap to close. With new markets like Dallas, Atlanta, Carolina, Colorado opening up, I'm sure another injection of talent will be noticed in 5 to 10 more years.
     
  22. TaiMaiShu

    TaiMaiShu Registered User

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    sadly this is true, while the US is is starting a youth movement. canada constantly has younger players able to make the team. players like heatley thornton nash gagne have been in international play and their all under 27. then they have NEW youth in crosby spezza staal phaneuf. bottom line is i dont think there can be a better US team talent wise.
     
  23. octopi

    octopi Registered User

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    I was going to say.....


    Hey, If Russia was reunited with Belarus, Kazakstan, and anything else that broke away, they just might be the #1 hockey country.
     
  24. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    The former Soviet Union consists of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstanl, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

    The only NHL players added to the current Russia squad are guys like Darius Kasparitus, Ruslan Fedotenko, Evgeny Nabokov, Andrei Kostitsyn and some other guys.
     
  25. toolboy

    toolboy Registered User

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    The US will surpass Canada when ponds start to freeze over during the winter in south Florida :)
     
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