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marg85

Canadian goalie crisis sparks talks of CHL European ban

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Article in the Star today by Damien Cox.

 

It’s a drastic solution.

 

That said, many would argue the crisis in Canadian goaltending has already reached such a level — who is going to play goal for Canada at next year’s Sochi Olympics, by the way? — that drastic solutions are needed.

When Canadian Hockey League commissioner David Branch met with Hockey Canada officials this week, one of the topics on the agenda was that the 60 CHL major junior teams will consider banning all European goaltenders in order to give more opportunities to North Americans.

“The CHL has had discussions in a broader sense with Hockey Canada,” said Branch. “One of the ideas put forward was eliminating goalies from the annual import draft to allow more focus on North American goalies.

“That is something we’re exploring.”

And for some, it makes complete sense.

“For me, it’s all about opportunity,” said Ron Tugnutt, a former NHL goalie and Hockey Canada consultant who supports limiting major junior goalie positions to Canadians and Americans.

“There’s nothing wrong with goalies in our country and there’s nothing wrong with how we’re developing them. They’re just not getting a chance to step up to the plate.”

 

 

 

Personally I think it's silly. If the European goalie are outperforming their Canadian counterparts for the CHL spots then that's something hockey Canada needs to deal with from a developmental stand point, not a ban on the European kids who, IMO, deserve the save opportunity.

 

Also, from an international hockey perspective I think it's great that so many countries are developing great players because at the end of the day I love good hockey, and that just makes the game more competitive.

 

I'd be interested to hear what you guys think.

Edited by marg85

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I've always kind of felt that the CHL should be for Canadians and other countries needed to develop their own junior hockey system? I mean, what motivation does Slovakia have to develop a high level junior hockey system if they can just send all of their good players over to play in the CHL?

 

I honestly think that restricting the CHL and other leagues to their countrymen would probably be good for hockey. Granted, it's probably an unpopular opinion because it's Don Cherry-esque and someone's feeling might get hurt, but it's just a sport. If someone gets all butthurt over "equality" because of something like this, it's kind of sad. I want to see competitive hockey on every level, and if it takes 20 years because countries have to develop their own players and own styles, then so be it.

 

Think of it: We could have an NHL where instead of players playing either "the Canadian way" or "the European way" the styles vary all the way to "the Luxembourgian way" or "the Belarussian way". I dunno, I think it only makes sense.

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Closing the CHL to European players will cripple the level of play, and like Magnus said, give the KHL a huge leg-up on the NHL. And let's not forget that there's already valid worry about the NHL not being able to attract the best-of-the-best anymore when in direct competition with the KHL.

 

I loved watching OHL games, but if we took away all those skilled European players we would be going with second-rate Canadians, which makes it less about skill than nationality.

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I don't think the CHL thinks you'd be watching "second rate Canadians", Marg. I'm sure their rationale is that if they had more time to work on these guys, you would see a lot more of them develop the skills necessary to be considered "first rate".

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But that's exactly what it IS regardless of what Hockey Canada thinks - it's guys that are currently not good enough for the league who will be playing.

 

I dunno, I just think it's silly and backwards.

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There are always a few guys who go undrafted and do big things in the league. By showing these guys playing more often, they can end up going from undrafted surprises, to properly trained/developed players. It's probably a very small difference, I'll admit to that, but any little bit helps.

 

Anyway, no one is going to draft and develop a backup CHL goaltender, so by thrusting these guys in to a starting role you'll actually see what you have, and I think that's their goal.

Edited by Bret

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It's two players a year that each team is allowed to draft from Europe (Jordo, is that right still?), so if the Canadian goalies aren't as good - sink or swim.

 

The NHL won't be giving them any preference, why should he CHL?

 

I don't think the quality has been as good recently in terms of Canadian tenders - the guys who emulated Patrick Roy and Marty Brodeur in their prime are now older than CHL players, so there's less of that driving people to become goalies. So if Hockey Canada wants to help these Canadian tenders they need to institute player development programs BEFORE they reach Juniors age instead of punishing European players who have earned that position.

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Goaltending development happens so late in a players junior "career" compared to skaters that it's really tough to tell if they're a bonafide star until the final years on their CHL team. Think about it, when was the last time a goalie playing AA or AAA minor hockey had media and was predicted as the next Roy or Brodeur? I bet you can't think of any, or at the very least maybe 1 or 2. There's almost 1 of those every year for skaters.

 

There are so many cases of late development in the NHL that it's ridiculous. Most goalies don't show signs of being stars until they're 26 or 27 with few exceptions. To think that much of that doesn't carry over into a junior hockey career is ludicrous. I don't have the stats in front of me, but a relatively small percentage of European goalies who start on CHL teams actually end up having a significant career. Anomaly? Or peaking early?

 

I think there are obviously both sides to this coin, and both sides can make sound arguments for what they believe, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Edited by Bret

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding this. This reminds me of houseleague where parents are bitching their kids are not getting enough playing time.

 

North America is the hockey mecca of the world. Why would we want the top talent to stay on their side of the planet so we can give less skilled players a chance? KHL will love this.

Edited by FatalFunnel

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when the premier league first started back in 92/93 everyone thought it would do english football the world of good, but back then to be foreign the prem was a rarity, fast forward 2 decades and the detrimental affect to the england national side is bad, no english players in their own league foreign mercenariness playing for the highest bidder and the national side is far worse off as there is that little choice to pick from they have to play lesser talented players

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You can't have your cake and eat it to. Canadians can't say... "North American goalies aren't getting their fair share of ice time because of those Pinko Commie sons of bitches" and then turn around and say "We don't want the KHL to take off if the young Euros can go play there." Basically, Canada fears any sort of professional competition to its precious NHL. I'd honestly be fine with it either way.

 

Option A

No Euros. Canadian development option. Euros can go play in KHL, SEL, whatever until they are NHL-draft eligible. They can then choose where they want to play (Europe or NA)

 

or Option B

Allow Euros with no Euro limit. Best man for the job option. If Nail Yakupov is the best player on the team and he is willing to leave his home country at age 16, he should get the ice time. He shouldn't be sitting because some whiney punk from Oakville wants more ice time, especialyl if he's not as good as Nail. Go practice more. Go play in a different league and develop. Or go back to school/get a job because you clearly can't hack it in junior hockey. It's not like the Europeans that are coming over are any older than the Canadians or have any distinct advantage over Canadians. They are simply showing that they're better. No difference for goalies. Sorry. Hackey is hackey.

 

For a country that takes pride in being the best at hockey there sure are a lot of people that try and duck out of any situations to show otherwise.

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As much as we want to say that the junior program is about competing and winning championships, it's not. It's about getting these kids to the next level. Grooming them for professional hockey should they choose to pursue it. In a non-global economic system, why would I, as a Canadian, want to spend my resources to improve the skills of a "competitor" if you want to call them that.

 

If these kids learn in Canada, grow in Canada, and play in Canada, then they are part of our national system. Then when they go back to Russia and win a gold, their country is the best in the world at hockey? I don't think so. Let them prove it by beating us without our help.

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Junior hockey is a business. Just like any other business, the goal is to succeed and defeat competition. Defeating the competition means more playoff games, which means more money. Player development is a secondary goal to the junior team.

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The owners see it as you do. The players, scouts, NHLPA, and many other organizations that donate their time and money to these programs don't. That's where the difference is.

 

Also, if it's a business, why aren't the workers (or players) getting paid? Different argument for a different time, but it's not a business in the strictest sense of the word.

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Junior players DO get paid. They just don't get paid well.

 

The players, scouts and NHLPA can try and fund their free hockey league and see how far it goes.

 

I understand your point, but when someone has to foot the bill for something, that person or company usually wants to make money. It's similar to the pharmaceutical industry. Yea it's great that the drugs are helping people recover from diseases and all that, but if they aren't making money it can't continue. Issues like these are also why it's hard for things like green energy to take off. If someone can't make money off it, it's hard to get it off the ground. Tell me who would invest in a non-competitive hockey development league.

 

If the CHL purely existed to develop promising hockey players between ages 15-19, why even bother having teams or leagues? Why not just have an interchangeable series of scrimmages and rosters? I'm sure back in the day, decades ago, junior hockey was just a bunch of Canadian kids traveling around Ontario playing in front of a couple hundred people (at most). But interest in it grew and grew. The arenas had to get larger, more money was coming in. It's only natural that with this increase in interest and success comes and increase in competition.

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Canada does need to develop better goalies. It's been pretty lean for a while now. But this isn't the way to go about it.

Edited by Krylian

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Junior players DO get paid. They just don't get paid well.

 

I don't think this is true. At least not legally. I played juniors for a few years and never got paid a dime. I'm sure at the CHL or OHL level players receive better benefits in terms of housing, meal plans, etc. But I don't think they legally can be given a pay check. Especially since a lot of those kids are from overseas and don't have work-visas (and I don't think they would qualify for a P1 Visa, which is what the states uses for professional players from other countries).

Edited by FatalFunnel

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Players get a weekly stipend in the OHL - though again it's not much. But more importantly, for every year played with the OHL the players also get a year of post-secondary education.

 

I'm assuming the QMJHL and WHL have the same guidelines?

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I have a few buddies who did their time in the Dub, and aside from education getting paid for, they got their stipend which was to cover food, and anything else to help their billets. It was essentially enough to barely live off of. They didn't get paid.

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I dunno, considering how much a damned university education costs nowadays, I'd say that's an ok deal :P

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I dunno, considering how much a damned university education costs nowadays, I'd say that's an ok deal :P

 

I'm not looking forward to how much it'll cost when my 3 go. :blink:

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