The Catastrophe of Team USA and Why Canada is Much Better

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Post #1 by PredsFan77 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:07 pm

Hockey has to compete with other yuppy sports in the US. In Canada it's like baseball, everyone plays.
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Post #2 by RTWAP » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:36 pm

PredsFan77 wrote:Hockey has to compete with other yuppy sports in the US. In Canada it's like baseball, everyone plays.


Growing up, I didn't play, and neither did any of my friends. But I did have a number of acquaintances that played. But most of us played street hockey, or shot a tennis ball against a wall for hours.
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Post #3 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:40 pm

The outdoor rinks are mostly for just skating and shinny around here. Used to play in high school on Friday night with just sticks, skates and gloves. It was good and still is an available option, but nothing much organized.

Up here there are just so many indoor rinks. A good winter will only get you three months on an outdoor rink, even up here. It's the indoor rinks that do it. Any town of 500 people in Canada has an indoor rink, and more importantly, a minor hockey program. I'm sitting here thinking how many indoor rinks are around. A bunch of small towns around here. There's 8 indoor rinks within a 35 minute drive. 5 outdoor rinks.
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Post #4 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:01 pm

Eastern ontario. Far East.
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Post #5 by Dog » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:27 pm

Kinda surprised Quebec has the lowest participation rate in canada.
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Post #6 by PredsFan77 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:30 pm

probably cause they give up easily. it's in their genes.
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Post #7 by AD » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:41 pm

Dog wrote:Kinda surprised Quebec has the lowest participation rate in canada.


Poor people don't play hockey dog.

Read the op.
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Post #8 by Macbeth » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:32 am

Dog wrote:Kinda surprised Quebec has the lowest participation rate in canada.


You cocksucking euro-trash futbol is stealing away all the talented ones.
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Post #9 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:03 am

Dog wrote:Kinda surprised Quebec has the lowest participation rate in canada.


we're busy inventing other winter sports, Dog
:mkbét::lr: :lr:

OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone

It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.

Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."

...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...

Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.


:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #10 by IcE ColD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:12 am

Macbeth wrote:You cocksucking euro-trash futbol is stealing away all the talented ones.


Which is ridiculous. I played both when I was a young lad and I'll say the futbol helped a lot to be in good physical condition for hockey. And the seasons are back to back and don't overlap. :colbert:
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Post #11 by chicpea » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:16 am

IcE ColD wrote:Which is ridiculous. I played both when I was a young lad and I'll say the futbol helped a lot to be in good physical condition for hockey. And the seasons are back to back and don't overlap. :colbert:


Exactly. Over half the guys on my hockey team played soccer in the off-season until we got to the age (bantam) where it was hockey all year. Very few (1-2) were on baseball teams. Mind you, that was east coast and prairies; same might not be said for BC and Alberta.
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Post #12 by Roughneck » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:36 am

When I played lacrosse was rapidly becoming the off-season sport of choice, and with more and more communities getting lacrosse teams compared to the early 2000s, I don't think that trend has wavered in Alberta at least.

More people should play it, because futbol sucks almost as much as football, helps with the hand-eye coordination and vision even more, and the seasons can't overlap because it is rather hard to run on ice (slightly less hard than running on a smooth and dusty concrete floor however).
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Post #13 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:37 am

IcE ColD wrote:Which is ridiculous. I played both when I was a young lad and I'll say the futbol helped a lot to be in good physical condition for hockey. And the seasons are back to back and don't overlap. :colbert:


with the way they want the training programs run today it has become almost impossible to be multisport athletes if you want to be in the "elite" category
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OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone



It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.



Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."



...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...



Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.




:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #14 by mayoradamwest » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:10 am

the USA still dominated the world in American football, so there's some comfort there.
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Post #15 by chicpea » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:17 am

mayoradamwest wrote:the USA still dominated the world in American football


How do we know for sure? An annual, All-star CFL team vs Super Bowl champs would be the only CFL/NFL game I would watch.
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Post #16 by Ricard_Persson » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:50 am

Lakes and ponds should be noted. While I don't think outdoor rinks cause massive upswing in CDN hockey domination, I do think lakes and rivers help just as much or more. Here in the 613 area code, it's lakes and rivers everywhere. As a kid we had a rink every year for a good 6-8 year run. Some winters better than others. It's a small river and if you get in the right bay away from currents you can get a good long season out of it.

We would play for hours a week. I remember coming home, throwing the school bag and getting the skates on right away. The key was great nets with heavy mesh. Nothing worse than ripping one high only to see it rip through the net and land 50 feet away. We've all followed the puck hole in the snow, trying to find that puck that seems to travel forever once is burrows into the snow. Don't forget to move the nets later in the year, because the warmer sun would heat the metal, and you'd return that night to see the net sunk in four inches of ice. Good luck axing that out and not cutting the mesh. We'd go out at night and flood by hand once the ice was ripped up from the weekend. Learned the hard way that it's better to flood when it's warm rather than cold. Filling up a big garbage barrel with pails of water, then pushing it out on the ice and knocking it over. Those were the days, or nights I should say.

Growing up, I remember older kids having a rink on the other side of this small river. I remember watching from 200 yards away, the different colour jerseys, the 8 on 8 skaters, always moving around but never bumping into each other...it was mesmerizing. When it was my turn for a rink, we had the same game occur only a few years later, and 200 yards away. The kids from around the street would play. Sometimes you'd show up and other people were playing on a piece of ice that never truly was "yours".

I've heard stories of from my uncle years later and he too played in that very same bay that we did, only 30 years earlier. His generation was the best generation. They made the best music, and they played the best pond hockey. There wasn't much for TV during the daytime, and they didn't have the internet, mobile phones, video gaming, hockey message boards and all that to distract and take time. These guys simply played hockey on the river, for hours on end. They're games were apparently legendary. With players from all over doing the only "thing" to really do.

Now there's just too much to do. Sports, and other things. Kids simply won't live the game anymore. There's too much distraction. There's still a few rinks on the rivers and lakes but not like it used to be. There's still some road hockey but not nearly like it used to be. The reason why Canada is so tough to beat in big games, I feel, is because of that pond hockey and winter road hockey. All the guys playing on this years team played that as young kids. They ran home from school, hit the outdoor ice, or driveway and froze their feet and hands, but never complained. There's a silent drive that pushes people to want to do that...it gets into a person, and once on that sheet of ice, whether it be rough outdoor ice or Olympic ice, something takes over.

I think the gap is closing and the US will take over as a better hockey country at some point. Canada will keep it close but they don't have the numbers to compete long term, especially since many of the kids are staying in the house now and doing warmer, easier things in a technology based world. Canada's wild card has always been that that passion of playing hockey at the drop of a hat, in whatever crazy weather and with any mix of players, hell the exact scene was featured on that back of the $5 bill that we've all seen. (Can't believe they got rid of it on the new plastic bills btw). Now I think that wild card is fleeting, as kids play only over coached minor hockey, get spoiled by their parents and coaches, and never really feel what it's like to go in on a breakaway in a 30 mile an hour wind, when you can't feel your lower hand on the stick, your toes are frozen, but you still open the goalie up and slide it five hole on the backhand.
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Post #17 by AD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:58 am

The Bytown Boozer wrote:What I was trying to say was that the American program's strength lies in teaching kids the more "fun" & "creative" aspects of the game, whereas the young teams of a high caliber in Canada are so obsessed with winning that we end up creating a bunch of well-rounded, strategically sound robots. (which isn't necessarily a bad thing either)


This was a huge critique of Sweden back in the days as well and they're still turning out semi-ok.
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Post #18 by AD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:23 am

The Bytown Boozer wrote:Of note: I've never actually seen any form of organized hockey being played on outdoor rinks in the Ottawa area (as Rico mentioned earlier). It's mostly just for shits & giggles as they say.


Same for Quebec's south shore. No tie-in.


A lot of pick-up games with prayers for a goalie to show up. (until I became a goalie and became very very popular)
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Post #19 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:27 am

The Bytown Boozer wrote:Of note: I've never actually seen any form of organized hockey being played on outdoor rinks in the Ottawa area (as Rico mentioned earlier). Outdoor hockey is mostly just for shits & giggles as they say.


there is very little organized hockey on outdoor rinks

over the last few years, they have organized a few outdoor tournaments and there are coaches that utilize outdoor rinks to supplement lack of indoor facilities.
:mkbét::lr: :lr:



OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone



It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.



Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."



...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...



Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.




:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #20 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:51 am

Lord Chezz wrote:Whenever I played in organised outdoor tournaments, I would generally be black out drunk.


I...I

umm

was talking 8 - 14 year olds

:stare:
:mkbét::lr: :lr:



OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone



It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.



Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."



...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...



Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.




:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #21 by VLoo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:16 pm

AD wrote:This was a huge critique of Sweden back in the days as well and they're still turning out semi-ok.


Didn't they completely revamp their development program about 15 years ago?
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Post #22 by Macbeth » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:03 pm

IcE ColD wrote:Which is ridiculous. I played both when I was a young lad and I'll say the futbol helped a lot to be in good physical condition for hockey. And the seasons are back to back and don't overlap. :colbert:


Which was my point. :bert:
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Post #23 by mcphee » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:18 pm

All good points but the USA lost to a team that matched what they did best with what they did best and it turned out well for Canada, then they couldn't get it going for the Bronze and when the hill got too big, they quit.

Privileged or pampered, probably but not all that different from Canadian kids. Artie, you probably have more direct minor experience than anyone here, would the average family income from kids in minor hockey be a lot higher than 15-20 years ago ? I'd think so. Pursuing any sport at a high level isn't for everyone anymore.

Canada, as dominant as they appeared in the last game were a bounce away from the same navel gazing exercise.
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Post #24 by mcphee » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:32 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Very true, but everyone knows who carried the game, the tournament, and four of the last five best-against-best tournaments.


I guess I'm covering ground already covered but they should be dominant as long as the volume is there. I guess we can compare whose middle class is disappearing faster and make predictions, but ......

I live in a rural area and you see a big difference in kid and familial attitudes towards sport. I see parents who want their kids to play, because play is a good thing, but don't get too excited over elite programs because they don't see it as the best investment they can make for their kids. I think you'd find gaps in suburban vs. inner city vs. rural attitudes.
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Post #25 by Shawnathan Horcoff » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:08 pm

Ice hockey has been altered so far beyond its natural state that I genuinely hope it dies in this country.
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Post #26 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:12 pm

mcphee wrote:All good points but the USA lost to a team that matched what they did best with what they did best and it turned out well for Canada, then they couldn't get it going for the Bronze and when the hill got too big, they quit.

Privileged or pampered, probably but not all that different from Canadian kids. Artie, you probably have more direct minor experience than anyone here, would the average family income from kids in minor hockey be a lot higher than 15-20 years ago ? I'd think so. Pursuing any sport at a high level isn't for everyone anymore.

Canada, as dominant as they appeared in the last game were a bounce away from the same navel gazing exercise.


Minor sports vary in participation costs

Hockey has become very expensive (especially the equipment) and this is one of the factors to declining enrollment. But most of that is at the "participation" level. The elite who partake in the sport in order to strive to compete at higher levels definitely requires a lot more money. Travel costs, ice costs, equipment costs, training costs are all on the rise. It has predominantly become a sport for those that are a little more privileged or those that are willing to make more personal sacrifices.

We could however say the same thing about education, no?
:mkbét::lr: :lr:



OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone



It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.



Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."



...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...



Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.




:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #27 by mayoradamwest » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:52 pm

When I was a lad I used to play in the states a fair bit. The top teams would destroy us, and then by the time you'd get to the third or fourth best teams we'd destroy them. It may be that the top teams take in the best players and push winning above all else, playing intense systems hockey, and then there's not enough of a chance for the rest of em. On top of what everyone else has said of course. It's an interesting question though, may be more sociological than anything else.
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Post #28 by mayoradamwest » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:00 pm

dempsey_k wrote:I haven't been involved in hockey since the '90s, but is the AAA / AA / A / B / C / D system also in Canada and also still around? If so, which were you and the teams you faced? Back then, we Nanooks could only muster one legit team in Midget IIRC, though my memory is bad on that.


Never had anything below A in my parts. I flipped between a and aaa depending on year, but played against honeybaked, compuware and others. I'll never forget honeybaked firing their coach midway through the year on a team of 10 year olds... Dude from I think it was compuware actually took a kids stick out of his hands and broke it over his kneed... Slightly different world.
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Post #29 by Twitter bArt » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:20 pm

USA has different recruiting standards as compared to Canada.

we won't even discuss the training facilities
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OOOH yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of Vinny is gone



It's too bad all the people that could really run the Habs are busy doing talk radio, writing blogs or posting on message boards.



Now, Lajoie is an imbecile, a cretin and a plagiarist, who to use author Dany Laferrière's deliciously withering expression, "lives beyond his intellectual means."



...as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel...



Haddock wrote:I wouldn't know anything about that. I gave my soul up when I swore allegiance to the goddamn queen.




:lr: :lr: :lr:
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Post #30 by Ricard_Persson » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:19 pm

I played one good competitive year where we never lost. It was a smaller area team so I don't know what letter ranking we had. I remembering winning the silver stick in midget and playing American teams. This was just when Columbus got an NHL team named. There was a Columbus team with the exact jerseys, pants and socks. All the players had the same helmet and and gloves, and wore mouth guards. We were a bit intimidated. We had the jerseys and socks and cheap pant covers, but gloves and helmets were always mismatched. No one had seen a mouth guard before on our team. A couple of small town areas would combine and create a competitive team. It was blue collar country. One really good defender on the team had his skate duct taped. No shit. Not the same family budgets on our team versus the Columbus team, but we still won everything that year. The game remains the same once on the ice.

However the US teams looked rich. They spent a lot. It looked like an expensive task for the parents. Our team fundraised like crazy just to get there.
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Post #31 by PEli » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:30 pm

I think the biggest difference between the two countries going forward will be the ability of Canadian towns and cities to continue producing more and more rinks without taxpayers questioning it. It's astounding how quickly rinks go up these days and despite their costs, there are still enough non profits to spread out ice time. And considering the rinks are only closed for about 5-6 hours in a given day, there's a lot more ice than people think. It's not that ice is scarce in cities or large towns anymore...it's the cost of running the facilities now. It doesn't cost a whole lot to pay canteen workers, a janitor and a zamboni driver but it's pretty hard to find a guy with his ticket on refrigeration/cooling equipment and figure out a way not to pay him overtime.

Here in Halifax there are around 20 rinks. A couple of them are multi pad facilities and there are plans for 2-3 more four pads. The BMO Centre in Hammonds Plains opened a few years back and it's been huge for minor hockey. As well, the Canada Games Centre right up the road from us is another state of the art venue and it's always packed. It's funny how they always propose these new facilities and say that they'll now be able to close older rinks but they never do...there's always enough demand. I can't think of a single rink I played in when I was a kid that's not still open. They never close them.
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Post #32 by RTWAP » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:03 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:Lakes and ponds ... five hole on the backhand.


Post of the year.
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Post #33 by RTWAP » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:04 pm

PEli wrote:I think the biggest difference between the two countries going forward will be the ability of Canadian towns and cities to continue producing more and more rinks without taxpayers questioning it. It's astounding how quickly rinks go up these days and despite their costs, there are still enough non profits to spread out ice time. And considering the rinks are only closed for about 5-6 hours in a given day, there's a lot more ice than people think. It's not that ice is scarce in cities or large towns anymore...it's the cost of running the facilities now. It doesn't cost a whole lot to pay canteen workers, a janitor and a zamboni driver but it's pretty hard to find a guy with his ticket on refrigeration/cooling equipment and figure out a way not to pay him overtime.

Here in Halifax there are around 20 rinks. A couple of them are multi pad facilities and there are plans for 2-3 more four pads. The BMO Centre in Hammonds Plains opened a few years back and it's been huge for minor hockey. As well, the Canada Games Centre right up the road from us is another state of the art venue and it's always packed. It's funny how they always propose these new facilities and say that they'll now be able to close older rinks but they never do...there's always enough demand. I can't think of a single rink I played in when I was a kid that's not still open. They never close them.


I wonder how much they save by going with 3 and 4 pad facilities. I bet it's quite a bit more cost effective than the single pads they were building with centennial money 50 years ago. One heating plant, one ice plant, one zamboni driver. That's a lot of savings.
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Post #34 by mayoradamwest » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:18 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:I played one good competitive year where we never lost. It was a smaller area team so I don't know what letter ranking we had. I remembering winning the silver stick in midget and playing American teams. This was just when Columbus got an NHL team named. There was a Columbus team with the exact jerseys, pants and socks. All the players had the same helmet and and gloves, and wore mouth guards. We were a bit intimidated. We had the jerseys and socks and cheap pant covers, but gloves and helmets were always mismatched. No one had seen a mouth guard before on our team. A couple of small town areas would combine and create a competitive team. It was blue collar country. One really good defender on the team had his skate duct taped. No shit. Not the same family budgets on our team versus the Columbus team, but we still won everything that year. The game remains the same once on the ice.

However the US teams looked rich. They spent a lot. It looked like an expensive task for the parents. Our team fundraised like crazy just to get there.


Not in the winning part as my teams always sucked, but had similar experience. You probably don't need matching hockey bags and personalized gear to the 9's.

I'm also guessing they don't subsidize the ice time like we do.
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Post #35 by zamboner » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:32 pm

We were too poor for even duct-tape level hockey.
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Post #36 by AD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:45 pm

B-man, will ya take a look at these old timers droning on and on about the glory of their lost hockey youth.
Boy I tell ya. Shameful.







Pick up a stick and go to your local ice boys. Thats an order.
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Post #37 by PredsFan77 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:16 pm

I PLAYED ON A TEAM WITH FORMER NHL PLAYER BLAKE GEOFFRION
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Post #38 by Ricard_Persson » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:07 pm

AD wrote:B-man, will ya take a look at these old timers droning on and on about the glory of their lost hockey youth.
Boy I tell ya. Shameful.







Pick up a stick and go to your local ice boys. Thats an order.


Pick up hockey us great now. That's the best part about hockey. No matter how much your parents spend, or how good or shitty your equipment is, 999 out of 1000 minor hockey players all end up playing together and taking 4 minute shifts in pick up hockey when they're older, for $15 a night.

I was up to an amazing three times a week in the new year and starting to feel good, until I passed out after three shifts on the 14th, and realized while in the hospital that it was due to a pair of blood clots in the lungs from a blocked shot ankle-biter two weeks prior.

Time to give up the old cracked and taped together Bauer shin pads from the final years of minor hockey. Hockey players are superstitious. I hate changing equipment. Too many good memories of the glory days when we skated faster, shot harder and more girls cheered. Great game.
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Post #39 by AD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:35 pm

I hope you feel better Rickster.
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Post #40 by Ricard_Persson » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:49 pm

I'm better now. Was actually fine after I got off the ice and slowed the heart...but on thinners for a while so no hockey the remainder of the year I'm thinking.


Thankfully I've never done a knee, but so many people have. That's terrible. I lost a bunch of teeth a while back but that's it, and now I'm caged again. I never really missed a game until this happened. Knees and back are tough ones to take. Hope it's working for you.
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Post #41 by PredsFan77 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:51 pm

MAYBE YOU CAN DO YOUR FANTASY LEAGUES NOW, RON.
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Post #42 by Not » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:25 pm

mcphee wrote:All good points but the USA lost to a team that matched what they did best with what they did best and it turned out well for Canada, then they couldn't get it going for the Bronze and when the hill got too big, they quit.

Privileged or pampered, probably but not all that different from Canadian kids. Artie, you probably have more direct minor experience than anyone here, would the average family income from kids in minor hockey be a lot higher than 15-20 years ago ? I'd think so. Pursuing any sport at a high level isn't for everyone anymore.

Canada, as dominant as they appeared in the last game were a bounce away from the same navel gazing exercise.


Artie's zone does not allow Blacks/Hispanics/Muslims or French for that matter. Average family income is 200K :oh_vey:

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