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Roster makeup by country


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I was thinking about our roster makeup by country (remembering when ol' Don Cherry would say that you can't win the Cup without good ol' Canadian boys leading the charge) and it got me thinking about the other top contending teams as well, and what their roster makeup looks like. Well, all I can say is, it's a grab bag of players and there is definitely no science behind DC's theory.

 

  CDA USA SWE FIN RUS OTH
VAN 4 11 4 0 3 4
COL 7 9 1 4 2 1
WPG 12 8 1 1 1 2
DAL 10 6 1 4 1 1
EDM 18 1 2 0 0 1
VGK 17 4 1 0 2 1
NYR 5 12 3 1 2 1
BOS 7 12 3 0 0 3
FLA 11 3 4 4 3 1
CAR 5 9 1 3 4 2
TML 17* 5 4* 0 2 1
TOTALS: 113 80 25 17 20 18

 

*NOTE: William Nylander counted as Canadian due to birthplace in Canada...but I'd argue he's more Swedish than Canadian

 

Some facts I found interesting:

"TEAM USA" aka NYR is made up of mostly American born players...and "TEAM CANADA" aka TML is made up of mostly Canadians

I also found it interesting to see the impact that US born players are having on top tier teams (ie/ our very own JTM, BB6, Demko and of course QH43)

And check out the "Other" category...there's some impactful players coming from countries that aren't typically strong in International play (ie/ that kid from Germany playing for the Oil)

 

Anyways, just thought I'd share to see if any other Stats Monkeys out there found this info interesting as well. In the words of Don Cherry...LET'S GO!!

Edited by ABNuck
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My buddy's theory, which is kind of an extension of Don Cherry's philosophy, is that of all the nationalities, Canadian players are more likely to have the will to win the Cup vs. other nationalities, in part because of the unique origin of the Cup (ie. Lord Stanley, 6th GG of the Dominion of Canada).  His thought was you don't need a roster of Canadian players, you just need enough players who will do anything to win the Cup.

 

My personal thought is that it's more the will to win, and it's not necessarily a "Canadian player" vs. "other nationality player" thing.  You either have the will to win or you don't and you just need the critical mass of "will to win player" types on your team to make it to the ultimate prize.  There are American, Russian, Swedish, and Finnish players who carry that mentality, so it's just a matter of finding and bringing them onto the team, and then unlocking their desire and will to win.  Coaching helps, systems help, and talent definitely helps, but at the end of the day, it's "how hungry are you for those 16 wins", and nationality is really only just a sidebar to it all.  In my mind, anyways.

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There was a point in history where Canadians played the most well rounded game that was particularly suited to the NHL. Russians evened the playing field in international hockey, and then when the USSR fell, they brought some of that to the NHL as well. Other countries were competing, just not in the numbers at the highest levels to be as impactful.

 

But as the game grew, not just in North America but globally, other countries' programs grew as well. The "Canadian Way" was not the only path to success. We saw it ourselves with players like Thomas Gradin coming in and making an impact as a skilled player, when Swedes in the NHL were typically just tough guys.

 

Now, it doesn't matter your nationality, with international players in the NHL raising their children in Canada to be more like Canadians themselves, and Canadian players raising their children in the US. The game is played more similarly everywhere, and anything thinking Canadians are the only way to win a Cup are like Cherry, an outdated fossil still hanging onto a point in history where they felt superior.

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2 hours ago, -AJ- said:

Interesting to see how things are changing.

 

Unfortunately, Cherry's theory was driven by rampant xenophobia.


I don’t think I agree with this. In the past, Canada was much more dominant compared to the other countries, which have now narrowed the gap. So at a certain time, there was more truth to that statement. I don’t believe Cherry had a dislike for people from other countries, despite catering to his Canadian audience at times.

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1 hour ago, Pianoman said:


I don’t think I agree with this. In the past, Canada was much more dominant compared to the other countries, which have now narrowed the gap. So at a certain time, there was more truth to that statement. I don’t believe Cherry had a dislike for people from other countries, despite catering to his Canadian audience at times.

 

Canada was definitely more dominant as a nation, but there was nothing to indicate that any one player was better or worse because of their nationality. Their nationality should have nothing to do with requirements to win a Cup. Given the state of Canada's dominance back in the older days, it was likely that the Cup winner had a lot of Canadians, but to infer that they won because of the Canadians would be a conflation of causation and correlation. The teams that won won because they had the best teams and players, and those happened to often be from Canada.

 

Cherry's xenophobia became more evident as the league became more international and he still championed Canadian players even to the detriment of other nationalities sometimes. 

 

I loved a lot of what Cherry brought to the game and I learned a lot from him growing up regarding hockey, but xenophobia was not one of his good parts.

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In the end it's how they mesh and battle for one another that makes the difference.              and whether or not they wear a poppy.

 

Poppy - Garden In Delight

 

I donate but don't wear the poppy because of a pin stab incident many years ago.

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Statistically speaking, there's pretty good chances that a team loaded with Canadians wins, since so far Canadian players are still the majority in the league (as of January, there are 400+ active players, compared to the next highest at around 300 from the States, then it drops off pretty sharply to Sweden, etc.).

Even on teams known for having many foreign players e.g. the 2008 Cup winning Wings, there are still many Canadians (7 Swedes, with Ericsson out for the playoffs, while Canada still had 9 with Mark Hartigan's 4 games boosting the Canadian total).  Even Tampa's recent Cup winning teams included lots of Canadian depth, including the likes of Mathieu Joseph and Luke Schenn boosting the totals for the red and white.  Maybe it's easier still when there are whole junior leagues set up to help kids here find success at the professional level, whereas there may be fewer opportunities overseas?  Curious if foreign players just don't get enough exposure to get drafted or move over, or if there's something else at the development level or some prohibitive cost or legal situation keeping them overseas.  Maybe they're not as used to same physicality that takes place here, if rinks in Europe are much bigger, and so teams don't add them as depth players?  

 

 

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I suspect this has something to do with which countries have strong minor league programs rather than the actual nationality of the player. Back in Cherry's day, I suspect Canada had a far higher percentage of kids playing hockey than other countries.

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On 3/24/2024 at 5:09 PM, RWMc1 said:

In the end it's how they mesh and battle for one another that makes the difference.              and whether or not they wear a poppy.

 

Poppy - Garden In Delight

 

I donate but don't wear the poppy because of a pin stab incident many years ago.

The needles are horrific. It’s why you get the pin. 

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