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HUNGARIAN HOCKEY jégkorongozás





/ Hockey Suisse





Transfer Chaos

Author: © Jack Barron Author information
Date: 18-jun-01
Language correction: FlyBear
French version...

Like football did (under duress), ice hockey should examine the inconsistencies in its transfer system.
    For months, football had vacillated and lost its certainties, fearing that the offensive taken by the European committee against its tranfers system would destroy its fragile equilibrium. It didn't happen, and the final agreement enabled them to write down some basic principles while guaranteeing the main points of the system (which had worked, despite some inconsistencies which had to be corrected) will remain. These basic principles are precisely what European ice hockey is sorely missing. The IIHF never looked at its foundations, and no one can say for certain if a landslide will take it away soon.
    You have to look long and hard to see if the principles of the European committee and of the football governing bodies have equivalents in ice hockey. First, there's the issue of players' rights. In this domain, fortunately, we still are far from the "jungle law" which reigns in North America, where (non-star) players can be sold, traded or released easily, and must suffer from a state of permanent competition-- thirty other skilled players aiming at taking their job--which is emphasized by the farm-team system. Nevertheless, many European managers and chairmen envy the North American methods, and players here, for instance low-salaried players from Eastern Europe, are not always well-treated. When the results are disappointing, import players are the most convenient scapegoats to become the first dismissals, and are not often allowed to complain.
    On the other hand. respect of contracts comes from both signatories-- this principle was stressed by the football agreement. So we must watch over the mutual respect of club. When we see some Canadian players who are ready to jump ship from their European clubs as soon as they hear of a possible contract in their own country, we must acknowledge that this ideal is far from being realized. There are so many examples of players who have gone without a word to the European club they are leaving. Because the IIHF has no authority over the North American leagues, the betrayed clubs abandon quickly any hope of seeking redress of their complaint. This kind of attitude does not inspire them to coddle their imports. This is not the way you create trust. Respect for the jersey and the love for the club are purely theoretical notions in a system influenced by the North American organization and its continual staff turnover. Eventually, both players and clubs are the victims of this situation.
    The problem is even more acute when the NHL is concerned. Competing against the multi-million dollar bankrolls of the North American franchises, European clubs suddenly feel very light on the balance, and can only mourn the departure of their best players. However, they don't want to resign themselves to stand for this pillaging-- that's why they want to negotiate higher compensations , which have been quite symbolic until now. But the NHL has the power and knows it can impose its will. On its point of view, only its honourable generosity make the league pay this charity money to its European counterparts, who are so lucky to benefit from this considerable effort.
    But there are also incoherences inside of the jurisdiction of the IIHF. According to the EU/FIFA agreement, a player must stay at least one year in his club, which will prevent the competitions from being warped in the middle of the season. In this domain, the IIHF is late. Just consider that players are recruited for the second part of the season or even only for the play-offs. In France, nobody has forgotten the shooting star Evgeny Davydov in Amiens some years ago, but the same phenomenon also occurs elsewhere. As soon as a player's season is done after his team has been eliminated, he can join another team to help theme chase a title or to retain its place in the first division : for example, Christoph Brandner, not qualified for the play-offs with Krefeld, helped Klagenfurt to win the Austrian final. Also Tomas Östlund, eliminated in quarter finals with Fribourg-Gottéron, has been recruited by Lausanne for the promotion series. And how the IIHF can tolerate that teams engage players only for the European cups (Claude Verret, who spent three days with Zurich for the final of the Continental Cup)?
    These recruits harm the fairness of the competitions and penalize the clubs who play fair and try to do with the roster they have in the beginning of the season. It's a very widespread problem : you need to protect players, clubs and sport, and not defend the one in the expense of the others.
    The people in charge of hockey laughed off the problems of football when everbody thought its whole system would collapse. Now, they'd better be looking at their own mistakes. Ice hockey is late in reacting to, and the clubs which develop the young players- helping them to learn hockey and grow as players-- don't get fair payment for their efforts.
    The IIHF has a lot of work to do to harmonize its transfer policy, to protect players and clubs and to ensure solidarity with clubs which develop youngsters. This is a huge problem, and it shouldn't do the same mistakes as the FIFA, which had waited for the ultimatum of the European Committee to think seriously about it. Amazingly, even before the football system was re-structured, it still worked better than the hockey system does today.


Who invented hockey?

(31-08-00 ada) Today is a unique and special day. Today's article is not about contemporary hockey but concerns the origin and history of our favourite sport. Echo did some outstanding research, even visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto to find out more. Where does ice hockey come from? What does the word "hockey" mean? These are things every real hockey fan should know. Hockey fans are almost a nation in their own right - a group of people with a similiar culture and a common language - and let's face it, every Chilian knows when the Republic of Chile was founded!

Author: © Echo Author information
Date: 31-08-00
Language correction: Jack Barron
Other languages: French (by Jack Barron), German (by Tina)

Who invented hockey, this is a question that will probably never be answered, and if it is many will still not accept it. The parties in question who lay claim to have invented the game are as many as their is teams in the NHL.
    The North American indians, the Irish, the English, the Canadians, the Scottish, and the Americans are the groups who claim to have evidence that they were the first to play the game.
    Our first claim we will look at comes from the Americans, where they make reference to the game being played by the Dutch immigrants living in Pennsylvania. There is no evidence that the game being played was hockey, and is said the game being played resembled curling. The date that this game took place is not known for sure but is estimated to be about 1850. This date is to late in time to be the first. The American claim has no proof or substance to warrant a real claim to the invention of hockey. The first real mention of the game in America probably was in Boston around 1860, where Irish Loyalists from the Nova Scotia area brought with them to the Boston area.

The second claim from the Irish, Scottish and British who played a game called Hurley in the 1600's. The Irish invented the game called hurley, and this game resembled a form of golf and hockey. The game was played by a bunch of men who would stand in a huddle, one man would hit the ball down the ice and everyone would chase it. The first to reach the ball would hit it again, and everyone would continue to chase the ball.
    This game was very rough, with everyone trying to reach the ball first, they would knock each other down trying to get to the ball. This game was brought to Windsor (Nova Scotia, Canada) around 1770 with the Irish immigrants and continued to be played in the Nova Scotia area by young men at Kings College School. The church tried to ban the game, calling it evil, because of the passion and roughness the game created. This game was not hockey, but was probably one of the games that influenced the creation of hockey.
    The third claim comes from the Mi'kmaq Indians from Nova Scotia who played a game called Lacrosse, this was a very violent and vicious game that was played on fields. The natives in the winter would play the same game on ice, and they called it Oochamkunutk. This game did not resemble the game of lacrosse that is played today. They played with small rounded stones and with a 4 or 5 cm. net on the bottom of the sticks. They did not pick up the stone, they hit it along the ground. Later with the Irish bringing the game of hurley this game was played with skates. Lacrosse also had a major influence in the invention of hockey.
    The fourth claim, and the claims that are given credit for the invention of hockey come from Halifax and Kingston (both in Canada). First Halifax where Hurley and Lacrosse were being played, hockey was the end product from combining the two games. The people of Halifax point to the game being played by the Military on Halifax Harbor. While the people of Kingston also point to the Military playing the same game in Kingston. These games were played around 1840.
    The people of Halifax are given the credit, because historians say the military probably brought the game from Halifax and played in Kingston a few months later. Halifax today is given the credit for inventing the game of hockey, and most historians agree the game was first played in the Halifax area.
    The game in 1870 was given its first rules and organization in Montreal. In Montreal some standards were met. They are not the same standards we play by today, but they are enough like them to recognize the game, and records have been kept of when, why, and by whom the standards were changed. This is the standard that we set for ourselves in recognizing sport from, just fun play.
    There are two men who are given the credit for setting the standards of the game, JGH Creighton and WF Robertson. Creighton, an engineer from Halifax, is said to have given the game its foundation in Montreal in 1875, while Robertson is said to have formalized the game four years later. Historians give Creighton credit for the invention.
    Creighton started the first real hockey team at McGill University in Montreal, and organized the first game between Montreal and Halifax. He then left Montreal in 1880 for Ottawa for a position as a law clerk for the Senate. While in Ottawa he met Lord Stanley of Preston, who was the Governor General of Canada.
    Lord Stanley fell in love with hockey and became very involved. His daughter Lady Isobel, and his two sons, Edward and Arthur as well as Lord Stanley himself played the game, and joined Creighton in forming a hockey team in Ottawa. Lord Stanley's two sons devoted themselves to the game , much to the satisfaction of their father.
    Proud of his sons involvement in the game and totally excited about the game himself, Lord Stanley wanted to stimulate interest in competition between senior teams in the area. In 1893 he bought a gold lined silver bowl for $48.66. It was to become the symbol of excellence for amateur hockey, and the worlds oldest and most recognized trophy in sports today. Lord Stanley dearly wished to see Ottawa, who his two sons played for be the first to win the cup. Ottawa on a unbeaten streak , lost to a powerful team called the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, who became the first team to win the now famous cup.
    Soon after awarding the Stanley Cup for the first time, Lord Stanley and his two sons returned to England in 1893. Shortly after arriving in England, Lord Stanley and his sons played a game of hockey on the grounds of Buckingham Palace with the Royals.
    Lord Stanley and his sons started hockey in England, and brought over from Canada Loyalist Soldiers to play the game. In 1936 England still importing Canadiens with English backgrounds to play hockey would defeat Canada to win the Olympic gold medal. Even today history continues with Brittish National team being comprised mostly of Canadians with English backgrounds.
    Not long after the Stanley Cup was being awarded, the Ottawa hockey club named their hockey team the Ottawa Senators after Creighton and Lord Stanley.
    The Ottawa Senators along with the Montreal Canadians and Montreal AAA would be three of the first teams to play in a new formed professional League called the National Hockey League.
    Most of the equipment used in the game of hockey was invented in Nova Scotia, wooden pucks, Mic Mac hockey sticks, and Starr skates, plus the box net, invented in 1899. Hockey was first started with seven players a side. The first indoor hockey arena was in Montreal in 1860.
    Where did the word hockey come from? The word hockey is a centuries old English word, it is found in the language of the middle ages. Hockarts were two wheeled, horse drawn carts that were used to transport crops in the early 1400's. A game that the boys got covered in mud was played in the fields and was called hockey.

Troy Echlin

Top 10 Hockey Clichés

(28-08-00 ada) Ice hockey is a great game to watch on TV. Some people may say that they cannot see the puck, but most of them are liars. Those who are telling the truth probably like correspondence chess the most so they can ask a hundred times where the bishop stands… Every language has its own way of commentating ice hockey. The British and American way is to describe exactly what is happening on the ice. E.g.; the Czechs preffer statistics and off-ice information on the players; the Slovak commentators use methaporas and are usually very funny. The Russians, Finns, Swedes and other nations also have their own ways. But all of these guys use a lot of meaningless clichés. The commentators use them over and over again. Now you have a chance to get to know the ten most used English language clichés, according to FlyBear:

Author: © FlyBear Author information
Date: 28-08-00

1. Overuse of the word "hockey” itself.
Ever notice on any telecast or in any article how often they feel the need to repeatedly identify that they are, in fact, talking about hockey? It betrays the insecurity that exists sport-wide about the game's hold on the public- namely, the American public. Says Player X "I just want to help out the hockey team.” (as opposed to what?- that other player who just wants to help out with the car wash for the middle school soccer team?). Says Coach Y "We just wanted to go out and play good defensive hockey- that's how you win hockey games.” Says Announcer Z, "That Paul Kariya is one heck of a hockey player.” (Now if he said, "That Paul Kariya is one heck of a trombone player,” that might be worth mentioning on the air).

2. A player scores a less-than-artistic goal: a short side goal from a bad angle, the puck deflects off a defenseman, etc.
Especially if it's the guy's first career goal, you will then often hear Announcer A quip, "Someday he'll tell his grandkids it was a top shelfer over the glove.” Well, how does the announcer know that? Is he implying that this guy is a pathological liar? And what if he never has grandchildren? Who would he go tell his self-aggrandizing stories to then?

3. "Goalie G stood on his head and stole us two points tonight.”
We all know exactly what that means. But it's really a pretty silly metaphor when you think about it. Standing on your head would probably not be a very effective way to play goal. It would make lateral movement pretty tough, for one thing. And, this is more nitpicky than amusing, but it is, of course, not actually possible for a goaltender to single-handedly get you two points unless he also scores a goal. At most, he can single-handedly earn a team one point by overcoming poor play in front of him and shutting out the opponent but someone else still has to scrounge up a goal to get the other point.
    OK, fans of comedian George Carlin fans may have caught on by now that I've been pilfering wholesale from his rhetoric style on numbers 1-3. Sorry about that; I couldn't resist.

4. "Player X was a nominee for the Hart/Calder/Norris etc. Trophy last year,” or alternatively, he "was a finalist.”
You see that in articles all the time and certain TV announcers say it a lot. It bugs me because 1) it's totally inaccurate and 2) the league, with it's really lame, cringe-worthy "award show” at the end of the year is a large part of the reason people to get the wrong idea. First of all, there's no "nominating” process other than the basic eligibility requirements. Chris Pronger and Nicklas Lidström were no more or less "nominated” for the Norris Trophy last year than were Cory Cross or Karl Dykhuis. Now, guys like Cross and Dykhuis don't have a prayer of actually winning the award, but they were just as much "nominees.” And "finalist” is also a misnomer. That makes it sound like there is a process of elimination where a pool of candidates gets whittled down and the voters then must choose from a "final” list of three. What they actually have is one ballot and the players announced by the league are the top 3 finishers in the voting.

5. "Little guys wear down faster than big guys.”
You hear that all the time from coaches and announcers but it's a very questionable assumption. That depends more on the conditioning level and the playing style of the game than it does their raw size. In a grind-it-out game, perhaps a muscular bigger player can withstand the pounding better than his smaller counterpart. On the other hand, if the game opens up just a little bit, wouldn't the bigger player get just as tired trying to pursue the little player around the ice? And as a general rule, given the marathon-like nature of the season and all the skating involved, wouldn't it be more logical to suspect that the guy constantly carrying around more weight would be the one more likely to wear down over an extended period of time? Of course, it doesn't necessarily work out that way, either. Look at the individual player and forget the clichés.

6.The great fighting debate: personally, I think both sides miss the boat.
Fight fanatics will often say, "you can't win without [one-purpose] enforcers in your lineup.” And announcers will often say after a fight, as the crowd cheers wildly "boy, the public sure hates fighting in hockey. Look at the way they're expressing their displeasure.” I don't think either argument holds up well. First of all, look at the Stanley Cup playoffs. Teams routinely scratch their enforcers during the playoffs and as heated and downright dirty as playoff games can get, even aggressive players usually try to be more cautious about dropping the gloves, because they don't want to risk extra penalties that could leave their club shorthanded. And it's funny, but come Cup time, I don't see many games where the difference between winning and losing would really have been if you'd seen more of, say, Kelly Chase. So the "you can't win without them” argument doesn't fly at all. When the chips are really down, teams can and do win without them.
    As for the public view of fighting and hockey, drawing your conclusion based upon the reaction of a hockey crowd during a fight is a bit like walking around a casino floor and saying "gee, it seems like everyone is in favor of licensed gambling.” Now walk around a revival meeting. Suddenly your demographic changes. Could you then assume properly that very few people, if anyone, thinks it's proper to have licensed gambling? The truth of the matter is that it all a matter of who you are talking to. In North America, there a rather concentrated group of hardcore fans in the United States, and a larger core in Canada. Among them is a certain vocal niche-market of people who watch hockey mostly to see fights; a larger segment who view it has having a place (to widely varying degrees) within the context of the game; and another small niche-group, who consider themselves fans despite fighting and would prefer to see it banned. Then there are the casual or occasional fans, which are the lifeblood of Gary Bettman's NHL. Bettman initially came in with the assumption that this group on the whole wanted fighting out of the game entirely. Personally, I don't think that the majority of the casual fans really care all that much about the specifics- they just want to be entertained. If it's with a wide open affair with lots of scoring chances, great. If it's a slugfest, that's fine, too. As long as they get their evening's entertainment, they'll go home happy. Their attention will drift in and out during the regular season and then start to watch regularly come playoff time. The casual fan makes up a huge percentage of the U.S. hockey market, and a growing percentage of the Canadian market. Then you have the non-fan. In the USA, that's still the vast majority of the population. Have you ever spoken with a total non-fan about hockey? What is their image of the game? All too often, it's of a bunch of toothless guys brawling and banging their sticks over each other's heads. We all laugh at the movie Slapshot- and some fans absolutely revel in it- but guess what, that's how a lot of people see hockey to this very day. And you'll never convince them otherwise. Most fans know that the game has as much subtlety and grace to it as it does smash-mouth body contact. It's the interweaving of the two that makes hockey what it is. But the non-fan often doesn't see it that way and won't be drawn to hockey no matter what. Instead of trying in futility to win these people over, hockey ought to be more concerned about the downward fluctuation of its casual fan base. The game has largely stopped being entertaining, so they've simply stopped watching and coming to the games.
    I do not agree with the ban-fighting advocates, either. Under certain circumstances, it is warranted. Teammates ought to stand up for one another, especially after someone takes a cheap shot from an opposing player. And once in a while- not very often, mind you- a mid-game fight can alter the momentum of the match when nothing else has been going right for a team. It can give a team a fleeting spark upon which they must capitalize quickly. But if they can do so, it can change a game around. As with pulling the goalie, the odds of success aren't real high. In most cases, it has no impact and the game resumes the way it was. Sometimes, it backfires. But every now and then, it works. Additionally, I think that the league really ought to be more vigilant and consistent in trying to eliminate what really harms the game- stickwork and knee checking. They also need to take a look at technically legal hits that are finished up around the recipient's chin — there have been far too many concussions in hockey.

7. OK, let's go back to a lighthearted one again.
Are you tired of seeing newspaper headlines and TV graphics with really awful, lighthearted puns? Team name ones like "the Hab-Nots,” obvious player name puns like "Hex (stands) tall” and most of all the really bad nationality puns- "How Swede it is!”, "Finnish-ing touch,” "Russian the Puck,” "Tough Czech-ing,” "Woe Canada!” When it gets to the point that you can anticipate the lame tag line before you see it, you know that it's not cute or clever anymore.

8. Speaking of the wide variety of nationalities within the game, hockey presents many opportunities for player names to get mangled in spectacular fashion.
I love when TV announcers and sports desk anchors either go way overboard on pronouncing non-English names or else over-Anglicize the name. Jose Theodore is one good example of a player who gives many an anglophone announcer fits. Either he becomes a "Spanish” Jose (as in Jose Canseco) or Joe-see (as in Josee and the Pussy Cats). And it's not just his first name that gets messed up; so does his surname. His last name is often Anglicized and pronounced like Theodore as in Theodore Roosevelt. Incidentally, my two personal favorite name-manglers are ESPN's Gary Thorne and Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan.

9. "Anyone can succeed on a line with Superstar S." As any Flyer fan paying any attention at all can tell you, that's not true.
Here's but one example that springs to mind: Kevin Stevens. When Kevin Stevens was tried with Wayne Gretzky during the 1998-99 season, Stevens produced only marginally better than he had with other linemates. Yet go back into Kevin Stevens past and he was a heck of a goalscorer when he played with Mario and Co. on the Penguins. The difference? Was it that Gretzky, in his final season, was no longer much of a help to his linemates? Not really. The difference was Kevin Stevens. Due to on and off ice problems, Stevens was not even close to the finisher he used to be. Players can be helped *to an extent* by their linemates (a smaller extent in terms of goals, because they are still the ones that have to finish the plays, and a somewhat greater extent in terms of assists). And some players rely on their linemates more than others.
    Ultimately, players rise and fall on their own merits; if a guy doesn't cut it, he won't cut it no matter who you play him with. Rob Brown was himself a pretty good player the year he scored all those goals playing alongside Mario Lemieux. Jari Kurri was a *great* player in his prime, made that much greater by playing with Gretzky.

10. "Yes, he's a good player, but he's not a great one. How many Stanley Cup rings has he won?”
Obviously, the goal of every player is to play on at least one team that wins the Stanley Cup. But using the "ring” argument as your main weapon in comparing players is both foolish and easily refutable. This is one the best comparative refutations I've seen: How many Stanley Cup rings has Ray Bourque won? How many has Marty McSorley won? By the "ring” logic, you'd rather have Marty McSorley on your team than Ray Bourque. Here's another one, more equal in terms of player stature: Dale Hawerchuk and Brian Trottier. If Ducky had been surrounded by the same cast of players that Trottier was fortunate enough to play with, he, too, would have been on Cup winners galore. You can make these sorts of comparisons right on down the line- Mark Howe and Paul Coffey, Marcel Dionne and Steve Shutt, and yes, Eric Lindros and Peter Forsberg. I think the ring argument carries much more weight when you are comparing teams than when you are comparing individual players. Teams are what it's all about in hockey, which, come to think of it, reminds me of another hockey cliché....

Bill Meltzer

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