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The Rube
08-04-2010, 11:26 PM
I see your point PS, but without some significant qualitative research it's a bit difficult in my view to second guess the motives of nearly every player on the Gophers that openly admit playing for the Gophers was one of their primary goals growing up in Minnesota. Based on iteration, the dream of playing for the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team is still quite strong among young hockey players throughout the State. The CBA has taken the edge off a bit though, with obviously some of the players over recent years coming in with more realistic aspirations of making it to the pros.

What also hurts is that there are (in recent history) 4 of 5 MN D1 teams that have been competitive. If a player can't be a "star" or top-liner at MN, they'll just go to another MN (key part there) school, still represent the state, and maybe get more noticed, because they are better than the players that surround them.

Example:

1. Player goes to MN, starts off 3rd line or so, may make it to top line and do okay, maybe great.

2. Player goes to BSU, tUMD, SCSU, MSU-M, and shines right away on the top line or two, NHL notices after a year or two, boom.

Happy
08-05-2010, 12:00 AM
BS.

I've added more substantive discussion to this thread than half the Gopher posters have. Sorry I'm not tiptoeing around all these babies and their egos.

Are you that sham-wow guy, cause you sure seem to be to the rest of us?

ItsGood2BTheKing
08-05-2010, 03:01 AM
I see your point PS, but without some significant qualitative research it's a bit difficult in my view to second guess the motives of nearly every player on the Gophers that openly admit playing for the Gophers was one of their primary goals growing up in Minnesota. Based on iteration, the dream of playing for the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team is still quite strong among young hockey players throughout the State. The CBA has taken the edge off a bit though, with obviously some of the players over recent years coming in with more realistic aspirations of making it to the pros.

I don't think any qualitative research as you put it is necessary. If you can step back and take the mile high view (pun intended). Things have changed. Thousands of young kids in Minnesota grow up dreaming of playing for the Gophers, but they grow up and real life happens... agents, parents, high dollar contracts, all serve to make a player rethink all the options on the table. You can't begrudge a person for going for that brass ring. I forget the Denver player mentioned earlier that chose to stay and received a much smaller contract. Looking back, it probably had no effect on his development or longevity, but he should have sold when his stock was high. He ends up in the same place from a hockey perspective but without a big financial cushion. On that note, and I will end here, kudos to North Dakota and Dave Hakstol for being able to keep some of these players around when they could have bolted for the dollars. Not sure how he does it but I applaud that they have built an atmosphere to make it happen.

HarleyMC
08-05-2010, 06:54 AM
I don't think any qualitative research as you put it is necessary. If you can step back and take the mile high view (pun intended). Things have changed. Thousands of young kids in Minnesota grow up dreaming of playing for the Gophers, but they grow up and real life happens... agents, parents, high dollar contracts, all serve to make a player rethink all the options on the table. You can't begrudge a person for going for that brass ring. I forget the Denver player mentioned earlier that chose to stay and received a much smaller contract. Looking back, it probably had no effect on his development or longevity, but he should have sold when his stock was high. He ends up in the same place from a hockey perspective but without a big financial cushion. On that note, and I will end here, kudos to North Dakota and Dave Hakstol for being able to keep some of these players around when they could have bolted for the dollars. Not sure how he does it but I applaud that they have built an atmosphere to make it happen.

Almost every MN born recruit (>90%) that I've researched over recent years has verbally indicated to media sources that it's been his lifelong dream to play for the Gophers. That hasn't changed much and stating that playing for the Gophers is now only a "stepping stone" to the pros contradicts their often enthusiastic admission. Secondly, I applaud Don Lucia's openness and coaching emphasis in stating that the University of Minnesota is NOT a "farm team" for the NHL. I also concur with Lucia's emphasis on education and obtaining a college degree as a vital component of his vision and philosophy for student-athletes at the University of Minnesota. This operative vision negatively correlates with the perspective that the UMN is only a "stepping stone" to the pros. In my view, it is not outdated or obsolete simply because the University of Minnesota is in the education business and it must both in practice and in theory, uphold this timeless priority regardless of the prevailing trends and corporate pathologies of our self induced sports entertainment culture.

Furthermore, more research (either qualitative or mixed methodology would be effective) is needed to longitudinally determine with sufficient validity and reliability: 1) at what specific age young Minnesota hockey players begin to speculate and "dream" about playing for the Gophers?, 2) whether there are negative correlations with becoming a pro hockey player and maintaining that "dream"?, 3) what degree of influence do external sources have in positively or negatively mediating that "dream"?, and 4) do professional attributions represent a causal relationship of decline in the psychocultural component of that "dream" once it is fulfilled?

I'm not aware of any such extant research, but based on iteration of the above phenomena consistently demonstrated by recent Gopher players, it appears the "dream" is still quite active in the minds of young hockey players throughout the State. However, as I stated previously the CBA has changed the landscape of all of college hockey, making it more possible for players to make the jump to pro hockey earlier in their college career should they stay healthy and perform well. But to accurately determine the positive or negative correlations these opportunities have served in potentially changing the mindset of young Minnesota hockey players who aspire to play for the Gophers requires valid research data or it's simply an opinion without any basis in fact.

Here's one future recruit's (Ben Marshall) recent comment (http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534022). Many others playing for the Gophers have made similar remarks:


Marshall, who will turn 18 next month, will play the 2010-11 season in Omaha, Neb., with the Lancers of the USHL, before moving back closer to home at the University of Minnesota.

When he was asked what his favorite sports team was growing up, Marshall responded quickly.

“It’s a dream for anyone growing up in Minnesota to play for the Gophers,” he said. “If you play hockey in Minnesota, you play for the Gophers, that’s what everybody wants to do. I’m just glad I’m able to do it.”

Lastly, as Don Lucia stated in his interview Minnesota and Michigan have been feeder programs for the NHL for years. I suspect UND may possibly see more defections in the very near future with NHL players such as Parise and Toews representing the quality of the UND hockey program as well. It would be interesting to research how much actual influence Dave Hakstol has in encouraging/persuading his players to stay in school.

SJHovey
08-05-2010, 08:23 AM
I suspect UND may possibly see more defections in the very near future with NHL players such as Parise and Toews representing the quality of the UND hockey program as well. It would be interesting to research how much actual influence Dave Hakstol has in encouraging/persuading his players to stay in school.

I suspect Dave has about as much influence as Don, which is to say, not as much as they'd like.

After the 2006 season, when MN had 6 players jump early, UND had 5. In 2007, MN had 3 players leave, UND 4. In 2008 MN and UND both had 3 leave early.

You're always going to lose guys like Wheeler, Oshie, Potulny, Toews, Goligoski, Zajac, etc..., with one or two years of eligibility left. MN's experience hasn't been any better or worse than schools like Wisconsin, UND or Michigan in this regard.

I think there are two slight differences between what's happened in Minnesota recently, and some of the other schools. The first is the very early departure of top draft pick talent. The second is the very early departure of a couple of guys who didn't have top draft pick talent.

They lost Kessel and E. Johnson after just one season, and Okposo with 2.5 years left.

MN essentially lost 2.5 years of eligibility there, tops, imho. You're never going to get a player drafted that high, and that talented to stay more than 2 seasons. UND didn't keep Parise and Toews more than two, and I'm sure Michigan and Wisconsin can point to similar situations.

Furthermore, MN might be lucky they got 1 yr out of Johnson. Candidly, you get a top 5 or top 10 draft pick to stay 2 seasons, you are lucky.

I really don't think MN lost much "eligibility" with respect to it's top draft pick talent recently. You can argue .5 years for Okposo and a year for Kessel and Johnson, but even then you might be pushing it.

I don't see the loss of very high draft pick talent early as MN's problem. If you can't figure out that a guy drafted #1 overall is likely to stick around for only one season, that's your problem. And it's also a very limited problem, involving just a couple of players.

The second area is more puzzling. They've lost guys like Bickel, Lofquist and O'Brien after just one season.

These guys were not top 5 draft picks. I certainly don't know the particulars, but my recollection tells me they left, at least in part, for playing time issues.

It's these cases, to me, that separate MN's recent experience from that of other schools, and is the area they most need to try to address. I don't know if it's coaching, communication, the type of kid brought in, bad fortune or what. But by and large you're not seeing kids from DU, Wisconsin, UND, etc..., jumping ship after just one season, unless they fall into the category of top draft pick/can't miss or very marginal/walk on type player.

jk
08-05-2010, 08:25 AM
I suspect UND may possibly see more defections in the very near future with NHL players such as Parise and Toews representing the quality of the UND hockey program as well. It would be interesting to research how much actual influence Dave Hakstol has in encouraging/persuading his players to stay in school.
It isn't encouragement, but he's created a culture where players want to stay until they're ready. UND will probably lose two forwards early, plus maybe a defenseman after this year, but one of the forwards was getting pushed by his team last summer, and will have played two more college seasons after the pressure started.

HarleyMC
08-05-2010, 08:44 AM
It isn't encouragement, but he's created a culture where players want to stay until they're ready. UND will probably lose two forwards early, plus maybe a defenseman after this year, but one of the forwards was getting pushed by his team last summer, and will have played two more college seasons after the pressure started.

Be careful of logical contradictions here. If he's "created" it, then it's self evident he's "encouraged" it in a broad sense of the term. If so, I'd be interested to see prima facie evidence of the philosophical (e.g. axiological) and practical assumptions of the "Hakstol/UND" culture that positively demonstrates significant causal relationships with the sustainability of UND players.

cg_siouxfan
08-05-2010, 08:49 AM
Be careful of logical contradictions here. If he's "created" it, then it's self evident he's "encouraged" it in a broad sense of the term. If so, I'd be interested to see prima facie evidence of the philosophical (e.g. axiological) and practical assumptions of the "Hakstol/UND" culture that positively demonstrates significant causal relationships with the sustainability of UND players.

Sorry, I don't speak Pretentious *******.

I think you could've just said, "I wonder what Hakstol/UND does to keep UND players in the program longer."

wasmania
08-05-2010, 08:50 AM
Almost every MN born recruit (>90%) that I've researched over recent years has verbally indicated to media sources that it's been his lifelong dream to play for the Gophers. That hasn't changed much and stating that playing for the Gophers is now only a "stepping stone" to the pros contradicts their often enthusiastic admission. Secondly, I applaud Don Lucia's openness and coaching emphasis in stating that the University of Minnesota is NOT a "farm team" for the NHL. I also concur with Lucia's emphasis on education and obtaining a college degree as a vital component of his vision and philosophy for student-athletes at the University of Minnesota. This operative vision negatively correlates with the perspective that the UMN is only a "stepping stone" to the pros. In my view, it is not outdated or obsolete simply because the University of Minnesota is in the education business and it must both in practice and in theory, uphold this timeless priority regardless of the prevailing trends and corporate pathologies of our self induced sports entertainment culture.

Furthermore, more research (either qualitative or mixed methodology would be effective) is needed to longitudinally determine with sufficient validity and reliability: 1) at what specific age young Minnesota hockey players begin to speculate and "dream" about playing for the Gophers?, 2) whether there are negative correlations with becoming a pro hockey player and maintaining that "dream"?, 3) what degree of influence do external sources have in positively or negatively mediating that "dream"?, and 4) do professional attributions represent a causal relationship of decline in the psychocultural component of that "dream" once it is fulfilled?

I'm not aware of any such extant research, but based on iteration of the above phenomena consistently demonstrated by recent Gopher players, it appears the "dream" is still quite active in the minds of young hockey players throughout the State. However, as I stated previously the CBA has changed the landscape of all of college hockey, making it more possible for players to make the jump to pro hockey earlier in their college career should they stay healthy and perform well. But to accurately determine the positive or negative correlations these opportunities have served in potentially changing the mindset of young Minnesota hockey players who aspire to play for the Gophers requires valid research data or it's simply an opinion without any basis in fact.

Here's one future recruit's (Ben Marshall) recent comment (http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534022). Many others playing for the Gophers have made similar remarks:



Lastly, as Don Lucia stated in his interview Minnesota and Michigan have been feeder programs for the NHL for years. I suspect UND may possibly see more defections in the very near future with NHL players such as Parise and Toews representing the quality of the UND hockey program as well. It would be interesting to research how much actual influence Dave Hakstol has in encouraging/persuading his players to stay in school.

Harley, jeezus you need a real job so you can put this researcher fixation to rest. You have heard of Occam's razor?

Dirty
08-05-2010, 08:51 AM
Sorry, I don't speak Pretentious *******.

I think you could've just said, "I wonder what Hakstol/UND does to keep UND players in the program longer."

Hak has a lawyer on retainer in case of player shenanigans, something Lucia refuses to do.

The Rube
08-05-2010, 08:58 AM
Sorry, I don't speak Pretentious *******.

I think you could've just said, "I wonder what Hakstol/UND does to keep UND players in the program longer."

That's a mighty big word you used. What a big boy you are! Now run along and let the adults talk.

goldy_331
08-05-2010, 08:59 AM
Hey, hey, hey....you know **** well you can't count Dirty. :p


Point taken.

jk
08-05-2010, 09:05 AM
Be careful of logical contradictions here. If he's "created" it, then it's self evident he's "encouraged" it in a broad sense of the term. If so, I'd be interested to see prima facie evidence of the philosophical (e.g. axiological) and practical assumptions of the "Hakstol/UND" culture that positively demonstrates significant causal relationships with the sustainability of UND players.
I don't know what some of those words mean, but I can point to three things that suggest the cultural difference.

First, guys stay longer; the scientific term is: the proof is in the pudding. Top-end guys have stayed longer (no one-and-dones), and the medium guys have as well.

Second, all the buzz (internet rumor and other similarly strong evidence) is that UND players really enjoy it there and MN guys can't wait to get out.

And (c), some guys who have left MN have taken shots at the program on the way out (Kessel, EJ), while I can't remember that at UND.

I can only conclude that one program's culture is a bit broken, while the other's seems intact. And I don't know a way to measure that.

HarleyMC
08-05-2010, 09:13 AM
Harley, jeezus you need a real job so you can put this researcher fixation to rest. You have heard of Occam's razor?

Actually I am familiar with Occam's razor. It's entertaining Was how you just demonstrated you're a practicing anti-razor. Although your wrong again, it was conceptionally and theoretically well conceived.:D

ScoobyDoo
08-05-2010, 09:34 AM
The second area is more puzzling. They've lost guys like Bickel, Lofquist and O'Brien after just one season.

These guys were not top 5 draft picks. I certainly don't know the particulars, but my recollection tells me they left, at least in part, for playing time issues.

It's these cases, to me, that separate MN's recent experience from that of other schools, and is the area they most need to try to address. I don't know if it's coaching, communication, the type of kid brought in, bad fortune or what. But by and large you're not seeing kids from DU, Wisconsin, UND, etc..., jumping ship after just one season, unless they fall into the category of top draft pick/can't miss or very marginal/walk on type player.
Bickel was understandable. He left because he cashed out on a big freshmen year at the "U" after going undrafted.

Lofquist left because of his dad. His dad figured his son was the greatest power play "D" guy in the WCHA.

O'Brien was a dad issue as well IIRC.

Chucko thought he was going to be a star.

You also have Dorr and Scott who got here and figured out that they weren't really going to play much their first couple of years and decided to bolt.

Some kids will wait some won't. I think Minnesota's biggest problem is that they haven't found those talented diamonds in the rough that realize that the NHL is a longshot but they can thrive in college if they want too. To often they've gotten the kids that have no patience and think they should be the QB on the power play or the center on the top line right now cause they're going to be a star.

Puck Swami
08-05-2010, 09:42 AM
I think the dream to play for the Gophers has always been there - it's just that now, the dream to play in the NHL is often larger and seemingly more realistic for some, given Minnesota's success at producing NHL players.

Every Minnesota player is going to say it was their dream to play there. Why wouldn't they say that? It's just not always the primary dream anymore....

Bronzebacks
08-05-2010, 10:05 AM
Yep, lots of rational discussion here in these posts. :rolleyes:

My thoughts exactly. Many UNDies try to have it both ways. Reminds me of how they cry about dirty hits when one of their premier players is injuried and at the same time they frequenly celebrate the same kind of questionable hits carried out by their own players.

The fact of the matter is many of their fans (Not All) frequently target posts relating to the Gophers and try to antagonize people. I guess they don't have much else to do.

Dirty
08-05-2010, 10:20 AM
The fact of the matter is many of their fans (Not All) frequently target posts relating to the Gophers and try to antagonize people. I guess they don't have much else to do.

Well duh. This is one of the foundations of internet message boards. Without antagonizing people, message boards would only have people like you who have the personality of a rice cake.

4four4
08-05-2010, 10:36 AM
"Fan" is probably a strong word - he did play-by-play for Cornell hockey for several years, so he certainly has a soft spot for Cornell (e.g. he still posts occasionally to eLynah and often meets up with Cornell fans at hockey events), but I'm not sure he would describe himself as a Cornell fan, per se.

Sounds like a Cornell fan to me. I am cool with that.:D

Stauber1
08-05-2010, 10:40 AM
I think the dream to play for the Gophers has always been there - it's just that now, the dream to play in the NHL is often larger and seemingly more realistic for some, given Minnesota's success at producing NHL players.

Every Minnesota player is going to say it was their dream to play there. Why wouldn't they say that? It's just not always the primary dream anymore....

I think you are correct, PS.

I would add that I think the coaching staff has aided this view by the way in which the program is sold to recruits. It is also one of the reasons I think losing Mike Guentzel was so detrimental. I think Lucia is beginning to recognize this, and I expect some changes in not just who he recruits, but how he recruits them.

Harley, you can do all the qualitative research you want, but I think some good old fashioned observational studying would prove to be just as if not more informative.

From being drafted, to going to prospect camp, to being in contact with agents from the age of 16-17, to the constant media whirlwind surrounding Gopher hockey during the season, etc....these kids are being prepped for a pro career. It's no wonder that the professional ranks are where they really aspire to be. I think it takes a serious and poignant effort from an entire program to keep these kids focused on the team they play for during their college careers.