Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team: No Miracle Needed 8

Posted on February 05, 2010 by Scott Weldon
The US men's hockey team will look to earn gold in Vancouver.

The US men's hockey team will look to earn gold in Vancouver.

The US men’s team has actually had a good record historically in international hockey. The two gold, seven silvers and one bronze medal the US has won at the Olympics puts them third in Olympic men’s hockey medals behind only Canada and the Russian/Soviet/CIS teams. They’re ahead of such perennially successful hockey powers Sweden and Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic. This historical international success hasn’t generally translated in the ability to produce top quality NHL players. It generally speaking, hasn’t correlated with America’s ability as a hockey playing nation.

Despite amateur international success the US was producing very few hockey players in general and much fewer good enough to play in the original six NHL. Despite four franchises in the United States the NHL was dominated by Canadian born players. There were a few great American players at the time. Frank Brimsek the hall of fame Bruin goalie comes to mind.

Major Frederic McLaughlin the first owner of the Chicago Blackhawks was famous for a variety of things he did with his new franchise. One of the more bizarre things though was to ice a starting lineup of all American born players towards the end of the 1936-37 season. It wasn’t really an indication of how good American players had become and in fact had a side-show promotional feel to it. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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