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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

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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