- Just crunching some numbers, and I was shocked to learn that not a
single NHL player ever was born in the Milwaukee area (before this
season, which I have not looked at yet). 6 were born in Madison, but
the closest to Milwaukee was David Maley, who's from Beaver Dam. In
contrast, there were 5 players from Rochester (NY), 10 from
Cleveland, and 16 from the Providence area, to list some of the
larger non-NHL northern American cities. There were, of course, 25
born in the Eveleth-Hibbing-Virginia area, which is a huge number
considering the small population of the area.
These were top five major player-producing American cities:
Minneapolis-St. Paul (85)
The numbers are every player who has ever played in the NHL before
Could we make the complete list availible on the group homepage?
Also, I would be interested in knowing what percentage of NHLers come from
various countries. I remember hearing a few years ago that the draft was
down to around 50% from Major Junior.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Krueger" <dig4fish@...>
Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2003 19:24
Subject: [hockhist] US-born players
> Just crunching some numbers, and I was shocked to learn that not a
> single NHL player ever was born in the Milwaukee area (before this
> season, which I have not looked at yet). 6 were born in Madison, but
> the closest to Milwaukee was David Maley, who's from Beaver Dam. In
> contrast, there were 5 players from Rochester (NY), 10 from
> Cleveland, and 16 from the Providence area, to list some of the
> larger non-NHL northern American cities. There were, of course, 25
> born in the Eveleth-Hibbing-Virginia area, which is a huge number
> considering the small population of the area.
> These were top five major player-producing American cities:
> Boston (115)
> Minneapolis-St. Paul (85)
> Detroit (67)
> Chicago (28)
> Eveleth (25)
> The numbers are every player who has ever played in the NHL before
> this season.
- I can answer the country breakdown question.
Last year 979 different players played at least one game in the NHL. 538 (55.1%) were born in Canada. The remainder: US 141 (14.4%), Czechoslovakia 108 (11.0%), Soviet Union 76 (7.8%), Sweden 58 (5.9%), Finland 38 (3.9%) and all the rest 20 (1.9%). This, of course, is based on birthplace alone, not where they necessarily grew up and learned to play hockey. Not much competitive hockey is played in Brazil (Robyn Regehr), Brunei (Craig Adams), South Korea (Richard Park) or South Africa (Olaf Kolzig).
In terms of demographics, Canadian representation as a percentage was its second-lowest ever (2001-02 had 53.6% Canadians) but the bloated nature of the league ensured it was not too far off its all-time high in actual numbers. 1988-89 saw a high of 564 Canadian-born NHLers (76.6% at that time). This number was again matched in 1993-94 (where 564 players represented 64.7% of all players). In fact, Canadian representation has remained remarkably steady in actual numbers since the WHA merger. In the 24 seasons from 1979-80 through last year, Canadian representation varied from a low of 505 in the strike-shortened 1994-95 to the 564 noted above. Not a big swing in 24 years. So Canadian representation in the NHL really isn't dying off in terms of numbers, it just has been augmented by American and European players.
American representation was highest as a percentage in 1991-92 at 18.6% and highest as per numbers in 1993-94 at 154. The real growth in American numbers came from the early 1970s through the early 1990s. Since then it has pretty much stayed level at about 145 players per year with slight declines in percentages due to increased league size.
Both Swedish and Finnish numbers swelled in the early to mid 1980s followed by a decline in the early 1990s. With the aging of the NHL over recent years (that's another post if anyone's interested), older Scandinavians have come over and stayed unlike in previous years where most Scandinavians would play one or two years and head back home. Swedes had an all-time high last year in both percentage and actual numbers while Finns hit their highs in 2001-02 with 42 and 4.4%.
Czechoslovaks (I don't differentiate yet between Czechs and Slovaks in my overall numbers but there were 73 Czechs and 35 Slovak born players last year). Their numbers have grown steadily in both numerical and percentage terms since the Iron Curtain fell. The last two years have seen 108 Czechoslovak born players with 2001-02 having a higher percentage (11.2%) due to fewer overall players that year.
Soviet-born players peaked in 2000-01 with 89 players. Percentage-wise, 1999-2000 was higher with 9.3% of all players being Soviet-born. Again, I don't break down the individual countries in my yearly analyses but last year had 56 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, 5 Latvians, 3 Kazakhstanis, 2 Belarussians and 2 Lithuanians.
Non-"Big Six" nation representation has held stady at about 2% of the population since before the 1967 expansion. Most tended to be Canadian-reared but born elsewhere (from Ken Hodge through Willi Plett, Don Spring and now Dany Heatley) but more and more are home-grown Swiss, Germans and even the occasional Pole, French or Norwegian.
I have an Excel spreadsheet with the country-breakdown since the 1967-68 expansion if anyone's interested plus another one with age breakdowns going back to the NHL's formation. The age demography is pretty interesting. Last year was oldest average age since the aged days just past the first expansion.
rjp (sorry for the long post)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Could we make the complete list availible on the group homepage?How does one go about that? So far I've only compiled an Excel file
of the US-born players. It will be part of a website I'm working on.