The Deep Dark World of International Hockey

The NHL playoffs aren’t the only hockey tournament going on right now. The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships happen at the same time. And they allow NHL players to play for the countries. So there’s random NHL players scattered about the tournament, college players as well, players from international leagues, what have you.

I’ve tried to get into this tournament before. But I can’t do it. The NHL playoffs are just too good, and watching every country roll out their C-team’s to play each other is kinda sad. Just seems like the minor leagues. Plus, USA got routed this morning by Canada, and every time Canada beats us in hockey, it’s an American tradition to remind Canada that we don’t really give a shit because there’s better things going on in the United States. Like NHL hockey. Something you don’t have right now, Canada.

International Hockey at his highest level is great. But the quality of play goes bar south real quick. You ever take the time to look at the full list of the IIHF World Ice Hockey rankings? Check em out..

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Starts out fairly normal as you would expect. But you would think that Iceland would be ranked higher. Did Gunnar Stahl recently retire or something? Their youth program was heavy favorite at the Junior Goodwill Games back in ’94.

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Every time I revisit the Mighty Ducks, I realize something hilarious that I haven’t seen before. Like these Jofa/face shield/cage combos worn by every player.

Clearly Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson & Iceland’s youth hockey program doesn’t develop their players that well, or the kids were just all on steroids. Then again, they lost to a USA team that was previously known as District 9 so maybe the competition wasn’t that great. Either way, it’s clearly been downhill from there for Team Iceland.

That’s on you Wolf…

…you lost it for yourself

Also — no Trinidad & Tobago? I thought they had an up and coming program too…

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These jersey’s are Top 5 must own for sure

But enough with the Mighty Ducks references. Sorry, I can’t pass up an opportunity to make as many as possible.

The rankings really go off the deep end quick tho. Places I barely knew existed have hockey teams. Like Bosnia & Herzegovina? The United Arab Emirates? I looked up some videos. This footage is from the Asia Ice Hockey Challenge. The United Arab Emirates Hockey Team. It’s pretty bad. Looks to be roughly beer league quality.

Seriously.. I mean…. at 1:09 of the video, just watch the warm-ups. U.A.E. is doing half moon shooting, and their opponent, Thailand, is just standing around at center ice like a house team. Thailand’s goalie is an absolute train wreck too. Flops around like a damn Magikarp.

Can it get any worse than that? Let’s take a look at the 50th ranked team in the world – Mongolia. Those damn Mongolians.. Here’s a video that is apparently team Mongolia vs. Ukraine in a game of “hockey”.

WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!! Gigantic ice. Gigantic nets. Way too many players. Different colored goalies. Fight started by diving at someones ankles. Green referees. Players rolling around at center ice like they just got shot. Then it really gets nuts as the fight turns into a brawl. SARS masks come into the picture. Goalies wearing in the same jersey start fighting each other. Players possibly making out on the ice. Other players possibly dying on the ice. This makes me want to go get me some Mongolian citizenship just to join in on this madness. I assume they don’t even have tryouts. I bet everyone just makes the team. As long as they have skates and a surgeon’s mask.

That’s as far down the rabbit hole as I could go. Pure madness.

 

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