I was looking at the Pens roster today, and I noticed a lack of players born outside of North America. This roster doesn't just include those who will be in the line-up in October. It includes virtually anyone we could call up this year. Take a look....
I'll abbreviate below.
The players that were born outside of North America on the Pens roster include:
F - Craig Adams, born in Seria, BRN - though he was raised in Calagary, AB, so is more Canadian than anything.
F - Evgeni Malkin, born in Magnitogorsk, RUS
D - Zbynek Michalek, born in Jindrichuv Hradec, CZE
G - Mattias Modig, born in Lulea, SWE
And that's it. 4 players born outside of North America, and one of them was raised in Canada.
The rest of the roster includes 24 Canadians, and 17 Americans.
This past season we lost (or got rid of) Gonchar, Fedotenko, and Poni. The season before we let go of Sykora and Satan. Almost all of these players played a somewhat significan role with the team at one point or another (with the exceptions being Poni, who didn't play much of a role, and Gonchar, who played a very significant role).
Are North Americans more suited to play the hard forechecking game that the Pens employ?
Is Don Cherry right, are Europeans too "soft"?
Or is this simply a coincidence that we shouldn't look into very deeply?
What are your thoughts?