September 27, 2017 11:25 pm
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Mike and Kevin (Tommy is absent) take a #QuackQuestion from Brendan on just how exactly Wolf Stansson even reached the NHL. How does a player from Iceland even get discovered? They then stumble into how Wolf’s recruiting of dual nationals led the the quick rise and fall of Icelandic hockey.
Thanks to Brendan () for the #QuackQuestion. Full text of the question:
I know you guys have said on the pod that Russ’s star turn in D2 was perhaps the greatest story in sports, but the fact that an Icelandic dude made it to the NHL is pretty fucking improbable as well. How the hell did that happen?
Iceland was never good enough to field a team at the World Juniors, one of the main venues for assessing up-and-comers.
Obviously, there was no online footage to draw scouts there.
I have a couple theories: 1) A stubborn scout or GM was sick of the prevailing, Don Cherry-trademarked “European players are soft” notion at the time. They happened upon Wolf while on vacation or because of a delayed connecting flight, and they said “I’ll see to it that this fucking kid ends that stupid misconception once and for all!”
2) A GM from that Don Cherry school of thought told his head of European scouting, “Find me some fucking players! And no more pansy-ass Swedes or Finns!” The scout has to look somewhere new in order to keep his job, and he thinks, “Why not Iceland? What do I have to lose?”
What do you think?
Anze Kopitar is like Wolf in the sense that he’s the lone NHLer from a small country. In his case, he had to leave home early (at 16 I think?) to further his career. Did Wolf have to do the same?
As for the end of his career, if you will indulge me:
I don’t think Wolf’s actions were as bad as reported. I just think that he was a borderline NHLer, and there were very few (if any) team executives or teammates in his corner. If he were a better player or more popular in the locker room, he would’ve stuck in the league. I think, however, that he was at that weird, Ty Cobb level of competitiveness that runs beyond even what most NHLers are comfortable with. The only ones who roomed with him on the road were rookies, and they were forced to do so. Anyway, that’s just my theory. What do you think?
For reference, the entire country of Slovenia is about the size of the city of Houston population-wise.
Thanks to Leia (@bashsister87) and Nick (@ForzaMilanx1899) for what might’ve been the best round of trivia we’ve had this far.
Here is the movie Leia was in. No joke, it looks really good. The trailer:
Steve Brill as a lawyer:
Leia’s dog rocking the Cake Eater shirt:
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This post was written by Mike