When I played in my first NHL game with the Minnesota North Stars, in 1976, I wondered how good the players at this level, in the best hockey league in the world, really were? Having played with and against very talented hockey players at Michigan Tech, Division One hockey and competing in the 1976 Winter Olympic Games, I saw many highly skilled, great players. Some of the Russian/European players back in the mid-70s were flat out amazing! Stepping onto the ice at the NHL level for the first time, it became quite apparent, very quickly, what it takes to make it. All of these many years later, as I watch new players enter the league, as well as veterans, many of the same player attributes are unchanged. Here are a few of the top reasons why I feel that some players make it and some do not.
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