Latvian hockey players in NHL
What's been grinding my gears for some years are the post 2004-05 NHL lockout goalie statistics where NHL moved forward with the time and minor hockey league experience with cutting ties with tie games and deciding games in shootouts, game winning shots series, game deciding shots or call it whatever you like. That was kind of a good and smart decision of course but the goalie statistics has stuck with that T column and became useless in the coming years. But I don't see that column that useless at all it's just the matter of perception. I wanted to compare my compatriot goalies so I had to come up with something what works and doesn't leave empty spaces between the numbers.
Basically players had to work overtime in NHL since 1983-84 season so it means we have the same a victory, tie and overtime loss statistics in 2020-21 season just like in 1983-83 and the only extra is the shootouts. After knowing all this it's the matter of taste how do you want to present the statistics - retro W-L-T or the modern W-L-OTL. And I just started to wonder why does the NHL had to mess it all up? W-L-T (OTW-OTL) would just worked great.
The whole structure of professional US and Canadian hockey depends on the NHL. Despite the fact that the NHL is tightly closed league with unequal markets and shared revenues we have seen large buy-ins, relocations and rumors or desire for relocation through the years. So basically the big hockey is where the big money is so comes the minor affiliations with subsidies from parent teams. In the 90's there were two parallel options for NHL farm or affiliation team - AHL and IHL until it's demise in 2001. Long story short in this whole story of minor hockey leagues are a lot of team, franchise relocations within the league or from a one league to another league, the leagues ceasing to exist and league mergers. There is a lot to read about it. If you're into it just dig in.
Professional hockey leagues in North America as in season 2020-21:
AAA - AHL
AA - ECHL
A - SPHL, FHL
So the reason why I am talking about the minors are because I like statistics and I want to share. So I present you the combined AHL and IHL statistics for Latvian goalies.
So from a long list of former hockey leagues I would like to note those where my compatriots has participated over years.
International hockey league - IHL 1945-2001 - six surviving teams merged with AHL;
West coast hockey league - WCHL 1995-2003 - six surviving teams merged with East coast hockey league and became just ECHL;
Central hockey league - CHL 1992-2014 - seven surviving teams merged with ECHL;
In CHL all over those existing years has played Raitis Ivanans, Peteris Skudra and Viktors Ignatjevs who later played in NHL. Sergejs Naumovs, Igors Bondarevs, Aleksandrs Cuncukovs, Gatis Ceplis, Arturs Kupaks, Janis Tomans, Mareks Jass, Arvids Rekis has played for National team of Latvia in IIHF World Championships and Winter Olympic games. Karlis Zirnis and Ronalds Ozolins has become well known coaches.
In WCHL has played well known National team players - Georgijs Pujacs, Rodrigo Lavins and Sergejs Naumovs.
Between all the dates and numbers relating to Latvian hockey players in and related to NHL I tried to choose the most important and to highlight them.