When the top '92 players gathered last week at Rochester, NY for the USA Select 14 festival, it represented further evidence of how far behind Massachusetts has fallen in developing talent. Charles Bando, who finished second in tourney scoring, was the only Massachusetts native to finish in the top 44 scoring. Of course, it would be wrong to read too much into the pure scoring statistics except that these results are consistent with the overall decline that we've seen among Massachusetts prospects.
So, where are the top scorers coming from? Well, Minnesota did not send its players to the Select 14 festival. Leaving aside Michigan and Illinois, which had their now usual strong showings, Pennsylvania had 6 players among the top 44 scorers, and California produced 3. Say, did the Penguins or LA Kings do something in the mid-90s to rejeuvinate the hockey community in the way Bobby Orr did to Massachusetts in the mid-70s? Texas also had 3 players (correlating to the arrival of the Dallas Stars). And, while we're at it, did Jeremy Jacobs do something to the Bruins in the mid-90s that correlates to the decline in interest among Massachusetts kids?