Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Jamaica is planning its own miracle on ice.
While the island of sun-splashed beaches has as many hockey rinks as it does bobsled runs — exactly none — the goal is for Team Jamaica to compete with the world’s hockey powers at a Winter Games in the next eight to 20 years.
“If we can pull this off, you’re looking at an inspiring story and the idea that anything is accomplishable if you put your mind to it,” says head coach Graeme Townshend, 48, the first Jamaican-born player in the NHL.
“If Jamaica can get a team in the world championships or the Olympics, that’s like a miracle. It’s something that’s so outlandish that I think it actually might work.”
from E.M. Swift of Sports Illustrated,
For SI's 60th anniversary, we asked readers to vote on the most iconic cover in the magazine's history. The winner was the March 3, 1980 "Miracle on Ice" cover, which featured the U.S. hockey team's joyous celebration after its improbable victory over the Soviet Union at Lake Placid. Below is the cover story from that issue.
For millions of people, their single, lasting image of the Lake Placid Games will be the infectious joy displayed by the U.S. hockey team following its 4-3 win over the Soviet Union last Friday night. It was an Olympian moment, the kind the creators of the Games must have had in mind, one that said: Here is something that is bigger than any of you. It was bizarre, it was beautiful. Upflung sticks slowly cartwheeled into the rafters. The American players--in pairs rather than in one great glop--hugged and danced and rolled on one another (see cover).
The Soviet players, slightly in awe, it seemed, of the spectacle of their defeat, stood in a huddle near their blue line, arms propped on their sticks, and waited for the ceremonial postgame handshakes with no apparent impatience. There was no head-hanging. This was bigger, even, than the Russians.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
A first glance, the hockey players practicing at Lakewood Ice this week looked like any team anywhere in the world.
Their drills were familiar, and so was their attentive posture when they paused to watch their coach diagram a play on a whiteboard. The difference became clear when the session ended: Players gathered in a semicircle near the boards to tap their sticks and bow to Coach Craig Johnson, a charming gesture of respect that stemmed as much from gratitude as cultural obligation.
They're members of the Korea University men's hockey team and they're in Southern California until Aug. 22 to practice, train and learn from coaches in the Ducks' development program. They hope to accelerate the improvement of their skills before the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but it's a tough task for a nation with a talent pool of only about 2,100.
The national team — which will be coached by former King Jim Paek and is expected to draw on the Korea University squad — is ranked 23rd in the world. Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, said this year he'd like to see Korea's team rank 18th or better before he'd consider granting it an automatic Olympic berth because he wants to avoid lopsided results in the Games.
from Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,
The Korea Ice Hockey Association has announced Jim Paek as the new head coach of the men’s national team. Paek was the first Korean-born player to play in the National Hockey League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the ninth round, 170th overall, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins, Paek was also named as a Program Director of the national team team along with his new head coaching duties. The former defenceman will replace Byoen Sun-Wook, who coached the team for three years but resigned after Korea was relegated at the 2014 IIHF World Championship Division I Group A.
Paek will be counted on to guide Korea as it looks to gain qualification to the 2018 Winter Olympics, set to be held on home soil in PyeongChang.
“The idea of coaching the National Team in the Olympics is one of my dreams. I've always wanted to help develop Korean hockey. I've returned to Korea many times to run hockey schools and coached Korean teams travelling to Canada. What a great opportunity I have now.”
Update: MLive's Peter J. Wallner confirms:
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at TSN,
Tom Renney is a hockey man, not a businessman. He once ran a clothing store in Trail, B.C., along with his wife but since then his life has been immersed in coaching.
So when Hockey Canada was searching for a new president and CEO and Renney emerged as serious candidate, the 59-year-old didn't put on a masquerade.
"(Business is) not where his passion lies," Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said. "And it's not where his expertise lies. One thing about Tom: He knows what he is and he knows what he's not."
Renney above all else is a respected hockey man, and his decades of experience at the amateur, international and professional levels ultimately made him Hockey Canada's choice to replace Bob Nicholson.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The World Cup of Hockey is expected to be held in Toronto when it is reborn in September 2016, Sportsnet has learned.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are currently working on the final details of an agreement that will fill out the international calendar for the next several years and believe that the Air Canada Centre is the ideal location to relaunch the World Cup, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.
When the event was last held in 2004, it was split between seven different venues in North America and Europe. The final was held in Toronto and won by Team Canada.
Several different formats were considered for the relaunch of the event before the sides agreed that the biggest impact would be made in the world’s largest hockey market.
Watch the incident below...
Want some hockey on a Sunday afternoon?
The game starts just after 2:00pm and can ve viewed on NBCSN and TSN.
Here is a preview from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
The statistics tell an eloquent story. The Soviet Union, known as the “Big Red Machine,” won 37 straight games versus Finland from 1954 to 1991 at the IIHF World Championship. It was no contest.
Finland didn’t face newly independent Russia at the Worlds until 1997. But in the last 17 years, the record between the Finnish Lions and the Russian Bear is seven wins, one tie, and seven losses. Dead even.
Still, funnily enough, Russia is almost always favoured to beat Finland. For the Finns, it’s like being the comedian Rodney Dangerfield with his “I don’t get no respect” routine.
"That was my last game for the Czech Republic. I'll be back to play in the NHL next year, but I won't play for my country again."
-Jaromir Jagr after losing to Sweden in the bronze medal game at the World Championship.
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
Finland put up a defensive wall and scored in all three periods. The Czechs simply had no answer.
Now, the Russians -- the only unbeaten team at this World Championship -- should be out for revenge after the ever-tenacious Finns stunningly eliminated them with a 3-1 Olympic quarter-final victory in Sochi in February.
The final also promises to be a great goaltending duel between Rinne, a two-time nominee for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best netminder, and Russian starter Sergei Bobrovski, who won the Vezina last season.
It will be the first time Russia and Finland have ever met in a World Championship gold medal game since the IIHF introduced the playoff system in 1992.
The gold medal game will be broadcast on Sunday at 2:00pm ET on NBCSN and TSN.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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