Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel,
Thomas was the backup to starting U.S. Olympic goalie Ryan Miller in 2010 when America reached the gold-medal game only to lose 3-2 in overtime to Canada. Although Thomas only played briefly against Finland, he said Monday that returning to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia this February was one of the main reasons he decided to end his one-year hiatus.
"Absolutely, absolutely,'' Thomas said emphatically when asked about his Olympics hopes. "Yeah, it's one of the major factors. I only got to play [part of one period] against Finland. But the whole experience was awesome. It doesn't matter if you're playing or not in the Olympics you want to be a part of it, and I'd love to be a part of it again.''
Predators General Manager David Piole, who's also the GM of the U.S. Naional team, told the Sun Sentinel last month in Nashville that although Thomas wasn't invited to the tryouts last summer because he was still retired, he's in the picture.
"We have a lot of good options,'' Poile said. "We didn't know Timmy's situation then but he's in the program and if he's one of the best three goalies, he's going to Sochi.''
Miller is 4-11 and in the midst of a dreadful season in Buffalo, and other potential U.S. goalies such as Ottawa's Craig Anderson (5-6-2 with a 3.26 goals-against-average) and Detroit's Jimmy Howard (5-5-6 with a 2.68 GAA) are struggling.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Again on Monday, eyebrows were raised with this tweet, with the head of Russian hockey, the legendary Vladislav Tretiak, apparently suggesting the IIHF will allow for partial rosters to be announced by Jan. 1 and the rest to be added closer to the Sochi Games.
I reached out to my colleague Slava Malamud, a Russian sports writer based in Washington, D.C., who said top Russian and KHL hockey officials have been quoted over the past little while in Russia saying they were hoping for a compromise with the IIHF to relax the roster deadline and allow for more flexibility.
However, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com Monday in no uncertain terms that there has been "no change" as far as having to name the full, 25-man roster by Jan. 1, and that the IIHF has told the NHL that Russia will comply.
Clearly, what we have is the IIHF and its president, Rene Fasel, caught in a tight squeeze between the NHL and Russia/KHL -- not a comfortable position to be in. Should be interesting to monitor.
read on for some Kris Versteeg talk...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
... Now, he’s gone, with 14 goals (riding a six-game scoring streak), with 23 points–a guy who figured in44 percent of his team’s goals. Tampa talked a good game about other guys stepping up, but Marty St. Louis, bless his soul, is 38. He is more of a passer than a shooter. Val Filppula, who played in Pavel Datsyuk’s shadow in Detroit, is now the default No. 1 centre there. Little Ryan Johnson moves up to No. 2. Good players but Stamkos is a great player, a great player who was hurt on a back-checking mission against Boston defenceman Dougie Hamilton–an awful visual on YouTube.
Stamkos’s injury likely opens the doors wide-open for Olympic team berths. Canada has a couple of natural RWs in St. Louis and Corey Perry who will probably be in Sochi but that’s it. Centres were moving over. Maybe centre/winger Claude Giroux in Philly pops back into the Olympic picture now, same with the versatile Patrick Sharp, who’s always under the radar. Some guys who didn’t get summer orientation invites like Patty Marleau and Jamie Benn and Joffrey Lupul might now get a longer look.
There’s only one Stamkos though and today he’s sitting in a hospital bed with a plate or a rod and screws in his broken leg. It’s a crying shame, for him, and all hockey fans.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
No sooner had the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class been inducted than the focus turned to the 2014 class.
There are new names eligible this year to go with ones overlooked and still sitting around with fingers crossed.
Here’s a look at some names sure to be bandied about.
Mike Modano: Quite possibly the greatest American hockey player ever. . . . A first overall pick of the Minnesota North Stars (1989). . . . Final career numbers: 561 goals, 1,374 career points, both good for 23rd most in NHL history. . . . Also led the Dallas Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1998-99 with 23 points in 23 games.
Dominik Hasek: Might have been in the Hall sooner but kept coming out of retirement to play in Europe. (Players must be retired three years to be eligible.) A 16-year veteran: 735 games played. . . . 11th on all-time list with 389 wins, 2.20 GAA, .922 save percentage. . . . Six-time Vezina winner. . . . Three-time William Jennings winner. . . . Two-time Hart Trophy winner. . . . Two-time Ted Lindsay award winner. . . . Won Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002. . . . Won Olympic gold (1998).
Peter Forsberg: Injury-riddled career means he’s not a slam-dunk. . . . His 885 points put him 104th on the all-time list, in the same neighbourhood as others on the bubble (Gary Roberts, 96th; Eric Lindros, 113th). . . . But Forsberg won the Cup twice in Colorado and Olympic gold twice with Sweden (1994, 2006). . . . Won the Art Ross and Hart Memorial trophies in 2002-03 with 106 points in 75 games.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
What a brutal day for GM Steve Yzerman, impacted on two fronts: most importantly on his NHL team but also on the Canadian Olympic team he is assembling. In fact, Yzerman was slated to assemble the Team Canada management staff Tuesday night in Toronto to update their player list for the Olympic team.
You don’t replace Stamkos, not on the Lightning (where Stamkos participated in 44 percent of his team’s goals scored this season), but not even on Team Canada.
Short of losing Sidney Crosby, not sure there’s a more damaging piece of news for Team Canada.
It is compounded by the fact Rick Nash -- another preseason lock to make the Olympic team -- has not returned to play since his early season concussion, although he’s skated of late so perhaps there will be good news soon.
Still, a sobering day on so many fronts, but most of all it’s the fans around the league who lose out the most, deprived of the game’s top goal scorer.
a bit more
added 5:20pm, from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Stamkos will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital overnight, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said.
“It’s a big loss, but you know, we’ve been winning as a team and we’re going to have to find a way to continue doing that,’’ Lightning captain Marty St. Louis said. “We’re going to have to raise our game collectively. You don’t replace Stammer, but the guys are going to have to step up.’’
Added 7:16 p.m.
Team Canada said they'll still name #Lightning Stamkos to 25 man list. Don't think they would if they thought he had zero chance of playing— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) November 12, 2013
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
One possibility to take over the ‘C’ is Lidstrom’s former teammate on the Winged Wheel, center Henrik Zetterberg. He’s already pulled one team through the transition of life without Lidstrom and Zetterberg is encouraged by the raft of new talent available to the Tre Kronor.
“On our ‘D’ side it looks really good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids coming in. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is already a star in this league, we’ve got ‘Kronner’ (Wings mate Niklas Kronwall), Erik Karlsson, Jonas Brodin in Minnesota is doing a great job.…So a lot of guys can take that role and we’re going to see who does it in Sochi.”
While Zetterberg’s excellence on both sides of the puck will be a key part of Sweden’s attack up front, his experience will also help a national team in transition. Mainstays such as Peter Forsberg and Mattias Ohlund won’t be around, while Daniel Alfredsson will play in his last Games and be more of a secondary player. On the plus side, young stars Nicklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson both saw duty in Vancouver.
“Everyone who has been a part of it before knows what to expect,” Zetterberg said. “I’ve been through the highs and lows of the Olympics, so nothing will be new. We will have a good team and we just have to do our best over the two weeks. If I get the captaincy, it will be a little different, but I’m not going to change the way I play.”
Glenn Healy of HNIC appeared via Skype on Hockey Night Online today.
Topics discussed were the missed San Jose goal from last night, Ovechkin and Team Russia, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc-Andre Fleury and the Olympics (Healy says no) and a few other topics including the Flyers.
The video is almost 13 minutes long...
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
It might seem curious that Team Canada would pass over as gifted a skater, stickhandler and shooter as Subban for a tournament on Olympic-sized ice, but doing so would surely owe to a tag that has stuck to him since he was a junior player: risky in his own end.
The stats don’t bear that out – by any measure, Subban is an above-average defender, and has shown elite defending ability in his career – but how can Steve Yzerman and the other Team Canada selectors trust Subban to be steady and reliable when there are recent indications the Habs have their doubts?
Earlier this week coach Michel Therrien sent Andrei Markov, Subban’s regular partner, out with Francis Bouillon in the final two minutes of a 2-0 game at Madison Square Garden.
On Tuesday, with Montreal clinging to a 2-1 lead against Dallas, Therrien nailed Subban to the bench for the final 2:56, and threw the statuesque Douglas Murray on the ice alongside Markov.
Though Dallas generated a couple of quick scoring chances, the Habs held on.
But Therrien’s decision to keep his stud defenceman off the ice raised eyebrows, and voices, on Montreal talk radio and in fan forums – all amid the usual circumspection, which is to say borderline hysteria.
“I’m confident of Semyon’s innocence. I think it is sports and political move, as Varlamov is a candidate for the Russian national team. The main goal is to suspend him from training and games so that he loses practice and misses the Olympics.”
-State Duma deputy Igor Ananskikh, a member of Russia's most outspoken nationalist party, LDPR. A bit more at RSport.
added 8:30am, from Sport-Express (translated),
While the formal procedures were performed premises Varlamov in a prison cell business beginning to grow into the first details. It was learned that the statement made by the Russian goalkeeper girl, composed with him in "intimate relations."Name the possible victim was not called for a while, until the news has not appeared interview her attorney Robert Abrams, who presented the position of his client.
- Varlamov pushed the girl, she hit the wall. She informed me that the defendant was in a state of intoxication. In the end, the girl was taken to the hospital. After the injuries Ivy was hospitalized. Can you imagine that - a professional athlete weighing 95 kg against petite girl growth of 160 cm and a weight of 45 kg?
Abrams also said that her name is Ivy, but did not mention any name, any kind of activity.
- Evie says that Varlamov is not the first time applied to her physical strength. But this time, her patience snapped. She just told me that we put him in jail.
Ivey, according to ITAR-TASS, was model Eugenia Vavrinyuk that Varlamov with a long-standing relationship. Yesterday at 10:40 Moscow time she had left on the social network the following message:
- If a man raised his hand - he will repeat it. And no amount of persuasion and his oath should not dissuade women in it.Part with these men need not feel sorry for them! Giving men the last chance - it means to sign a verdict on repeat. "
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
One hundred days from now the Sochi Olympic Games begin. Here's a look at 100 storylines, questions and thoughts surrounding the Winter Olympics' marquee event: the men's hockey tournament.
1. What will things look like in Sochi? As in, will there will be roofs overhead and floors underfoot? Lots of work yet to be done on facilities, but most pre-Olympic visitors agree the facilities, especially in the so-called "coastal cluster" where the hockey tournament will be held -- many of which offer a view of the Black Sea -- will be spectacular.
2. The big ice. How many times will we hear NHL players, coaches and GMs speak in ominous tones about "the big ice" in Sochi and how it will impact the game vis-a-vis what fans are used to in North America? We put the over/under at 14,576 and take the over.
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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