Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL is interested in allowing its stars to play at next year's Sochi Olympics but is demanding TV rights concessions and rule changes, the Russian Hockey Federation president and three-time gold medalist Vladislav Tretiak told R-Sport.
Negotiations between the NHL, the International Olympic Committee and hockey's global governing body, the IIHF, were held last week in New York, but the situation remains unresolved.
“In general, there is interest from the NHL,” Tretiak, who is involved on the IIHF side, told R-Sport.
“But they are laying down twerms that can be accepted only at the level of the International Olympic Committee. In the NHL, they want to get special TV rights and, for example, permits for the general manager to enter dressing room.”
Former goaltender Tretiak is part of a group debating the issue within the IIHF, he said.
“I’m a part of a special group that is engaged in this issue, but we haven’t met for some time already,” Tretiak said. “Only [IIHF president] Rene Fasel went to the United States this time and he will present a report on the NHL’s stance on February 25. I think then our group will gather again.”
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the New York Times,
If the N.H.L. continues to make progress in talks with Olympic officials aimed at sending its players to the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, one big question looms. Who would coach the United States team?
Ron Wilson, who coached the Americans to a silver medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010, is a contender. But he has not coached since being fired by Toronto last season.
That leaves perhaps a surprising favorite, the Rangers’ John Tortorella.
Long known in hockey circles for his combative news conferences, Tortorella came under scrutiny in the wider sports world during last year’s playoffs for that tendency. Many believed his outbursts would cost him a chance to lead the Americans in Sochi.
Interestingly, over the last two weeks, Tortorella has been remarkably cooperative with reporters, answering questions patiently and even apologizing for keeping them waiting.
Both men sound as if they are on the same page, a good start if you want the NHL to participate in the Sochi Olympics.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
If hockey’s powerbrokers were simply trying to determine whether it was best for the top players in the sport to participate in the Sochi Olympics next year then there would be no reason for everyone to descend on Manhattan for two days of potentially contentious meetings.
The answer to that question is as obvious it always has been to virtually every fan and player of the game. Yes, the NHLers should be there. It is what is right for the sport of hockey – if not also the business of hockey.
And you can be sure that everyone sitting in the boardroom above the Avenue of the Americas on Thursday and Friday is already aware of that fact. They have been for quite some time.
However, don’t for a second believe that the NHL’s participation in a fifth straight Olympic Games is as much a certainty as we’ve all thought. On the eve of the meetings, two sources who view the issue from different vantage points told Sportsnet.ca that they could envision a scenario in which a deal isn’t reached.
from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,
The NHL and the NHL Players Association are meeting with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation today and tomorrow in New York to determine whether the league will allow its players to participate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
One person who doesn’t believe NHL players should take part in the Olympics is Capitals Coach Adam Oates, even though he understands how it can help promote hockey.
“You know what, I don’t. I don’t. My honest answer is no,” Oates said Wednesday to a small group of reporters in Tampa. “Is it good for hockey that they do it? Great. But I grew up trying to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, not Team Canada. Didn’t even know it existed.”
The HNIC experts discussed what it will take to get the NHL to say yes to the Olympics. If you don't watch the full video, at least catch the short interview with Rene Fasel in the early part of the segment.
I have a feeling and the HNIC experts agree, someone in the NHL office won't be happy with what Fasel said.
Plus the group discussed the Tim Thomas trade and mentioned if the league did a favor for Jeremy Jacobs?
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Coming off a surprising silver medal performance in 2010, Team USA will ice a competitive squad that is stacked in net, young and mobile on the blueline, and aggressive, if not particularly deep, up front.
Here’s how we see Team USA lining up in Russia.
Jonathan Quick (Kings): He’s off to a sluggish start this season, but at this point, the Conn Smythe winner is the presumptive No. 1 for his proven big-game ability.
Ryan Miller (Sabres): He hasn’t been the same player since the end of that 2009-10 season, but he doesn’t have anything to prove. The 2010 Olympic MVP is a lock to make this team.
Cory Schneider (Canucks): Craig Anderson of the Senators is lights out right now, but he’ll be 32 when the Games roll around. Schneider will be 27 and he has a future with the USA Hockey program, so he’ll get the call.
Bob McKenzie when asked by James Duthie if the NHL will be going to Sochi...
It's highly likely, just short of a forgone conclusion, that the National Hockey League will be shutting down for 16 days in the middle of next season...
What could stop the NHL from allowing the players to participate... Watch TSN's Insider Training show to find out.
Joining Duthie and McKenzie are Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun.
TSN witth the story on Sochi, including will Babcock coach Team Canada and will Brian Burke run Team USA.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr talked throughout the lockout about growing the game internationally as key to growing HRR. The NHL owners have often gazed across the Atlantic as an underexposed market for the North American version of the game. Under the circumstances of an Olympics nine time zones away, can the NHL game be helped by attendance in Sochi? Is it worth postponing the NHL schedule for two weeks to grow the game with little or no input to the process?
Something has to change to make it worth everyone's while. The talk will begin shortly and a resolution has to come quickly, because in terms of the Olympics, it’s not that far away.
-John Shannon of Sportsnet where you can read more on the Olympics/NHL debate.
from the CP at TSN,
If NHL players are to continue participating in the Olympics, it's going to involve a delicate political dance.
The issue was not resolved as part of the tentative collective bargaining agreement reached by the NHL and NHL Players' Association early Sunday morning and will now need to be hammered out between those parties and two others with strong ties to Rene Fasel -- the International Ice Hockey Federation, of which Fasel is president, and the International Olympic Committee, of which he is an influential member.
It's been clear for some time the NHL is seeking to receive more of a direct benefit for closing its doors every four years in February and handing over its most important assets. The tension was evident when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Fasel held a joint press conference at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Bettman lamented being nothing more than an "invited guest" at the Olympics with no say in how the event was run....
Now the NHL is looking to get a little more out of that relationship. According to sources, the changes it is expected to seek range from smaller issues such as access to tickets, hotels and better hospitality for team owners to larger things like sponsor recognition and a loosening of the IOC's notoriously strict guidelines on images, video and media.
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.
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