Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A couple of hours before the biggest game of his young career, Nicklas Backstrom made his way to the Bolshoy Ice Dome and began warming up for the gold-medal tilt between his Swedish national team and Canada.
But by the time that game had started, Backstrom had been whisked away to a disciplinary hearing with International Olympic Committee officials over a positive test for a banned substance -- an element in an allergy medication that Backstrom has been taking for seven years, according to Swedish Olympic Committee officials -- and told he could not compete for his country.
It is absolutely mind-boggling that it came to this.
Backstrom provided the urine test in question on Wednesday, after the Swedes' quarterfinal win over Slovenia. He alerted doping officials that he was taking the medication. According to Swedish and International Ice Hockey Federation officials, the normal turnaround for such tests is 48 hours, and yet the general manager of the Swedish national team was informed that Backstrom had exceeded the threshold for an element found in the medication only two hours before the gold-medal game.
Canada 3, Sweden 0
CANADA IS GOLDEN AGAIN
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) stopped all 24 shots he faced to record his second consecutive shutout and backstop Canada to its ninth gold medal in men’s Olympic hockey, the most of any nation.
* With the win, Canada became the first country to earn back-to-back gold medals since the Soviet Union in 1984 and 1988. It also repeated as the tournament champion for the first time since 1948 and 1952, with Sunday’s victory marking its first gold medal on European ice since 1952 (Oslo, Norway).
SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 23, 2014) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement regarding Nicklas Backstrom:
“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.
“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”
added 11:38am, Washington Capitals statement...
ARLINGTON, Va. – Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Team Sweden’s Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years, including this season while playing for the Washington Capitals to combat severe allergies. The medicine was approved by the Swedish national team. It is not anticipated that this will impact his participation in NHL games.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
History is rarely on the minds of players at the precise moment they win something as significant as an Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey. The experience is too fresh, too new, and really just too much fun in the here-and-now to think about its significance or long-term impact.
In a decisive win marked by an immediately jubilant celebration just as most Canadians were sipping their morning coffees, Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team won its third gold medal in the last four Olympics and they did it in their most convincing style yet. In defeating Sweden 3-0 in Sunday’s final, Canada complete an undefeated 6-0 run to the championship, becoming the first team since the Soviet Union in 1984 to do so.
continued with team reaction to the win...
via IIHF tweets,
The Award for the Best Goalkeeper goes to Carey Price (Canada)
The Award for the Best Defenceman goes to Erik Karlsson.
The Award for the Best Forward goes to Phil Kessel (USA).
added 9:46am, via IIHF.com,
Congratulations to Team Canada for winning the gold medal in men's hockey.
Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 by dominating the Swedes on both ends of the ice.
Hopefully we see the NHL players participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and I am on the side of the players. If they want to play, the NHL should stand behind their decision.
After all, it's not Olympic hockey without the best players in the world.
The puck drops at 7:00am ET and is on NBC in the US and CBC in Canada.
Feel free to comment on the game and also anything related to the hockey tournament.
Personally, I have enjoyed the games, although those 3:00am ET starts were killers.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
There are risks and rewards associated with the NHL’s inclusion in the Olympics. Injuries are an obvious risk. The NHL hasn’t yet been able to quantify the rewards that come from its league’s and its athletes’ partnership with sport’s quadrennial global celebration.
That doesn’t mean the rewards don’t exist, only that Sixth Avenue hasn’t been able to figure out how to calculate, maximize and capitalize on them. It seems the league has an irrational fear of exploring the international market.
The NHL spends all of its time reminding everyone its hockey is the best hockey, that the Stanley Cup represents the lone legitimate hockey championship, that having the Cup handed you by a teammate is a more cherished honor than having the gold medal slipped around your neck.
And there’s no argument, really, and certainly not on this side of the pond. But the NHL would be better served — that means the industry of the NHL that includes the season subscribers who do still pay the freight — by expanding its interaction and competition with the best in the Europe and by exploiting its association with the Olympics.
Stanley Cup. Olympic Gold. World Cup.
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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