Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A litany of VIPs, including NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players association executive director Don Fehr, plan to gather in Toronto Wednesday to unveil the World Cup of Hockey “countdown clock,” so eager fans will know precisely how many days, minutes and seconds they need to wait until the event starts Sept. 17.
Seriously, that’s actually happening.
One might think that, with teams entering the stretch drive, hockey executives would have better things to do than go on a promotional tour for an exhibition hockey tournament to be played in the fall, but one would be wrong.
That’s how much the success or failure of the World Cup matters to the NHL and its long-term international plan. Unlike the Winter Olympics, the World Cup is a joint venture in which the league and players association control everything from the schedule and training camps to the venues and ticket pricing.
Nominally, the Cup is being cast as an event that serves of interests of hockey fans who crave best-on-best competition.
The reality is it is a big-money, for-profit tournament, and the NHL hopes it will become so popular that, in time, the league will be able to say no to Olympic participation and not suffer any meaningful backlash from the paying public.
from lliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
Hockey fans of a certain age will remember Hakan Loob darting around the ice in his number 12 Calgary Flames jersey. In 1987-88, Loob became the first Swede to score 50 goals in an NHL season. A year later, he won a Stanley Cup.
He returned to Scandinavia after that championship, ending his playing career in 1996. It was not the end of Loob’s hockey existence, as he became general manager of the Swedish club he starred for, Farjestad. He won four championships in that position before moving up to President of Hockey Operations for the organization, a position he still holds.
On Wednesday, as the various countries reveal their first 16 roster spots for the World Cup of Hockey, Loob will lead a meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany that could have a major effect on the future.
According to a couple of sources, Loob is bringing together more than 50 teams from approximately 15 countries, including Russia’s KHL. The goal is to create something called the European Hockey Club Alliance. Right now, outside of the NHL itself, hockey’s power runs through the International Ice Hockey Federation and each nation’s governing body.
For example, the NHL negotiates transfer agreements with individual countries. These pacts set the rules for player movement and payments for, say, a Swede being drafted by an NHL team.
continue plus 30 Thoughts, mostly trade deadline day related...
The players who will skate in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will face a tougher, more intense game than they have experienced in the Olympics.
-Ken Hitchcock, head coach of the St, Louis Blues on the World Cup of Hockey. Chris Stevenson at NHL.com has more from Hitchcock on the event.
I look at the young guns, and they're going to probably be playing pressure-free, and they're going to have a ball. It's going to be a dangerous team. It's going to be a really good team, talent-wise, but just the youth of it and basically the inexperience of it all, they're going to be flying. It's going to be a really good hockey club. You're going to see the best players in the world at this tournament -- even more so than the Olympics because it's not going to be as watered down as the Olympics. It's going to be really focused on these groups of guys, and it'll be the best players in the world.
-John Tortorella, head coach of Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey.
Tortorella did a Q & A with Joe McDonald of ESPN on the World Cup.
from Nick Butler of inside the games,
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) general secretary Horst Lichtner has urged the National Hockey League (NHL) to "seriously consider" committing to participating at the next two Olympic Games in order to best capitalise on the commercial opportunities provided by the Chinese market at Beijing 2022.
It comes as negotiations continue to stall between the NHL, IIHF, International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders over participation at Pyeongchang 2018.
Gruelling journey times and a time difference of at least 13 hours has created extra doubt among North American clubs.
Deciding who pays transportation and insurance costs is another major stumbling block.
The World Cup of Hockey, scheduled to run from September 17 to October 1 in Toronto, is seen as a pivotal opportunity for both sides to meet and reach a consensus.
from Lucas Aykroyd of FlightNetwork,
Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s most glamorous cities, and international hockey fans will flock there for the 2016 IIHF World Championship (May 6-22). However, Ufa, the host city for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, isn’t as well-known. With the 2014 Sochi Olympics still a fresh memory and the 2016 Worlds just weeks away, it’s a great time to take a closer look at Ufa.
I visited as a journalist to cover the 2013 tournament, and discovered many quirky dimensions to this Russian city of more than one million inhabitants, both inside and outside the rinks.
The 439-year-old capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan lies almost 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow, in the Ural Mountains. You’d never guess ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev grew up here. It’s an oil town, and petrodollars power Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the local Kontinental Hockey League franchise.
Some notable ex-NHL players who have suited up for Ufa include Alexander Radulov, Oleg Tverdovsky, Viktor Kozlov, Sami Lepisto, Oleg Saprykin, and Brent Sopel.
continued, a quirky and enjoyable read...
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Mike Sullivan (Duxbury, Mass.), John Hynes (Warwick, R.I.), PhilHousley (South St. Paul, Minn.), Jack Capuano (Cranston, R.I.) and Scott Gordon (Easton, Mass.) will serve as assistant coaches under Head Coach John Tortorella (Boston, Mass.) for Team USA in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey 2016 it was announced today by USA Hockey.
Set for Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto, the World Cup of Hockey 2016 will feature eight teams including the U.S., Canada, Czech Republic, Europe, Finland, North America, Russia and Sweden.
“We’re extremely pleased with the coaching staff we’ve assembled,” said Dean Lombardi, general manager of Team USA and also the GM of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. “It’s a group that not only brings great experience on multiple levels, but is in lock step with where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.”
“I’m looking forward to working with our coaching staff in guiding the group of players that are ultimately selected to represent our country in the World Cup,” said Tortorella, who is also the head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. “We have a group of coaches assembled that all bring something different to the table and that is a real positive as we move toward our ultimate goal of winning the tournament.”
Kasperi Kapanen with the gold medal goal in OT for the Finland win.
added 4:36pm, Game recap is below...
added 4:46pm, Another view of the goal is below too...
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
Russia has had its share of scares at these World Juniors, including a hair-raising 4-3 overtime win over lowly Denmark in the quarter-final. But that doesn't matter now.
Yegor Korshkov got the winner on a brilliant unassisted effort with 2:04 left in the second period. He faked a shot at the right point, performed a spinnerama, looped through the faceoff circle and cut in front to tuck the puck inside U.S. goalie Alex Nedeljkovic’s left post. It gave Korshkov his team-leading seventh point.
Against Finland, the swift-skating Russians will vie for their first gold medal since 2011 (Buffalo) and 14th of all-time, including the Soviet Union era. They took silver last year versus Canada.
The Americans will seek consolation in the bronze medal game versus Sweden. They have won bronze four times before (1986, 1992, 2007, 2011). It's a disappointing outcome for a squad loaded with NHL-drafted talent.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com