Kukla's Korner Hockey
Odds to win 2014-2105 IIHF Men’s U20 World Championship (World Juniors)
Czech Republic 20/1
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Speed, goaltending and a deep roster are three important components United States National Junior Team general manager Jim Johannson knows are critical at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Johannson feels he has plenty of that among the 30-man roster of players USA Hockey invited to selection camp that will be held on the campus of Boston University at Walter Brown Arena from Dec. 16-19. The select camp will help determine the final 23-man roster that will represent the country at the 2015 WJC beginning Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
The U.S. has medaled in three of the past five WJC tournaments, including gold in 2010 and 2013 and bronze in 2011.
"The game is about speed now and we have speed and our depth is going to be excellent," Johannson told USAHockey.com. "You also need good goaltending and we have good candidates. These [goalies] are going to have to take charge in there and it'll be a good competition since there are good goalies vying for the starting job.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Team Canada will announce its roster for its World Junior camp on Monday.
Whether touted Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin is on it or not, he said he'd prefer to continue playing in the NHL rather than participate in the tournament, which is from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Toronto and Montreal. The camp is from Dec. 7-9, with exhibitions starting Dec. 19.
"To be honest, I'd rather stay here," Drouin said Saturday. "It's one month you're away from the team and a lot of stuff is going to happen. I'd rather be here than play for World Juniors."
via Bob McKenzie tweets today...
Players invited do not include eligible NHLers (Lazar OTT, Duclair NYR, Horvat VAN, Drouin TB, Ekblad FLA, MacKinnon COL, Bennett CGY *inj).
Ekblad and MacKinnon, of course, are not actual considerations. Decisions on other four will be made by NHL clubs no later than Dec. 19.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The National Hockey League and the Players' Association hope to generate between $75 million and $100 million from the rekindled World Cup of Hockey, according to their preliminary estimates.
A person familiar with the matter told TSN that the eight-team tournament, which is scheduled to be held in September 2016, will raise about half its revenue from the sale of broadcast and internet streaming rights. The NHL and NHLPA have predicted those rights may garner close to $50 million.
NHL senior vice president John Collins said it's too early to say how much cash the league and NHLPA will generate.
"We are not at the finish line yet on the WC," Collins wrote in an email. "More meetings still needed with PA and federations. Premature to comment on any specifics."
from Abraham D. Madkour of SportsBusiness Journal,
During recent appearances by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and COO John Collins, it’s obvious this is getting a great deal of their attention. Bettman summed up the appeal succinctly: “We control it. We control the media, the presentation and it’s out of season.” All of those are underlying frustrations that the league has with its participation in the Olympics.
In a recent interview in Toronto, Bettman was asked why global sponsors pay hundreds of millions of dollars to be associated with the Olympics, yet the NHL seems nonplussed by it. “They [sponsors] get to market and promote their association with the Games,” he said. “We have to fight to get access to footage of our players playing in the Olympics. At one time, we even had to fight to get access to a press availability I was having. They’ve loosened it up a little bit, but face it, if you’re a TOP sponsor, you get to market and promote your brand. We don’t.”
With that said, you can see why the league is bullish about re-creating the World Cup, which sources believe has the ability to generate more than $100 million in revenue for the league and players, and it’s revenue that sits outside of the league’s definition of Hockey Related Revenue, meaning the 50/50 joint venture would be split.
I don’t believe it’s an “either/or” on having a World Cup or whether the NHL participates in the Olympics. But there is little appeal of playing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018 and likely either Almaty, Kazakhstan, or Beijing in 2022. Daly, asked in Toronto about the league’s pending decision to play in 2018, said, “There are some things we still need to learn, such as the mindset of the South Korean Organizing Committee and where it puts hockey in its priorities.”
more plus other hockey topics...
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
MOSCOW – One of international hockey’s most successful coaches of all time, Viktor Tikhonov, died this morning in a hospital in Moscow after long illness. He was 84. The funeral will take place in Moscow on Thursday.
With Tikhonov the international hockey family lost its most decorated coach ever. During his era as the head coach of the Soviet Union and Russia, the Moscow-born coach led the national team to three Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship titles between 1979 and 1992 and the 1981 Canada Cup. He also won one Olympic silver medal, one World Championship silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals.
Born in Moscow in 1930, Tikhonov played bandy, football and ice hockey. He started his hockey career at the top level as a defenceman with VVS MVO Moscow and Dynamo Moscow and won four consecutive championships (1951-1953 with VVS, 1954 with Dynamo) but is mostly remembered for his extraordinarily successful coaching career.
added 7:24am, Below, a YouTube user submitted tribute video of Tikhonov....
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
You can't just dust off the old World Cup of Hockey logo and expect people will give a darn, especially when they were halfway out the door on the mistreated property a dozen years ago.
This new event must have pizzazz, it must have panache and it must resonate not just in Toronto, where the tournament will reportedly be held, but around the hockey world.
It has to be embraced by players and fans everywhere.
It has to mean something. It has to get the juices flowing and the imagination turning with thoughts of Wayne Gretzky to Mario Lemieux and the 1987 Canada Cup.
It has to promise hockey magic and then it has to deliver it.
Or else this will blow up like a dime-store gag cigar.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The parties discussing the revamped World Cup of Hockey are prepared to make some dramatic changes to the tournament format, Sportsnet has learned.
The eight-team event is now expected to include two all-star entries along with the top six hockey nations — Canada, U.S., Sweden, Finland, Russia and Czech Republic — when it returns in September 2016, according to multiple sources.
The first all-star team is expected to feature the best players from the remaining European countries: Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany and Slovenia, among them.
The makeup of the other mixed squad is still to be determined, although one idea being considered is bringing together all of the top young stars in the sport.
Organizers looked at staging a pre-tournament qualifier to determine the final two spots, but don’t believe there is time to pull everything together. They also like the idea of doing something different than the World Cups and Canada Cups of the past and think that adding all-star teams will make for a more competitive event.
On Monday night, Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake and Mike Modano will enter the Hockey Hall Of Fame as the player class of 2014. Some thoughts from them, on the threshold of their induction, via Eric Duhatschek.
My greatest career moment came ...
“Winning the 1998 Olympic gold medal, this is something I will never forget. After we won, we flew a charter that our president (Vaclav) Havel sent for us. We spent one night in Prague. The cheering, the people’s ovation, at the airport and in the square, this is something we will appreciate for the rest of our lives. We were very focused as a team. After we beat the U.S. in the quarter-finals, we started to believe in our team, that maybe we can do something a little bit more.”
“The World Cup (in 1996) and the Stanley Cup (in 1999) is like 1 and 1A. With the Stanley Cup, you’re representing a city and an organization, what Dallas meant. The U.S., with the World Cup, we were painted into a corner. We didn’t know what to do. We’d lost the first game in Philly so we had to go to the (Montreal) Forum to win two against Gretzky, Messier, Sakic, Lindros. You look at the Canadian lineup, it was probably the best team they ever put together. To win two in a row against those guys, we were just beside ourselves – and (coach) Ron Wilson was the catalyst for that. This’ll be talked about for years, he said, kind of what Herb (Brooks) told the 1980 (Miracle on Ice) team.”
from the CP at TSN,
A senior Canadian ice hockey official believes NHL players will return to the Winter Olympics, and is urging an early decision this time.
The participation of NHL players in the Olympics is contentious because of disruption to the league season and teams' concerns over injury risks.
Bob Nicholson, a vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation and former Hockey Canada chief, was asked Friday about the prospect of NHL players competing at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"The players want to go but it's very difficult for the NHL," Nicholson said. "If everyone agrees to take some and leave some on the table, I think we'll see NHL players in the future."
"You never like it to go down to the wire, because everyone loses," he added. "The sooner you decide to go, the better it will be for them and for all of the countries participating."
NHL players have participated in every Winter Olympics since 1998. Doubts have been raised about the league's participation in Pyeongchang because of, among other things, a lack of hockey tradition in Korea.
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