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Category: International-Hockey

Donald Fehr On The Olympics

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL should not be waiting for the players to give up something in return for Olympic participation, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told ESPN on Thursday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that if things stayed status quo, "assume we are not going" to next year's Winter Olympics. Many read that as an inference that the league wants the players to give something back so they can participate.

"I don't know what it can be from the players' perspective,'' Fehr told ESPN in a phone interview Thursday. "Obviously the players are not about to engage in collective bargaining in return for getting an opportunity to go to the Olympics for which they aren't being paid, where very valuable things would go elsewhere in return for that....

The bottom line, Fehr said, is the next two Olympics are a great opportunity for hockey.

"We do want to grow the game internationally, and I think the NHL shares that view," Fehr said. "I think they believe as we do that we have some advantages and we have an opportunity; and when you're doing that, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

"Having two Olympic Games in Asia within a span of five years is not your ordinary kettle of fish. I don't know if it's unique, but I can't think of anything else which is close to it in terms of the potential exposure it would give.''

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

The Real Negotiations Are About To Begin Regarding The NHL And 2018 Olympics

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

The negotiations are about to begin. No more posturing. No more pleasantries. We will soon hear about a deadline date. We will know in short order whether NHL players will play on the Olympic ice in South Korea next February. All sides will decide how important it is to play in the Games. My gut says the next three weeks are key — before April 12 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. No one wants the Olympic discussion to become a distraction then.

Perhaps that day becomes the deadline?

Far to one side, the International Olympic Committee. Set in its ways and happy to spend other peoples' money (not just hockey's) for infrastructure and the glory of the Olympic movement. The formula has worked well for the IOC. Through summer and winter Games, scandal and deceit, doping and bribery, the Olympic movement just keeps chugging along. No reason to change, no reason to share the wealth. After all, if you change for the NHL, you’ll have to change for other leagues and organizations that are involved, such as the NBA, PGA, LPGA and both of tennis’ governing bodies. If you pay for hockey, you might just have to pay for other sports, too.

Far to the other side, the National Hockey League. The 31 owners and a senior executive at the league office who can’t comprehend what the value of the Olympics are anymore if there isn’t some form of compensation or acknowledgement of hockey’s best league. It goes beyond tickets and access or the ability to use video footage. It is about answering a simple question: What’s in it for us?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Olympic Debate

Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated on Tuesday that he doesn't think the NHL players will be taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. But what's really going on here? Will the players go or is this just another bargaining tactic by all sides involved? ESPN writers Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun weigh in.

Burnside: Every time I hear Gary Bettman say how much the owners hate the Olympics and how no one should expect the NHL and its players to be in South Korea for the 2018 Olympics, the more convinced I am that it's only a matter of time until we get confirmation the NHL and its players will be back for the sixth straight Olympic hockey tournament. Why? Simple. Bettman can't afford not to go, no matter how much the Olympic tournament disrupts the NHL schedule. He can't afford to have the world's eyes on a bunch of collegiate players and long-in-the-tooth former NHLers in PyeongChang while the NHLers are toiling away back in North America....

LeBrun: Let's remember how we got to this ridiculous Olympic stalemate. It began more than a year ago with IOC president Thomas Bach saying his governing body was no longer covering costs for the NHL players, as it had at past Olympics. Thank you, Mr. Bach, for poking the bear. Now some NHL owners care about an issue they really didn't think that much about previously -- it gave the NHL an opportunity to make this an issue. This is the same Thomas Bach who referred to his first presence in meeting with the NHL early last month as a "courtesy" visit. Gee, don't inconvenience yourself while people figure out whether or not the best players in the world should be playing in your Olympics hockey tournament....

more from Burnside and LeBrun

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The Latest On The Olympics From Gary Bettman

from Sportsnet,

As more players and owners are speaking up with their opinions on the NHL’s involvement in the 2018 Olympics, commissioner Gary Bettman was the latest to comment on the stand-off.

Speaking to Reuters Tuesday at the Sport Business Summit in New York, Bettman said there were no negotiations currently ongoing between the league, IOC and IIHF and that perhaps people should start thinking about the very real possibility the league stays out of the Pyeongchang Games.

“As things stand now people should assume we are not going,” Bettman said.

The NHL has raised a few concerns with going to the 2018 Games, not least of which is that the league has to shut down for two weeks and send its best players to an event they don’t control. Just last week, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was recalling the 2006 Games when his goalie, Dominik Hasek, went to play for the Czech Republic as Ottawa looked poised to go on a Cup run. Hasek was injured at the Games and never played for the Senators again.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Friendly Games Between South Korea And Russia

from the Korea Times,

South Korea lost both of its two men's hockey friendly games against Russia over the weekend on home ice, but the team's strong efforts still surprised many.

That includes Alexei Zhamnov, former National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star now handling scouting for the Russian national team.

Russia beat South Korea 4-3 on Saturday and 5-2 on Sunday at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, some 230 kilometers east of Seoul. The new rink will also be the venue for the hockey tournament at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Russia didn't have its top NHL players and assembled a team of mostly under-25 players in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). On Saturday, the world No. 2 had some late adventures against the 23rd-ranked South Korea on Saturday, as the host scored three times in the third period. On Sunday, Russia trailed 2-1 early in the second period but rallied with four unanswered goals....

"To be honest, I was kind of surprised (with the South Korean team)," Zhamnov told Yonhap News Agency after Sunday's game. "I know the coach (Paek). He has a lot of experience on the bench, and he did a tremendous job in these games. He made the right decisions. The Korean guys played consistently and stayed with their system."

read on

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Cammi Granato On The Issue With USA Hockey

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Separate and unequal.

It may be only now that the U.S. National Women’s Hockey Team’s righteous fight for equal opportunity has become part of the public’s consciousness, but the struggle to rectify these anachronistic conditions has been ongoing for a generation.

“I can’t say that I’m aware of the specific details of the talks here or of the timeline, but I know enough to say that they have been trying to settle this for a while before it became public,” the great Cammi Granato, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, the International Hockey Hall of Fame and the captain of the Yanks’ 1998 Olympic Gold Medal-winning team, told Slap Shots on Friday. “And this certainly isn’t something that’s new.

“The year leading up to the 2002 Olympics [at Salt Lake City], our group tried to sit down with [USA Hockey] about these same issues. We had no luck. During that time we had a summit with our soccer team, they had also won a gold, we spent a lot of time with each other, we really bonded and we were interested in the same issues.”

That soccer team, of course, became known as the “ ’99ers” — the women featuring Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy who captured the country’s imagination and the World Cup while playing in front of nearly 79,000 fans at Giants Stadium and almost 100,000 at the Rose Bowl in the tournament that changed the course of women’s soccer in the United States.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cammi+granato, team+usa

The Battle Between USA Hockey And The U.S. Women’s National Team

from Rachel Brady of the Globe and Mail,

Members of the U.S. women’s national hockey team didn’t flinch on Thursday when USA Hockey gave them a deadline to commit to playing in the coming world championship.

The women stood together as one and allowed USA Hockey’s 5 p.m. ET deadline to pass. The players, who are being represented pro bono by a Philadelphia law firm, say they won’t play, citing more than a year of stalled negotiations with USA Hockey to secure fair wages and support.

The biggest event of the year on the women’s hockey calendar is set for March 31 to April 7 in Plymouth, Mich., but the reigning champs say they won’t show unless there is progress in the discussions with the U.S. governing body. USA Hockey has said it still intends to assemble a competitive team for the tournament.

“We’ve communicated with all the groups who they might possibly get to replace us – women who play in the world university games, those from our U-18 team, the U-22 and the National Women’s Hockey League,” said U.S. star Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist with Team USA and a five-time champion. “They all have expressed a lot of support for us. I don’t think many young women are going to want to play for that team, not ones who dream of a future with Team USA. How do you think that would set up a young player to be accepted by the team?”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Statement From USA Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 15, 2017) – USA Hockey understands the challenges elite athletes face in order to pursue their dreams of participating in international competition, including the Olympics. USA Hockey, along with the United States Olympic Committee, provides the Women’s National Team players financial support, as well as training opportunities, camps, and strength and conditioning programs, to help these athletes and give them the best chance to succeed.

“We acknowledge the players’ concerns and have proactively increased our level of direct support to the Women’s National Team as we prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We have communicated that increased level of support to the players’ representatives and look forward to continuing our discussions.”

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+usa

Rene Fasel On The NHL Participating In The 2018 Olympics

from Nick Butler of Inside The Games,

"There's still time, I'm still 50-50," Fasel told insidethegames here during the IOC Coordination Commission inspection to Pyeongchang 2018.

"The pressure from the side of the players is getting bigger and bigger, so I hope they will find a solution between the NHL and the NHLPA.

"The NHLPA should find a way to ensure they shut down the league.

"I think its a bargaining issue - Gary wants to have something, the only problem is that nobody knows what.

"They should sit together and find a way."

more

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  Tags: rene+fasel

Evening Line- NBC Sports Chairman On The NHL/Olympics

“I think it remains to be seen what type of players still go. There's still the international leagues, which have a lot of former NHL players. There’s certainly quality players from around the world. I believe whatever happens it will be a quality hockey tournament.

“We would like the NHL to be there. We’ve made that clear to them. Hockey for the most part won’t be on NBC (but rather on cable channels), and hockey for the most part, given the time difference, will be late at night and early morning. So it’s not going to affect the peak periods.

“But we think it’s better for the Olympics and we think it’s important for the growth of hockey around the world for the best in the world to be playing.”

-Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports chairman. Neil Best of Newsday has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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