Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Swirling rumors suggest that we're just days away from the official announcement of the next World Cup of Hockey and it appears the early talk about the tournament set-up is true. The eight-team event will reportedly feature entries from Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, with two “at-large” clubs rounding out the field. The first will be made up of young stars from around the NHL while the second will be comprised of top players from countries that are not sending their national teams.
Nothing wrong with tossing around new ideas, but it is hard to believe that either of these stuck. Both pose obvious problems.
Take the young stars plan: Will national teams be allowed to claim a player who falls under the age limit if he's one of their best? Does a 20-year-old such as Filip Forsberg suit up for Sweden or the young stars? What about 22-year-old Gabe Landeskog? If skaters of their caliber are kept from the national team, then the World Cup risks losing any claim to being a best-on-best tournament.
And what about Team Potpourri? Sure, it offers a chance for players from lesser national sides like Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) or Mats Zuccarello (Norway) to take part, but has anyone asked the guys who'd have to suit up for this polyglot if they even want to?
“I don't know all the details, but I don't know how excited I am about it,” one NHL player told SI.com recently. “You want to represent your country [in an event like this], not just play on a team.”
more hockey notes...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean topics from last night- P.K. Subban defensive play, the Canadian WJC team and other international teams, Roberto Luongo, the Edmonton Oilers, Randy Carlyle, Matt Cooke turtling yesterday and J.P. Parise.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
J.P. Parise, a star player for the old North Stars, and a longtime coach and administrator in Minnesota, died Wednesday night after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He was 73.
Parise, a two-time NHL All-Star for the North Stars and standout for Team Canada in the “Summit Series” against the Soviet Union in 1972, was the father of Wild winger Zach Parise.
added 11:10am, Statement from the Parise family...
After a brave battle with lung cancer, J.P. Parise passed away peacefully at home Wednesday night with his family by his side. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from family, friends and the entire hockey community during this difficult time. J.P. was a great husband, father and grandpa and will be greatly missed by all of us.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.
NEW YORK (Jan. 8, 2015) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the passing of J.P. Parise:
"The National Hockey League family mourns the passing and cherishes the memory of J.P. Parise. Especially in his adopted home state of Minnesota, J.P. was a consummate player, teacher and administrator in the game. The Parise name has been prominent in Minnesota hockey since the 1960s, and J.P.'s commitment and passion for the NHL lives on through his son, Zach. The NHL sends heartfelt condolences to J.P.'s family, to his friends, to the Minnesota Wild organization and to all the organizations J.P. represented with such passion."
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Easy to see why Max Domi was named the tournament's top forward. It was a flashy performance by the Coyotes prospect, highlighted by explosive rushes, adroit playmaking, a couple of timely goals and a fair bit of the chippiness you'd expect to see from Tie's kid. He was truly exceptional....
If I learned anything from this tournament, it's that I want Curtis Lazar on my team. His heavy, north-south style of play speaks for itself, but this kid's value is multiplied exponentially by his intangibles. His intensity and commitment set the tone for Team Canada. And then there's the fact that he plays every shift like he's opening presents on Christmas morning....
When rumors surfaced that the Red Wings were circling Tyler Myers, it was believed that the Sabres were looking for a package that featured Dylan Larkin in return. If that's the case, you can see why Detroit politely declined. Playing on the third line, he was Team USA's most consistent and most effective offensive weapon, scoring five goals and seven points to pace the club. He plays a smart, physical game and has the upside to play a top-six role....
read on for more players...
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Nothing has been finalized, and we are being told there are still several issues to be settled, but the NHL and NHL Players' Association are discussing a World Cup tournament field that would include USA, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, plus a European All-Star team made up of players from other countries and a team made up of top young players from North America....
This plan would allow us to see Slovenia's Anze Kopitar, Switzerland's Roman Josi, Austria's Thomas Vanek, Norway's Mats Zuccarello, Germany's Christian Ehrhoff and a legion of Slovaks led by Zdeno Chara.
Out-of-the-box thinking is also how we landed on the idea of patching together a team of rising young stars to compete as the eighth team. Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon probably won't make the Canadian team, but he will be the No. 1 center on this team. Florida's Aaron Ekblad could be the top defenseman and Anaheim's John Gibson could be in net.
It's a creative plan to be sure, but would it make the World Cup a better tournament?
Of course not.
The public's love for country vs. country competition is well-established. Could you imagine soccer's World Cup embracing this idea?
from Andrew Podnicks of IIHF.com,
Loud, proud, and sold right out, the 19,014 fans who packed into the Air Canada Centre were treated to another special battle between the two greatest hockey countries. In the end, Canada withstood a fierce comeback from Russia to win its first gold since 2009 and 16th title overall.
"This is amazing," gushed captain Curtis Lazar. "I really wanted to help Canada get back on top, and everyone did their part. I was just along for the ride. We had the momentum; we let it sleip away a little bit, but we hung in there."
Lazar was quick to credit the Toronto fans who flocked to games both with Canada and without in remarkable numbers. "The crowd supported us and was with us every step of the way. They were so loud, and to sing the national anthem along with them was special."
Max Domi had a goal and two assists to give him ten points for the tournament, fourth in the scoring race behind three Canadian teammates who all had eleven – Sam Reinhart, Nic Petan, and Connor McDavid.
"We’re World Junior champions," said McDavid succinctly. It’s joy. Right now, this is just absolute joy."
Canada's last gold came on home ice in Ottawa in 2009, and the team is hoping to repeat that success in Toronto this year. Zach Fucale will get the start in goal for Canada.
"I really want them to just have fun and enjoy it," said Canadian captain Curtis Lazar. "We've worked hard to get to this point. The fans at the ACC have been awesome and I really want them to just get caught in the moment, kind of take a step back and soak it all in, because it's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity for us.
"I feel like if we go out there and we play the right way, the way we can, we'll be able to get the job done."...
The Russians feel their tough road to the gold medal game could be an advantage as they take another unbeaten team – and a team yet to trail - in Canada.
"We had a couple of pretty hard games against the U.S. and Sweden," forward Ivan Barbashyov said after Russia's Sunday win. "We know how to play, and we'll be playing the same way we played today and two days ago."
The game is on NHL Network US and TSN1, TSN4, TSN5 and TSN GO. Pregame at 7:30pm ET, puck drops just after 8:00pm.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.
For the 14th time in tournament history, Canada will play against Russia in the gold-medal game of the 2015 World Junior Championship at Air Canada Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN-US).
Each team earned a ticket to the final with semifinal-round victories on Sunday in Toronto. Russia defeated Sweden 4-1; Canada earned a 5-1 win against Slovakia.
"It's special; Canada and Russia, it's one of those great rivalries in hockey," Canada defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "It's always very intense. Hearing the fans chant 'Canada' and 'We want Russia' in the end was pretty cool, it's pretty inspiring."
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
Another topic for the media was the ongoing discussions between the IIHF and the NHL in particular for a continuation of the NHL’s Olympic participation for a sixth consecutive time since Nagano 1998 when the event goes to PyeongChang, Korea, in 2018.
“We are discussing about the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, and as soon as we have a decision we will discuss about the 2018 Olympics,” Fasel said. He admitted that being in Asia may be a challenge with the time difference for North Americans. But the growing Asian market offers important chances for hockey.
“We will also be in Asia in 2022 in China (Beijing) or Kazakhstan (Almaty), and I believe China is the favourite. I know the players want to go to the Olympics. I’m confident about that.”
The re-establishment of a World Cup of Hockey is planned for September 2016 with eight teams. It’s planned to form teams from Canada, United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic while two more teams are open.
The NHL Network US schedule for the World Junior Championship today and Monday. All times are ET.
|Semifinal||Sun Jan 4||Russia||Sweden||Air Canada Centre||4:00 PM|
|Semifinal||Sun Jan 4||Slovakia||Canada||Air Canada Centre||8:00 PM|
|Bronze Medal||Mon Jan 5||TBD||TBD||Air Canada Centre||4:00 PM|
|Gold Medal||Mon Jan 5||TBD||TBD||Air Canada Centre||8:00 PM|
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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