Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Yoo Jee-ho and Park Young-seo of the Yonhap News Agency,
Schneider told reporters Thursday "the biggest obstacle" is who will shoulder the expenses, such as transportation, insurance and accommodations, for some 150 NHL players if they do decide to compete here....
"I understand from the IOC's perspective that they don't want to pay players to come, but at the same time, players don't necessarily want to pay to come to the Olympics as well," Schneider said. "It's certainly not something that can't be overcome. We're optimistic that it will all work out in the end. Players love playing in the Olympics. That's why we've participated in the last five Olympics."...
Lynn White, group vice president of international strategy for the NHL, said PyeongChang organizers appear to be "well ahead of schedule with respect to the preparations for the Olympic Games." Schneider compared PyeongChang favorably to Sochi, the Russian host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"I think they're much further ahead at this point than Sochi, roughly a little over a year out (from the Olympics)," Schneider said. "I think we're very impressed with the progress and the facilities that we've seen. I think everyone is very dedicated to having a top-notch event. We'd expect nothing less coming here. I'd anticipate that early in the new year, we should have a decision."
National Hockey League (NHL) officials are visiting South Korea this week to inspect facilities for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics amid continuing uncertainty over the participation of the league's top players at the Winter Games.
Pyeongchang organizers (POCOG) released an itinerary on Tuesday detailing the visit of the group, which includes Lynn White, the NHL's Group Vice President of International Strategy, and Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig.
Sandra Monteiro and Matthieu Schneider of the NHL's Players' Association, as well as officials from the International Ice Hockey Federation, are also part of the group.
The officials will inspect the Kwandong Hockey Centre and the Gangneung Hockey Centre on Wednesday.
A decision on player participation is expected before the end of this year.
Discussions over player participation hit a roadblock last month after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the chances of the league shutting down to allow players to compete at the Olympics in the middle of the season were "dim".
via the AP at the Stamford Advocate,
Another critical issue for Pyeongchang is securing the participation of National Hockey League players. IOC negotiations with the NHL have stalled over the IOC's decision not to pay for NHL players' travel and insurance as it has in the past....
Christophe Dubi, the IOC's executive director of the Olympic Games, said NHL representatives have agreed to pay an inspection visit to Pyeongchang later this month, which he described as a "very positive step."...
"We definitely always try to have the participation of the best athletes. It is reassuring that NHL is coming to Pyeongchang and especially look at the operations in Gangneung," he said.
"When it comes to the final participation ... there is a date set at Jan. 15 to find an agreement," Dubi said. "Until then it will be work between all parties involved to make sure that we get the participation of the very best, and that's for both Pyeongchang and Beijing."
We need more of this in the NHL.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The World Cup isn’t and can’t be the Olympics. No one in the hockey industry ever was confused about that. But the recently concluded Toronto-based tournament provided little clarity in defining what exactly this supposedly scheduled quadrennial event actually is or can become.
This was a small-scale event in which intensity and emotion seemed lacking from the get-go. If Team North America wasn’t playing, the hockey was not compelling.
What should it tell the leaders of the industry that essentially everyone was taken by the magnetism and charisma of the one team that played the game the way literally everyone agrees it cannot be played in the NHL?
It should tell these leaders the product being presented during the regular season (and let’s not kid ourselves, through much of the playoffs, too) is defective. It is up to the leaders on both sides of the management/labor aisle to give the masses what they want. And that’s entertaining, creative hockey that rewards talent. That’s the critical takeaway from the tournament that was filled with uninteresting games.
Make a commitment to the next World Cup, and hockey fans will respond with their hearts and wallets, more than they did this time. They want to see the best. But they need to feel that it’s about the hockey and making history, not just another way to wring a buck out of those who love the game.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star where you can read more on this topic.
TORONTO (September 30, 2016) O Canada! Hockey continues to reign supreme across the country, both on and off the ice, as 15.5 million people – more than 1 in 3 Canadians – watched some part of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 tournament, which ended last night in spectacular fashion with Team Canada being crowned World Cup champion.
Last night’s hard-fought Game 2 Final delivered an average audience of 2.27 million viewers (2+), with more than 7.5 million Canadians tuning in to some part of the broadcast to see Team Canada come from behind with two goals late in the third period to defeat Team Europe, 2-1.
It’s tough to come down hard on hockey fans in Toronto given all they’ve gone through, but surely it wasn’t lost on NHL brass how disappointing the World Cup crowds were.
Despite millions of dollars in marketing and promotions around downtown Toronto that included an expansive and pricey fan zone, endless advertising and six-foot high pucks at hundreds of street corners, the rare chance to see hockey’s best-on-best featured thousands of empty seats most games.
Yes, the tickets were pricey and, yes, it’s hard to get too jacked about a Finland/Sweden matchup, but in a supposedly hockey-starved city with money and a population base like that, every game should have been sold out.
Clearly, the next incarnation of the world Cup needs to move to a place like Edmonton, where its fans will once again demonstrate what it’s like to be a real fan of the game.
Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun at Canoe. Francis has more on the World Cup.
“The best thing I saw, other than the kids, was (Sidney) Crosby’s first goal the other night. It reminded me of ’72 when Espo knocked the puck to Henderson. That and the three minutes of overtime between North America and Sweden. That was it for me.
“A lot of hockey this time. Not much that anyone will remember.”
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more, mostly on the 1972 Summit Series.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Greatest hockey team ever?
Let the argument begin.
With apologies to the great Soviet national teams of yesteryear that were simply outstanding but didn't get to regularly test themselves against NHL players, Team Canada circa 2014-16 might go down as the most dominating squad to ever hit the ice in the modern era.
A perfect 12-0-0 between the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey -- with Thursday night's thrilling 2-1 victory over Europe at Air Canada Centre as the finishing touch -- is a stretch of hockey we won't soon forget.
"It's pretty special," said World Cup MVP Sidney Crosby. "It's not easy to do, and for a good chunk of us, a lot of us were together there in Russia.
"Everyone understands playing for Team Canada, you're willing to do anything to win."
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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