Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In 2009, 46 players were invited to the Canadian men’s Olympic orientation camp in Calgary, but Patrice Bergeron wasn’t among them. Four months later, when the roster for the 2010 Olympic team was announced, Bergeron’s name was there, but a whole lot of other sure-fire, can’t-miss candidates had fallen by the wayside, including Jeff Carter, who’d scored 46 goals the previous year, most among Canadian-born players.
It is why on Monday, when Canada unveiled the preliminary list for the 2014 men’s Olympic camp, executive director Steve Yzerman was at pains to point out that nothing is for sure just yet. The preliminary evaluations began last year, but it will be a good three months into the NHL season before Yzerman and his staff commit to a final Canadian roster, leaving lots of time for the candidates’ stock to rise and fall.
As Yzerman pointed out Monday on a conference call with reporters, if every person in Canada put together a team of 25 players, there might be a dozen or so that they could all agree upon. The test for him and his staff will be to sort out the bottom half of the Canadian roster, where there are wildly differing views as to who should and who shouldn’t make the team.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
I know they invited five goalies to Canada’s summer Olympic orientation camp–Roberto Luongo, Corey Crawford, Mike Smith, Carey Price and Braden Holtby–but let’s get serious here. It’s a very fluid situation in net as to who plays in Sochi; it’s the one area where we aren’t up to snuff with the Swedes and the Finns and especially the Yanks with Jon Quick and Jimmy Howard and Craig Anderson battling in net?
If Cam Ward, who has worn Canada’s jersey at the worlds more than once, is red-hot through the first three months with six shutouts and a 1.95 average, the folks picking Canada’s Olympic team are going to recalibrate their choices aren’t they? What if Devan Dubnyk, the ultimate good soldier for Canada at the worlds, always answering yes when they call, is 20-10 here with the Oilers, who shockingly are the NHL’s Cinderella story in the early going? Don’t they have to consider him? How about Marc-Andre Fleury? What if he’s reborn and learns how to stop the puck again in Pittsburgh?
from USA Hockey,
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today announced that 48 players, representing 24 National Hockey League teams, have been invited to the U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp from Aug. 26-27, at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.
The camp is designed to assist in preparation for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, set for Feb. 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Of the 48 players invited to the camp, 16 have previous Olympic experience, including Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./Los Angeles Kings), Zach Parise (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Wild) andRyan Suter (Madison, Wis./Minnesota Wild), three of the alternate captains on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team that captured the silver medal.
continued with full roster
from Hockey Canada,
The camp roster includes:
- five goaltenders, 17 defencemen and 25 forwards;
- 46 players with international experience, including 38 with international experience at the senior level (Olympic Winter Games, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship);
- 15 players who won gold with Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games;
- 18 players who played for Canada at the 2002, 2006 or 2010 Olympic Winter Games;
- 38 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Championship;
- 31 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Junior Championship;
- 17 players who have played for Canada at an IIHF World Under-18 Championship;
- four players who won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with Canada;
- three of the eight Canadian players in the IIHF Triple Gold Club, having won Olympic gold, IIHF World Championship gold and a Stanley Cup:
- Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal, Jonathan Toews;
- Mike Babcock is the only coach in the IIHF Triple Gold Club;
- one player (Corey Crawford) who has yet to represent Canada in international competition;
- eight players (Karl Alzner, Crawford, Travis Hamonic, Braden Holtby, Kris Letang, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Carey Price) who have yet to represent Canada internationally at the senior level.
The coaching staff was named by Canada’s National Men’s Team management group, comprised of executive director Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay), along with Doug Armstrong (St. Louis), Ken Holland (Detroit), Kevin Lowe (Edmonton), Bob Nicholson (Hockey Canada) and Brad Pascall (Hockey Canada).
Babcock, Hitchcock and Ruff were all members of the Canadian men’s hockey coaching staff at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver where Canada won its eighth Olympic gold medal.
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games run from Feb. 6-23, with the men’s ice hockey tournament going from Feb. 12-23.
“Canada’s coaching staff has a great deal of international and professional experience for the challenge that awaits us in Sochi,” said Yzerman. “Mike did a great job setting the foundation for our gold medal win in Vancouver, and I know that with Ken, Claude and Lindy working with him, our team will be very well prepared.”
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The rebirth of the World Cup tournament for 2015 is also on the horizon, as are expanded forays into Europe by the NHL. Those will include more regular-season games on that continent along with the expansion of the Victoria Cup concept, which pits NHL teams against the champions of European leagues.
In fact, the NHL is so committed to growing its product internationally that it plans to open a staffed European office by the end of 2013, according to a source.
These are exciting times for those who love international hockey.
As difficult as the Olympic negotiation process proved to be in recent months, there seemed to be genuine optimism coming from the NHL, NHL Players’ Association and International Ice Hockey Federation following Friday’s announcement about the Sochi Games.
With those groups showing a spirit of co-operation, it left some of the most powerful men in the sport dreaming big.
“I hope that this is the first step in a multi-year deal, which will involve World Cups, Victoria Cups and other new events internationally,” Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson told sportsnet.ca. “I think that there is a great opportunity for the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA.”
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
But if Canada is of the belief it’s got Olympic problems — and the impending National Goaltending Crisis is no small thing — it should be comforting to know that the overseers of the Sochi Games have a far more daunting set of challenges in their view. Sochi’s woes go well beyond the hard-to-fathom fact that Russia’s first crack at hosting a Winter Games is being planned for a subtropical seaside locale that makes balmy Vancouver look like Siberia. To tackle that problem, organizers have reportedly stored a winter’s worth of snow should none fall in February.
As for the ever-expanding raft of other issues — well, the solutions might not be as cold and soft.
Less than seven months from the opening ceremony, the 2014 Olympics are already promising to be one of the most controversial in history — and that’s just among the folks in the accounting department. Various reports suggest that the costs of the Games have careered out of control. The price to run Sochi, initially budgeted at $12 billion, is said to have reached $50 billion according to a recent article in The Economist. (The Vancouver Olympics, by contrast, billed out at about $9 billion.) There are accusations that widespread corruption is gobbling up large chunks of this cash. Critics of Vladimir Putin are already suggesting that the Russian president’s most famous act of sporting larceny is no longer the petty pocketing of Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring.
Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader, has called Sochi “an unprecedented thieves’ caper.”
As Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess master turned politician, tweeted in the wake of The Economist report: “I never doubted (Putin) and his cronies would ‘take the gold’!”
“Although there were many details to discuss with our partners at the NHL and NHLPA, there was never any doubt in my mind that we would not continue the tradition from Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver.”
“The modern Olympic era is about sportive competition on the highest possible level. This is what fans around the world expect from a 100-metre race or downhill skiing and this is also what they are entitled to expect from our sport.”
“It is the obligation of the IIHF towards our fans that the biggest sports show on earth has the best players and towards our member associations that they are able to select the best players that their educational systems have developed. I would like to thank NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr for their co-operation.”
-IIHF President and IOC Executive Committee Member René Fasel. More from the IIHF.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org