Kukla's Korner Hockey
So says Brian Burke.
Gary Bettman made a statement today at the World Hockey Summit in regards to how hockey fans feel about NHL participation in the Olympics.
via Scott Burnside tweet,
Bettman says fans’ response to NHL participation in Olympics is a “mixed bag”. Not sure we buy that.
What are your thoughts and thanks to many of you who already responded to the same question on Twitter.
added 2:41pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
To the surprise of practically everyone in the room, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t quite the wet blanket that delegates to Wednesday’s session of the World Hockey Summit might have imagined.
Instead, Bettman was quite playful during his 30-minute cameo appearance, teasing questioners, poking fun at IIHF president Rene Fasel, but most importantly, clarifying the NHL’s position with regard to Olympic participation, which was the day’s primary point of discussion.
Bettman stressed that he is not anti-Olympics and contrary to the general perception, the NHL hasn’t said no to appearing in Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Games will be played.
from Andrew Podnieks at IIHF.com,
The gold-medal game between Canada and the United States was, quite simply, the single most watched hockey game in history. More than 114 million people around the world watched Sidney Crosby score in overtime to give Canada home gold.
By comparison, Lumme noted, the worldwide numbers for the 2010 and 2009 Super Bowl were 110 and 106 million, respectively. The most recent UEFA Cup final reached 106 million. In short, Lumme noted, “Olympic hockey is right up there with some of the biggest events in the world.”
The global average for hockey was 28.5 million, meaning that for every minute of hockey, that many people around the world watched NHLers play
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
...selling yourself to an indifferent market like the United States takes more than a one-time shot. The television ratings in Vancouver were proof Americans will watch hockey, and getting a chance to show your wares on a world stage should never be considered a bad thing (although what the NHL really needs is the United States to win the men’s gold medal).
First, though, the NHL has to commit to the Games for the long term. It should also decide what it is going to do with the World Cup of Hockey – a competition that appears, it seems, only when the league feels like it.
Ideally, either the Olympics or the World Cup should be chosen as the sport’s major international competition.
Originally, there was a plan to have the World Cup every four years in between Olympics, so there would be a best-versus-best international competition every two years. But that could result in what we saw in the 1980s, with the Canada Cups and the world championships – international hockey burnout for the players.
from Andy Blatchford of the CP at the Toronto Star,
The hockey sweater worn during one of Canada’s greatest sporting moments is up for auction.
Paul Henderson wore the battle-scarred, stick-marked jersey when he buried the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series against the former Soviet Union.
The sweater’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a cancer survivor who plans to donate some of the proceeds to charity, said Marc Juteau, president of Classic Auctions, the Montreal-area company handling the sale. Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia last fall.
“It’s somebody that really cares about what’s going on with Mr. Henderson, somebody who’s been there,” Juteau said
Watch a feature on Henderson below…
from Andy Potts a The Moscow News,
But amid the disappointment of defeat, there is some comfort to be drawn from the game for organisers of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
The competition, which has a clear aim to rival the NHL for supremacy in world hockey, provided some evidence of its quality by supplying eight of the Czech roster – and claiming both goals for the underdogs in the final.
Indeed, on the night the Czechs had more KHL players suited up than the Russian – seven against six – while the big names from North America were mostly under the double-headed eagle.
from the CP at the Globe and Mail,
Jaromir Jagr found some new Czech teammates to celebrate a gold medal with.
The veteran forward set up Jakub Klepis just 20 seconds into Sunday’s game and Tomas Vokoun turned aside 35 shots as the Czech Republic captured the IIHF World Hockey Championship with a stunning 2-1 win over Russia.
Jagr expressed concern at the outset of the tournament that the country could be a candidate for relegation because so many NHL players declined an invitation. Not only did the unherladed team go on to win gold, it did so by handing star-studded Russia its first loss in 28 world championship games.
No one could have seen this coming for a Czech hockey program that had seen its men’s national team lose in the quarter-finals of the last four major international tournaments, including the Vancouver Olympics
from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
It’s up to Jaromir Jagr and the unheralded Czechs to try and derail the Russian Express.
The host Germans came awfully close on a dramatic semi-final Saturday, but Pavel Datsyuk scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to give Russia a 2-1 victory — the country’s 27th straight at this tournament.
They’ll be going for a third consecutive world championship gold Sunday against a Czech team that is in the middle of a good run of its own.
In the semifinal against Sweden, Czech defenceman Karel Rachunek tied the game with eight seconds to play before Lukas Kaspar and Jan Marek scored in the shootout to secure a 3-2 victory.
added 3:19pm, Watch the Datsyuk game-winner below…
from Andy Potts of The Moscow News,
Commentators in North America, where the Stanley Cup play-offs are nearing their conclusion, were sniffy about the outcome.
In the Toronto Sun a columnist claimed “nobody out of Europe cares” about a contest which “ranks lower than cricket” and suggested Russia’s excitement over this men-against-boys win might be almost as embarrassing as their Olympic loss.
But, as Bykov put it after the game, a clash between Russia and Canada is never meaningless.
“The Olympics is still incomparable with the World Championships, but in any event this tournament deserves respect and every team wants to win here,” he said.
“Any game between us is an event - if we see Sergei Fedorov fighting on the ice for only the second time in his life, that says it all.”
from Russia Today,
Team Russia has thrashed Canada in the Ice Hockey World Championships quarterfinals to increase their winning streak at world champs to 26 consecutive victories.
Evgeny Malkin made a brace, while Pavel Datsyuk, Maksim Afinogenov and Sergey Fedorov each added a goal for the Russians, who ultimately beat Canada 5-2. Canada trailed 4-0 in the third period but good indivudual efforts by John Tavares and Matt Duchene sugared coat for Canada.
Going into the game captain of the Russian team Ilya Kovalchuk stressed that win over Canada would be “a matter of principle” for the Russian players.
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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