Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Keating & Clare Fallon of Reuters,
Hockey’s place in Canadian culture is closer to religion than a simple sporting pastime, a unifying force in a country of 33 million people that is often split by politics and language.
The sport is part of the national identity, a rite of passage between fathers and sons and more recently mothers and daughters as the game has evolved beyond its traditional gender boundaries.
Generations of Canadians grew up listening to Hockey Night In Canada on the radio and decades later the Saturday night tradition continues intact on high-definition television.
Canada hopes to win its first gold medal at a home Olympics this time, after failing at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games and the Calgary Winter Games in 1988. To hockey fans, the only really important thing is the men’s gold which will be decided on the final day, February 28.
Mike Babcock was on the Fan590 about 20 minutes ago.
Talked Wings and very frank in his discussion. Then talked Team Canada before talking more Wings, including Osgood.
He also mentioned Williams back tomorrow, Homer back Sunday or the next game and Franzen scheduled to play the last three games before the Olympic break.
from Chris Johnston of the CP at CTVOlympics,
Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux shared a room on the eve of one of the most important games in Canadian hockey history.
There was no five-star resort for Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and there won’t be at the Vancouver Games either.
Instead, the millionaire hockey players will be staying in the Olympic village alongside speedskaters, snowboarders and other athletes competing in Vancouver. The accommodations aren’t exactly spartan but they’re not quite as fancy as the places NHL teams typically call home on the road.
Ex-NHL star Sergey Zubov was outraged by the coaches’ decision to choose him as a substitute player for Russia’s Olympic hockey team, calling the move “a spit in the face”.
“The administrator of the national team has just called me and said that I am included in the list of substitutions for the Olympics. I actually did not know what to say. The situation surprised me a lot,” the 39-year-old told Sport-Express newspaper.
Zubov currently plays for SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL, being the top-scoring defender in the regular championship.
“And earlier I was amazed and even offended by the words of the president of the Russian Hockey Federation, Vladislav Tretyak, and head coach of the national team Vyacheslav Bykov, who uttered in an interview: that in order to get to the national squad one must gnaw the ice, and that they would not take you for your previous merits,” the veteran stressed.
“All these statements have extremely disappointed me. This is humiliation of me as a personality and a sportsman. I do not owe anything to anyone and I have honestly earned my name in ice hockey. I am not 25 years old and have proved my high level with seventeen seasons in NHL. I am not going to prove anything anymore,” he added.
from Jonas Siegel of 640am,
Mike Komisarek’s availability for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics might be in jeopardy.
The 27-year-old defenseman is still sidelined from a mysterious upper-body injury (suspected shoulder) and while he might be ready to return on Saturday, his status for the United States Olympic team in Vancouver isn’t quite clear.
“[Tuesday] is three weeks to our first game,” Ron Wilson said of the American team. “If you take the one week away, he has I’d say a week to feel comfortable. If he’s not we’d have to make other plans for the Olympics.”
“I’m not going to put his career at risk. And we’re not going to risk his future with the Leafs for a two-week Olympic thing either.”
Alexei Kovalev, Alexander Frolov, Sergei Zubov and Nikolai Kulemin are going to the Olympic Games in Vancouver as substitutes for the Russian team.
It is not officially announced yet but according to Russian site infox.ru Kovalev, Frolov, Zubov and Kulemin have received the Olympics equipment as well as other players from the official Team Russia roster. It means they are going to the Olympics in the status of substitute players.
Overall Russia will have 9 substitute players, three from the NHL and six from the KHL.
from the CP at CBC,
The accomplishments of some Canadian athletes at the 2010 Winter Games may be overshadowed because of the attention on the men’s hockey team, a multiple Olympic medallist said Friday.
Senator Nancy Greene Raine, who won gold and silver medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics, said hockey is such a huge part of the Canadian culture it sometimes pushes other sports out of the picture.
“I always felt it was good to be a female athlete because you were never compared against the hockey superstars,” Greene Raine told a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Vancouver board of trade.
“There is no doubt in my mind a lot of great Canadian male amateur athletes, Olympic athletes, what they’ve done has not been properly recognized because they are not hockey players. That is something you have to live with as a Canadian.
Peter Forsberg’s Olympic participation may be in jeopardy.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion, who was named to the Swedish Olympic team last month suffered a setback this week in his rehab for injured ribs.
Forsberg, who has been playing for Modo of the Swedish Elite League, was expected to make a comeback on Thursday against Farjestad, however he left the ice half-way through Wednesday’s training session.
The team issued a statement saying that the 2003 Hart Trophy winner will not be playing this week or next.
I see that many people are worried because of my decline in productivity. But the season is long and everybody has slowdowns. Do not worry I will be in my best form by the Olympics and I hope I will not let my country down.
-Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Russia. More from Malkin at RussiaToday.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Nearly 30 years ago, Mike Eruzione captained the United States to a most unexpected Olympic gold medal.
In Vancouver next month, Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner will try to lead the U.S. to its first Olympic gold in men’s ice hockey since then.
As expected, Langenbrunner was named the captain of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team in a teleconference this afternoon. Devils left wing Zach Parise, ex-Devils Brian Rafalski, Nashville’s Ryan Suter and Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown will be the alternate captains.
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.
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