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Category: International-Hockey

Sochi May Be The Last Olympics For NHL Players

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Not half a day into the beginning of an orientation camp for NHLers hoping to play for Canada, and whispering this latest era of NHL participation is near an end was growing louder.

"They won't be going to Korea," was a common refrain among media in Calgary for Hockey Canada's orientation camp, featuring 47 Canadian-born NHLers, along with a management team and coaching group largely culled from NHL staffs.

Team Canada simply chose to not go on the ice rather than fork over the cash to insure a few light skates. That doesn't bode well for future NHL participation.

The International Olympic Committee will pay in the neighbourhood of $8 million to insure NHLers playing in Sochi, a price tag that was a major sticking point in negotiations.

The NHL wants to revive the World Cup, playing every second year, and the ever-increasing cost of insurance will be a convenient excuse if and when the league makes its move to bow out of the Olympics.

Control over broadcast schedules, revenue, game sites and costs make the World Cup concept far more attractive to the NHL and its owners. Playing late in the summer and not interrupting the NHL season is also a benefit to the league.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Big Ice On Team Canada’s Mind

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

"The big-ice game is the big equalizer. It's the game that you can get swallowed up by as a North American player," Hitchcock told ESPN.com in a separate interview Sunday. "If we were guilty of anything before Torino, it's that we didn't do enough detail preparation knowing the changes in the game that were going to get played. The first mistake was an honest mistake -- that all of us felt there was a sense of obligation to that group from 2004 because they played so well."

At the management staff news conference Sunday, Lowe could not have spelled it out any more plainly.

"We are much more open-minded to have a different team than the gold-medal team in Vancouver," Lowe said. "Not that we were close-minded for '06 after Salt Lake but certainly respectful of the group that had won in '02. You know, there were the incumbents, the ones who had won … We felt they were still capable of delivering as a group. Well, this is a lot different than the National Hockey League. It is four years removed from [the Vancouver Olympics].

"The biggest lesson is foot speed -- for all players," Lowe added. "You have to be able to skate, and you have to be able to move the puck. We've seen that time and time again -- in '06 and [at the] World Championship the last couple of years. It's quite evident.

"The team will be made up of players who can skate, think and move the puck. There could be a number of changes from the gold-medal team in Vancouver."


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Morning Line

"...the people hear believe the Philadelphia Flyers were emphatic on him staying and that's the reason he is not here."

-Bob McKenzie of TSN on Claude Giroux not attending the Canadian Olympic Camp while he is rehabbing his injured hand

More information from the camp in this TSN video featuring, McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and James Duthie.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+giroux, team+canada

Canadian Networks Covering The Olympic Camps

via MediaCaster,

TSN’s James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Ray Ferraro are live on location in Calgary, with planned features and in-depth analysis across all of TSN’s media platforms.

TSN’s coverage begins today with the opening news conference (which will also be live streamed online) featuring Team Canada’s Executive Director Steve Yzerman, coach Mike Babcock and select players. Ongoing TSN coverage includes Sportscentre updates, exclusive digital platform reports and radio coverage on TSN and TEAM Radio stations

Meanwhile, Sportsnet‘s Hockey Central team - host Jeff Marek, analysts Nick Kypreos , Doug MacLean, and Mark Spector as well as reporters Gene Principe and Roger Millions – are also delivering orientation camp coverage, with player interviews, reactions, analysis and an in-depth look at Team Canada ahead of the Winter Games planned across the regional and national sports specialty services.

Sportsnet also heads south of the border to cover the U.S. National Men’s Team camp, with daily updates from Arlington, VA.

Sportsnet’s additional multi-platform coverage of the National Men’s Team camps across TV, digital and radio includes live streaming of the opening press conference, daily digital coverage of Canadian and U.S. camps, as well as radio coverage on  Sportsnet 960 The FAN.

Filed in: NHL Media, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+usa

Brian Burke Speaks On The Russian Anti-Gay Law

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

While Burke opposes a full-on boycott of the Games, he told TSN on Friday that he plans to fulfill his Team USA duties while staging his own personal protest of the new law.

“People should make it known that this type of bias can’t take place,” Burke said. “But I think a boycott is misplaced. A boycott punishes the athletes. If we say we’re not going in the face of these laws, I think that punishes every Canadian, American, Argentinian athlete that’s prepared so hard for these Games. I don’t think it’s appropriate.

“The appropriate measure should be that as long as these laws are on the books, Russia should not be awarded another international competition. In the meantime, they’ve got to guarantee everybody’s safety.”

Burke added that the International Olympic Committee also needs “ironclad” assurances from the Russian government that athletes, staff and fans will be “not only free from harassment but free from any type of prosecution” under those laws.

“I think they’re going to get the assurances they need and make sure that it’s safe for everybody,” Burke said.

read on

You can watch the short TSN segment with Burke here.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Hate, hate and more hate

That was the hockey world yesterday. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk was in his home country of Russia where the highly controversial anti-gay law has been making headlines at least once a day when he was asked about his take on it.

Now from what I have read online no one that is bashing or standing up for Datsyuk was actually there in Russia.  I think many, especially the further west in North America we go, were probably still asleep when the question was asked – that didn’t stop anyone from spreading out venom.

At this point every mainstream media, established bloggers and recreational tweeter has expressed their outrage over Datsyuk citing his religion as his answer to a politically driven question.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk, team+russia

Why Is Canada Having An Olympic Training Camp?

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

Four days of Team Canada meetings, fishing outings and golf isn't going to help Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock pick an Olympic team for the Rainbow Olympics in February scheduled for Sochi, Russia, nor is it going to help them win the tournament.

Foster team chemistry? When almost half of the 47 invitees are not going to make the cut when the team is announced? C'mon. Who is one supposed to bond with, exactly?

They can hand out the free stuff - Lord knows NHLers need more free t-shirts, etc. - let players know how one travels from North America to the Black Sea and even show some video and have a chalk talk on how Team Canada intends to navigate the larger international ice surface.

But none of that will help in February.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Afternoon Line

“He views asking people for information as a strength, not a weakness, and as something that can make him and the country better.”

“You couldn’t get a more loyal guy to work with. He’s very loyal to us [coaches], he’s loyal to the players and he’s very loyal to the country."

-Ken Hitchcock on Team Canada Head Coach Mike Babcock.  More on Babcock from Doug Harrison of CBC.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock, team+canada

Team Canada Talk

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Naturally, with each Olympics the numbers surrounding Canada’s men’s team go north. Except, as we noted, for one.

How many players are locks to make the Canadian team for Sochi in February?

“By my count, I’m at 11,” said Nicholson. “It’s never been that low. The number has always been higher.”

Alas, a number that’s gone south from years past. Even in-house at Hockey Canada, the number of National Hockey League players who are — barring injury — guaranteed spots in Sochi is a matter of some debate.

“I’d say there are probably, conservatively, maybe 10 locks,” said executive director of Team Canada and Tampa GM Steve Yzerman. “We’re taking 25 players. Ten may be a conservative number, sure, but half of this team is available for guys to make. At least half.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Forget The Olympics, Look To The World Cup

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

I respect that hockey players want to win Olympic gold, but considering the first time that NHLers were allowed to compete for a medal was 1998, most of them grew up in an era where it wasn’t even an option anyway. And as I said before, the World Cup is just as good, but comes without the baggage.

Hockey is an international game and the moves the NHL has made recently, such as hosting games in Europe and translating its website into different languages, are great. Many in the league have come down pretty definitively on the side of gay rights through the You Can Play Project and while I don’t expect Zdeno Chara to bust out a rainbow flag in defiance when he leaves the ice in Sochi, it is awkward to see the Games in Russia so soon after the flood of support for YCP in the NHL.

I don’t think the IOC has ever had the best interests of hockey in mind and if Sochi is the last time the NHL participates, it’s cool with me.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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