Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP at TSN,
The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League saw itself as the oil-rich rival to the NHL, offering a tempting, if less prestigious, alternative to playing in North America.
As the league planned to expand as far as Britain, the money on offer even attracted Russian stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov, who walked out on lucrative NHL deals to return home.
Then came the crash of the ruble this week.
The financial crisis has threatened the plans of players like former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Curtis Sanford, who came to Russia to save for his retirement.
"It's just really happened all of a sudden," the 35-year-old Sanford told The Associated Press. "These are some things that you don't expect when you sign a contract. Right now, you just have to ride the rolls of how it's going and hopefully it stabilizes and gets better."
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Hockey rules this remote part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where it is played by everyone from children to those in their 70s and 80s. All through the long winter it is always game on — in modern arenas, outside (into the wee hours of the night) and in two of the oldest hockey rinks in the world.
Professional hockey was born here in Copper Country in 1902, 15 years before the N.H.L. was formed. Even before that, the game was king in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and nearby towns when they were at the center of a mining boom.
The mining is gone, the woods dotted with abandoned buildings and ghost towns. Only about 44,000 live in the area now, but the love affair with hockey endures. And the Michigan Tech Huskies are winning again, at last.
The IIHF Hall of Fame Selection Committee has added seven new names to its pantheon of greats, and the newest members represent the pinnacle of the international game through a wide variety of contributions. In honour of the golden era of Czech hockey, goaltender Dominik Hasek and longtime captain Robert Reichel will be inducted. Joining them is Scott Niedermayer, the Triple Gold Club Canadian defenceman who has won at every level possible.
To celebrate 25 years of women’s hockey come two inductees, Fran Rider, as a Builder, the woman most responsible for the very creation of women’s hockey at the international level, and Swede Maria Rooth, the catalyst to the “Mirakel” in Turin in 2006.
Introducing a new trophy named after great Swiss star of the 1930s, Richard “Bibi” Torriani, the IIHF will honour Italian Lucio Topatigh, whose 20-year career with the Azzurri was exceptional in its own right.
Joining these inductees into the Hall of Fame is Monique Scheier-Schneider of Luxembourg, who will be the 2015 recipient of the Paul Loicq Award. The new class will be honoured next May in Prague during the medal weekend of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
continued which includes a biography on each inductee...
from the IIHF,
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has today announced a landmark three-year partnership with integrity specialists Sportradar. Under the partnership, Sportradar will monitor a total of three flagship tournaments from 2015 to 2017 and will deliver a total of 12 educational workshops, which will be targeted at participating players, officials, administrators and coaches.
Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System will monitor the world’s betting markets on the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship for the next three seasons, ensuring that any suspicious odds movements or patterns are flagged, analysed and forwarded to the IIHF. Furthermore, each of those tournaments will find Sportradar experts travelling to the host cities and providing all relevant participants with valuable insight and understanding of the global markets on ice hockey and the dangers posed by fixers.
“Very few sports excite and engage fans like ice hockey does. And we want to keep it that way,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “The integrity of our World Championships and our sport are central to that.”
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Expectations are bound to be a challenge when William Nylander makes the transition to the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Just how much of a challenge could depend largely on how the next couple weeks unfold at the World Junior Championship. When Nylander stepped onto Canadian soil with the rest of his Swedish teammates Tuesday, he found himself in possession of a unique opportunity.
He is both the Leafs top prospect and Sweden’s top centre for a high-profile tournament being played at Air Canada Centre.
That means the spotlight from two continents will be pointed in his direction.
It will be the first time most hockey fans in Toronto see him compete against kids his own age. Having the opportunity to compare him to his peers should underscore why the 18-year-old was selected with the eighth overall pick in June.
via Hometown Hockey,
At the age of 17, Marcel Dionne made the bold decision to leave his hometown of Drummondville, Quebec to play junior hockey in St. Catharine’s. It was a move that was highly criticized at the time, but 46 years later Dionne is still in the area proving that the Garden City was definitely greener pastures for the hockey superstar.
Odds to win 2014-2105 IIHF Men’s U20 World Championship (World Juniors)
Czech Republic 20/1
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Having Iowa so close is one reason why the Wild has kept its roster at 22 players the past few weeks as opposed to the maximum 23. It saves money and salary-cap space.
It’s an advantage the Anaheim Ducks (Norfolk is their affiliate), Arizona Coyotes (Portland, Maine), Colorado Avalanche (Erie, Pa.), Los Angeles Kings (Manchester, N.H.), San Jose Sharks (Worcester, Mass.) and even the Calgary Flames (Glens Falls, NY), Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma City) and Vancouver Canucks (Utica, N.Y.) don’t have.
That’s why as early as next season, there could be a titanic transformation in the AHL. The NHL’s chief development league is well on its way toward several relocations of eastern markets to western markets that’ll include some and eventually maybe all of the above teams.
“It’s a work in progress,” said David Andrews, the AHL’s president and CEO who attended Wednesday’s Wild-Montreal Canadiens game. “It has been for about 30 months. I would say the work is getting a little more intense, and I would say it’s eventually going to happen. We’re essentially working on a framework.
“Our relationship with each of the NHL teams is what our league is about, so if that’s what they want for player development, we’re committed to work with them and make it happen.”
more and other hockey topics...
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Speed, goaltending and a deep roster are three important components United States National Junior Team general manager Jim Johannson knows are critical at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Johannson feels he has plenty of that among the 30-man roster of players USA Hockey invited to selection camp that will be held on the campus of Boston University at Walter Brown Arena from Dec. 16-19. The select camp will help determine the final 23-man roster that will represent the country at the 2015 WJC beginning Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
The U.S. has medaled in three of the past five WJC tournaments, including gold in 2010 and 2013 and bronze in 2011.
"The game is about speed now and we have speed and our depth is going to be excellent," Johannson told USAHockey.com. "You also need good goaltending and we have good candidates. These [goalies] are going to have to take charge in there and it'll be a good competition since there are good goalies vying for the starting job.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Team Canada will announce its roster for its World Junior camp on Monday.
Whether touted Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin is on it or not, he said he'd prefer to continue playing in the NHL rather than participate in the tournament, which is from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Toronto and Montreal. The camp is from Dec. 7-9, with exhibitions starting Dec. 19.
"To be honest, I'd rather stay here," Drouin said Saturday. "It's one month you're away from the team and a lot of stuff is going to happen. I'd rather be here than play for World Juniors."
via Bob McKenzie tweets today...
Players invited do not include eligible NHLers (Lazar OTT, Duclair NYR, Horvat VAN, Drouin TB, Ekblad FLA, MacKinnon COL, Bennett CGY *inj).
Ekblad and MacKinnon, of course, are not actual considerations. Decisions on other four will be made by NHL clubs no later than Dec. 19.
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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