Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I don’t know any other sport that closes its door for 2½ weeks in the middle of the season. What I’d like to see is this become a Summer Olympic Games [sport]....”
-Brian Burke speaking about the Olympics as it relates to Ice Hockey. More from Burke at the Globe and Mail.
added 5:14pm, from Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice,
But whatever you do, leave the sport of hockey in the Winter Olympics. If the NHL teams and players wanna take their puck and go home, let them. We don’t need any more manufactured drama, nor does the league need to shut down its product during two weeks of the worst month of the year.
Then again, having NHL stars play in the Olympics means there’s no NHL All-Star Game that season.
Hmm, let me reconsider this.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Longtime American warriors—as Team USA GM Brian Burke likes to call them—such as Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk won’t be battling for roster spots when the camp opens Monday in suburban Chicago. Instead, it’s a younger, faster, American team that hopes to spend a few days developing chemistry and learning coach Ron Wilson’s system.
Factor in the expected appearance of Patrick Kane, who was arrested following an incident with a Buffalo cab driver, and there’s plenty to watch for during the three-day camp, including:
1. Will Patrick Kane talk?
The American players know that there might be a little more media coverage surrounding the Olympic orientation, thanks to Kane’s arrest and the proximity of the event to Chicago.
“If there were going to be 20 (media) guys there, now there will be 40,” said Hainsey, a key member of the improving Atlanta Thrashers defense. “From our side, we don’t have a clue about what happened.”
from Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press,
Michigan State hockey player A.J. Sturges released a statement Thursday to media members criticizing the football program’s decision to reinstate Glenn Winston, the sophomore running back who injured him during an off-campus altercation in October.
“In my opinion, the immediate reinstatement of Glenn Winston to the football team reflects very poorly on Michigan State athletics,” Sturges wrote. “This decision has established weak precedent for future athletes involved in violent crimes.”
Sturges said he suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and had to have five stitches inside his mouth after taking a punch to the side of the head from Winston. Sturges missed the 2008-09 season and said he was forced to drop academic courses because of memory issues and headaches resulting from the injuries.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Less than six months until the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Less than a week until the first of the summer orientation camps that will provide a first glimpse into what the United States and Canadian squads might look like come February.
With that in mind, here are some of the burning questions and Olympic odds and ends as the clock ticks down:
American GM Brian Burke has made no secret of how he plans to build his Olympic team, and that’s with plenty of sand. Look for two forward lines with as much skill as the Americans can collect and two lines with a lot of in-your-face personality. Same goes for the blue line, as Burke will want size and mobility that can hopefully withstand opposing forecheckers and move the puck quickly and smartly out of the defensive zone.
continued with many of the Olympic teams discussed…
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
As far as Hockey Canada is concerned, the issue of insurance coverage for the country’s best players has a giant check mark beside it.
“Everything is fine,” Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, said regarding the controversy over insurance coverage for NHLplayers attending the upcoming orientation camp for potential 2010 Olympic team members.
“We have secured insurance to help protect the players - given the low risk there is - to give them peace of mind.”
Peace of mind doesn’t describe the mindsets of the NHL or NHL Players’ Association - at least judging by recent public comments regarding the camp.
added 7:50pm, Icethetics may have the first pictures of what the Team Canada sweater may look like for 2010.
Police in southern Ontario have launched a fraud investigation after about 60 young hockey players said they paid thousands to attend a European tournament that didn’t happen.
The players, who are mostly from southern Ontario and in their late teens, paid roughly $3,000 each to travel to France to participate in the tournament.
Event organizer Ontario Central Scouting (OCS) promised dozens of professional hockey scouts would be at the tournament, said the players.
Instead, when they returned to Toronto on Tuesday, the dejected group said there was no tournament and they ended up playing a few games against each other….
OCS blamed the International Ice Hockey Federation — the organization that governs hockey around the world — saying it warned European scouts to stay away from the Canadian players because the OCS was not sanctioned by Hockey Canada.
from Alex Clark of USA Hockey,
The 2009 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp is packed with teenagers from traditional hockey hotbeds. Of the 43 camp invitees, 17 hailed from either Michigan or Minnesota.
As hockey continues to spread in popularity across the United States, however, elite players are emerging on USA Hockey’s radar from areas of the country not known for their hockey devotion.
Looking ahead, if the Atlanta Thrashers don’t sign Ilya Kovalchuk by next summer, the KHL probably would offer to make him the highest-paid player on the planet.
Right now the KHL is inflicting pin pricks on the NHL, but if they ever landed a prime player such as Kovalchuk, it could turn the league into a foreign version of the World Hockey Association.
-Kevin Allen of Mucking & Grinding at USA TODAY. More on the KHL from Kevin…
via RDS (translated),
Nikolai Zherdev crossed the Atlantic in his turn. The former Rangers player would accept a new contract with the team Yulaev Salavat Ufa in the KHL.
added 4:57pm, from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Hedges (zherdev’s agent) also said Monday that Zherdev – who’s three times in five years topped the 20-goal mark – was currently working out with a Russian team. But he also said Zherdev was still talking to a handful of NHL teams, and that Zherdev probably wouldn’t make any decisions until next week.
So when I saw the RDS report today, I followed up with an e-mail to Hedges, asking him to clarify the situation. His response from just over a half hour ago: ``(Zherdev) has not signed at this point.’’
from CTV Olympics,
The NHL Players’ Association is recommending that players who participate in Olympic orientation camps this summer “seriously consider” purchasing additional insurance coverage in the event of injury because their contracts do not cover activities at the camps.
“The league has taken the position that our members’ Standard Player Contracts (SPC) will not cover activities at the Orientation Camps, and that they will therefore be participating at their own risk,” said Paul Kelly, NHLPA executive director, in a statement.
“Following discussions with Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, they have recently agreed to increase the insurance coverage they are providing to our members invited to their Orientation Camps,” he continued.
“Unfortunately the federations’ insurance coverage is still very limited.”
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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