Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,
Think Canada has a monopoly on player selection controversies? Or is the only country immersed in discussion about who will play where during the men’s 2010 Winter Olympics hockey tournament?
It’s just as bad - and maybe worse - in Russia, which has the added complication of balancing players from its own domestic league (the Continental Hockey League or KHL) as well as its stars in the NHL.
Politics is the stepchild of modern international hockey, and so for the Vancouver Games, the Russians opted for nine players from the KHL, and the rest from the NHL.
If Washington Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov is dropped for injury reasons, the third goalie to play behind Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes and Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks is expected to come from the KHL.
Even though Russian coach Slava Bykov is considered a progressive leader, he adopted one of the principles from the old Soviet days and will play four five-man units.
Great Inside Hockey Segment by Elliotte Friedman last night. Enjoy.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Mike Komisarek received some unfortunate news Saturday night that will almost certainly end his hopes of competing in the Vancouver Olympics with Team USA.
The big Leafs defenceman’s injured shoulder will keep him sidelined up to another seven days – a span that will push him past a deadline to prepare for the Games….
Burke, meanwhile, has several choices to replace Komisarek.
Candidates include Pittsburgh’s Alex Goligoski, Anaheim’s Ryan Whitney, Atlanta’s teenage blueliner Zach Bogosian and Carolina’s Tim Gleason.
“I’m not here for the NHL, I don’t work for them, but I think we all have the same common goal to make the game of hockey bigger and better worldwide. I think the NHL knows and understands that. I hope that when they (the KHL, the IIHF and the NHL) meet in Vancouver (during the Olympics), they can all come to an understanding that will make both leagues happy.”
-Wayne Gretzky at the KHL All-Star Game. More by Risto Pakarinen at The Hockey News.
from Dmitry Chesnokov at PuckDaddy,
I caught up with Robert Esche after a recent KHL game between SKA and Dinamo Minsk to get his take on playing in the KHL. Esche was riding a bike in an NHL-like equipped training room inside the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg after his team dropped the decision to Dinamo Minsk.
Q. Do you think it is still an option for you being three years out of the NHL to come back to North America?
ESCHE: I don’t know. Right now I am a free agent over here. Obviously, I love St. Petersburg, and I love playing over here. If it works in the NHL, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I have kind of taken on a different role in my life, as opposed to when I was in Philly. I just went into a different direction. You just learn a lot about yourself when you’re over here. I think this was something I was lacking in the NHL. I guess time will tell what happens.
The PR folks for Bodog.com passed these on to me…
Odds to Win the 2010 Olympic Ice Hockey Championship
Czech Republic 15/1
Wattch It. Play It. Live It.
Hockey Weekend Across America has been a big success as a national platform to celebrate the game and in 2010, the event will have a stronger focus on growing the game,
All the information about HWAA can be found here
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.
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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