Kukla's Korner Hockey
To get you excited, we are previewing the best possible teams for each country. Let it be clear that these teams are the best case scenarios. Certain players have retired from international play, some have chosen not to play in the past, some may simply opt out or be injured. We don’t know for sure what each player will end up deciding a year from now. But countries are already formulating their squads, so we’ll look at the best possible team to give you an idea as to who will show up in Vancouver in 2010.
In this nine part series we’ll profile the “Big 7″, plus have an extra post outlining players to watch on the other squads in the tourney.
Check it out and be sure to scroll down where you’ll find the links to all the individual national preview posts. Great work.
from Katie Thomas of the New York Times,
WHITBY, Ontario — As a rookie defenseman for the Whitby Dunlops, a storied amateur hockey team in this Toronto suburb, Donald Sanderson impressed his teammates as a passionate and intense competitor.
Every time the puck dropped, the 21-year-old Sanderson shed his otherwise fun-loving demeanor and focused on the game. He was the type of guy, teammates said, who seemed to care more about the team than he did for himself.
“He was fierce,” said Matt Armstrong, an assistant coach. “He would do anything it took to win the game.”
from Joe O’Connor of the National Post,
Kurt Jory could feel his life slipping away, and he told his friend, Isaac Smeltzer, who was there beside him, holding his hand, that if he died on the ice at the Windsor Arena to tell his family that he loved them. He was worried about his mom and dad, his older brother, and younger sister. Jory did not know what they would do if he was just gone, without even having a chance to say goodbye.
The tall and gangly starting goaltender for the Brock University Badgers hockey team was sitting rink side at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre watching his teammates practice earlier this week. Jory appeared to be perfectly healthy save for his right arm, which was cradled by a blue sling.
from Steven Buono of the Darien Times,
“Yeah, I’m not happy about being in the AHL,” said Shannon during the league’s mid-season break this week. “I am trying to get (ahead), play my best.”
The current turmoil could help, with possibly a second call-up as the Sens inevitably open the tool box wide and start throwing every hammer and wrench at their dilemma soon.
“I just continue to work on my craft, to get to play in the NHL,” said Shannon, who is the B-Sens alternate captain and leading scorer with 10 goals, 26 points in 25 games. “I think of myself as an NHL player. And hopefully it’s just a matter of time before I am back.”...
“I felt that my first game they were happy with what I did,” Shannon said of his strong effort vs. the Islanders at Scotiabank Place on Nov. 13. “But, the Ottawa organization right now is going through a lot of, trouble, so… Who knows what is going to happen.”
from Ben Clymer at the Hockey News,
Hey everyone. Everything is going great here in Belarus with Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinental League. I was recently part of a special event I’d like to share with you that was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The KHL All-Star Game took place in Moscow’s Red Square Saturday and pitted Team Jagr (or the import all-stars) against Team Yashin (or the Russian all-stars) and I was fortunate enough to have been chosen to play….
I loved being able to participate in this event because of the history of where it was being played, not only political, but hockey-related as well. I didn’t know this, but Igor Ulanov told me there was a game there in 2006 that pitted some of the Russian all-time greats (Sergei Makarov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, etc.) against ex-NHLers for charity. Red Square brings a unique atmosphere and it was neat to be involved with something that is similar to what the NHL has been doing in recent years.
Will other leagues follow, including the NHL?
Watch a report from the CBC.
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
Friday night, they broadcast the Ducks’ game played here against Tampa Bay.
Saturday morning, they broadcast an all-star game played in Moscow.
Yeah, thatMoscow, the one in Russia. Not the one in Idaho.
Estimated travel time from Southern California: 12 hours.
How did they do this, exactly? How’d they leave Honda Center at 11 p.m. and, six hours later, call a game 6,000 miles away?
“Three cups of coffee,” Brent Severyn said, “and two doughnuts did it for me.”
It also helped that NBC was able to bring Moscow to them, to Severyn and partner John Ahlers, the two taking a red-eye drive, just 45 minutes up the freeway, transatlantic carpooling.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
If you’re a fan of elite international competitions, you’ll be happy to hear the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association are working toward staging another World Cup of Hockey tournament in the not-too-distant future.
According to an informed source, the sides are looking at two dates, the most probable being late August/early September of 2011. Another possibility is Feb. 2012. That date, however, is less likely because of the need to shut down the 2011-12 NHL regular season to accommodate the tournament. The owners aren’t thrilled with the idea of dimming the lights during the season for any reason. They do so grudgingly to allow the players to participate in the Olympics. In this case, I believe they’d be wise to at least consider it.
According to the Calgary Herald, Swedish club Vasteras was under the assumption that Backlund would rejoin them after the World Junior Hockey Championship.
‘‘Mikael Backlund has not been given permission to play for another club,’’ Vasteras official Anders Eklund told the Swedish media. ‘‘There is nothing in his agreement with us that allows him to play for a club in North America and we don’t think it’s right that he did this without communicating with us.
‘‘We are very disappointed in Backlund’s conduct in this case and do not think he acted honestly.’
Backlund suited up for the Calgary Flames last week. Read on.
Update 3:05pm ET: Here’s the original report in the Calgary Herald.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
As the race to the 2009 Entry Draft in June approaches the halfway point, one thing has become clear, there are two runners leading the pack, with everyone else fighting for third.
London Knights center John Tavares and Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman top the North American and European skater rankings, respectively, in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings, released Monday.
Central Scouting ranked the top 210 North American skaters, the top 30 North American goaltenders, the 148 top European skaters and the 12 best European goalies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org