Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Reuters via the Globe and Mail,
Speaking at the SportAccord convention, Fasel and Bettman had a frank and sometimes heated exchange that underscored the difficult negotiations ahead for the NHL to remain part of the Olympics.
“It can be a challenge or a nightmare (bringing the NHL, IIHF, NHLPA Players’ Association and IOC together) and I take it as a challenge, a fantastic challenge and I will work day and night to have them (NHL players) in Sochi,” said Fasel.
The 2014 Games will be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi following next year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
But Bettman said: “It’s not so easy to simply say ‘Let’s go to the Olympics’. We shut down our season for two weeks to 17 days and there is a momentum to our season that is lost…it all comes to a screeching halt and we go off to the Olympics.
“No other league stops to go do this. In fact, baseball doesn’t do it and it’s no longer an Olympic sport. This is hard, it’s not always a good experience and the benefits we’ve sometimes seen were not always worth what we’ve had to sacrifice.
“I don’t think we get enough credit and I don’t think the IOC (International Olympic Committee) tends to recognize how difficult it is.”
from Andy Blatchford of the CP via MetroNews,
Staring across the ice, a pint-size kid wrapped in goalie gear sits impatiently on the bleachers, as if he’s trying to will the clock to wind down so his hockey practice can begin.
Like dozens of his schoolmates, peewee netminder Nikita Koltyrev travelled thousands of kilometres to a Quebec boarding college to learn how to play hockey - the Canadian way.
Harrington College of Canada, on the outskirts of Montreal, runs five hockey squads - from peewee to junior - packed with more than 60 international players.
While many Harrington students hail from the United States and Europe, others have made their way from the hockey backwater nations of England, Japan and Australia to polish their skills.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
All the top brass for the men’s Olympic team convened yesterday at Hockey Canada’s headquarters for their first face-to-face staff meeting since December. Steve Yzerman, executive director of the Olympic team, was there, along with Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland. Doug Armstrong, assistant GM of the St. Louis Blues, stayed over after his team played Calgary last Friday and Kevin Lowe was down from Edmonton for the meeting.
According to Yzerman, the meeting - which lasted almost 6½ hours - went over a number of logistical issues relating to their summer schedule, which will culminate with an orientation camp in Calgary in the final week of August.
The last couple of hours were spent fine-tuning their original player list, which was tweaked but not substantially altered.
from David Albright of ESPN,
Boston University sealed its No. 1 overall status in college hockey with a 1-0 win over UMass-Lowell at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday night to capture the Hockey East championship. The Terriers’ win kept the River Hawks from making the NCAA tournament field and it also allowed Ohio State to make the field of 16 as the last at-large team. So it’s somehow fitting that the Buckeyes and BU will face each other in the first round of the national tournament.
When the pairings for the 2009 NCAA men’s hockey tournament were announced on ESPN2 Sunday morning, the No. 1 seeds went to—in order—Boston University (Northeast), Notre Dame (Midwest), Denver (West) and Michigan (East).
The Providence Bruins hosted Albany last night and after the game goes scoreless through overtime, goalie Tuukka Rask loses his cool after two questionable calls in the shootout.
added 1:06pm, The Bruins Blog has more on the incident including comments from Rask.
DETROIT, Mich.—The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team advanced to the CCHA finals for the eighth time in nine years with its 3-1 victory over the Alaska Nanooks. On Saturday (March 21) at Joe Louis Arena, Michigan will face Notre Dame for the second time in three years in the CCHA Championship Game at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit. Alaska will play Northern Michigan in the semifinal game at 3:35 p.m.
from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,
The basic rule of dressing room trash talk is: “The best defense is a good offense,” but most guys aren’t able to think of anything snappy – especially if somebody, heaven forbid, hits them with something clever.
And that’s what separates the trash-talk all-stars from the rest of the room: You need to make specific, personal cuts that make a guy think. You gotta cut deep. Yes, this damages friendships, but they heal; it’s not The Hills.
It’s like the jail theory we’ve all heard: On your first day, kick somebody’s ass so people know you aren’t to be messed with. You have to take it too far a couple times so people know you’re one of the guys who will throw a guy under the bus if he gets too personal with you….
The most common chirp involves girls.
There are some guidelines: serious girlfriends and wives are generally off-limits (to the guy’s face).
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
It’s a curious time for Russians to be in positions of such individual dominance in the NHL.
And a dangerous time, at least for those Canadians who dream of winning Olympic gold on home soil next February in Vancouver.
Russia, you see, is supplying fewer and fewer players to the NHL these days, with only 31 skaters and goaltenders having played for the league’s 30 teams this season.
That’s about 3 per cent of the league’s total playing population and about half the number of Russians that were in the NHL a decade ago.
At the same time, however, Mother Russia’s athletes have never soared on North American rinks in quite the style they do now.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
He played 19 NHL seasons for five teams, and when his career wound up in 2004 with the Calgary Flames, Dave Lowry turned to coaching instead of endlessly pursuing a lower handicap.
Yes, coaching, that thankless undertaking of the hockey lifer.
For three years he worked as an assistant with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Now he is one of 19 former NHL players working as head coaches in the Canadian Hockey League. Lowry took over behind the bench when Kelly Kisio assumed the general manager’s duties full-time before the season.
After years of leading the lush life as NHL players — first-class hotels, charter aircraft, five-star restaurants — Lowry and peers are riding the buses across the Prairies in the WHL, and through the hinterland of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
continued and make sure to check the left sidebar at the Globe and Mail for related articles…
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
There’s no storybook ending here. Montreal is on to the QMJHL playoffs this week. Business as usual. Angelo Esposito is out for the season with a blown-out knee, unable to build on success at the world juniors. Sad, but he’ll get another chance. Benjamin Rubin won’t though. He has played his last junior game. If he ever plays another meaningful game, he doesn’t know where it will be.
Some Orthodox Shomer Jews expect Benjamin to see the error of his ways. A friend of the Rubins, a Shomer Jew, even calls Rabbi Baron’s dispensation “bulls—-.” One rabbi says that the door won’t be shut to Benjamin but he must “express remorse and make a sincere verbal commitment not to transgress again.”
Benjamin’s not remorseful, just angry. “If I had played on the Shabbat when I started out in Quebec, I’d be a first-line player there now,” he says. “I was making up for lost time from the start. My little brother David’s going to be a player ... and he’s playing on the Shabbat, so hopefully something good comes out of this.”
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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