Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Peter O’Neil at the National Post,
Hockey Canada formally complained to the International Ice Hockey Federation on Thursday over an IIHF official denigrating players such as Sidney Crosby for not playing at the IIHF world hockey championship.
Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson appeared to be in damage-control mode after speaking earlier in the day to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
But Nicholson dodged a question on whether he is concerned the IIHF’s attack on no-shows could jeopardize Hockey Canada’s ability to recruit players for future international competitions and championships.
“Gary was upset, there was no question he was upset that there was no appreciation for the National Hockey League owners allowing their players to come here,” Nicholson told reporters before the Canada-Russia quarter-final match.
“We have a lot of players who would like to play, but they can’t play without the support of the ownership.”
added 3:32pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
U.S. general manager Brian Burke believes the International Ice Hockey Federation should abandon holding a world championship in Olympic years.
“It’s nothing short of based on greed in my opinion. The IIHF doesn’t want to acknowledge that,” Burke told ESPN.com on Thursday morning.
Burke said the IIHF makes about $20 million from the tournament, and therefore have a vested interest in getting top players to take part. But national teams traditionally have struggled to attract top players in Olympic years.
from Mark Seidel at CBC,
As I travel across the country in airports, arenas, coffee shops and anywhere else, I’m always asked some common questions, so I thought it may be enlightening to the readers to list the questions and their answers here to give a glimpse into the life as a professional hockey scout and some of my experiences.
1. How many games do you go to in a year?
It’s a tough question to answer because the preparation for the various major junior drafts means I frequently attend tournaments where you can see parts of 20 games in a day, which skews the answer. By using the phenomenal scouting software, RinkNet, I have the ability to go back and look at how many games I went to last season and the breakdown was as follows:
* Major junior/import draft preparation – Parts of 154 games.
* NHL draft preparation – 98 games.
* AHL/ECHL/NHL games – 19 games.
from the CP at TSN,
Hockey Canada has come out in defence of Sidney Crosby after the International Ice Hockey Federation included him in a swipe at players who declined invitations to attend the world hockey championship.
The IIHF posted a story titled “Saying No to Your Country” on its website Wednesday, claiming that players who chose not to participate were turning “their backs not only on the team and its fans but also to the system which developed them and made them rich and famous.” The story, written by IIHF communications director Szymon Szemberg, names Crosby, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Backstrom, among others.
“How can a player who is 22 or 25 or 27, and who was just eliminated from the playoffs be tired?” Szemberg wrote. “Tired is a miner who works in a damp pit in Miktivka, in the Donetz Plateau in Ukraine, who never sees daylight and who provides living for a family of five in a modest two-room apartment. That is tired.
“Tired is a divorced mother with two young kids who double shifts as a nurse assistant and cleaning lady to make ends meet.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
...At the world championships, currently being held in Germany, Ovechkin is back to being silent. Apparently, the Russian paparazzi took videos of some players smoking cigarettes. And in response, Ovechkin and the rest of the team has decided the boycott all Russian reporters.
Even if this is a team policy, it is inexcusable.
We like Ovechkin. We really do. We think he is one of the most talented players to have ever played in the NHL. And the fact that he decided to represent Russia after being eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs shows his dedication to the sport.
But the NHL needs him to be more than just a goal-scorer. They need him to entertain. They need him to be available to the media after every win or loss. They need him to wear silly hats and sing silly jingles.
But, most importantly, they need him to talk.
from Alan Adams at CBC,
Daniel Bellissimo was never drafted by an NHL team. But the Toronto-born goalie who plays for Italy showed how he could handle NHL shooters on Tuesday, at least those from the United States.
Bellissimo held Italy in the game for as long as he could but he slumped over in his crease with fatigue and disappointment when TJ Oshie scored in a sudden-death shootout to give the United States a 3-2 win.
It was last relegation round game for both teams and the odds of the United States being demoted to the world B pool were not good. The Americans had to lose by eight goals to be pushed out of international hockey’s elite division.
As things turned out, the U.S. finished first in the relegation round standings and wound up in 13th place in the 16-team tournament. France was second for 14th place, while Italy and Kazakhstan are headed back to the B pool.
from the CP at the Hamilton Spectator,
Mark Messier says it’s time for Team Canada to show some heart at the world championship.
The team’s GM brought a group of young players here, hoping they’d be hungry for success. Instead, they have showed little emotion in lacklustre losses to Switzerland and Sweden.
The latest defeat prompted a number of blunt assessments from the Canadian camp ahead of tonight’s round-robin finale against the Czech Republic (TSN, 10:15 a.m. ET).
“I think that through this tournament we’re getting a good reality check,” Messier said yesterday. “The same things win hockey games at any level and at any tournament. You have to play with heart and passion and you have to execute. If you don’t do those things, there’s a good chance you’re going to get beaten no matter who you’re playing.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Is there a more patriotic country than Russia? I don’t think so. You don’t see any of their players turning down chances to play in the world championship, no matter how tired or disappointed they were after their NHL seasons ended. If they don’t win a third straight world title, it’ll be a shock.
• We heard all season that the Oilers had too many smurfs, that they got pushed around too much, but, obviously, it has to be the right small guys. Nothing wrong with Mike Cammalleri or Brian Gionta last time I looked. And Kyle Wellwood was one of the Canucks’ best playoff performers.
a few more quick hitters…
from the CP at TSN,
Steven Stamkos will miss Canada’s next game at the IIHF World Hockey Championship with a possible concussion.
The star forward suffered the injury during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Switzerland when he got elbowed in the jaw during a collision with defenceman Timo Helbling. Stamkos sat out the entire third period of the game and will be kept on the sidelines for precautionary reasons when Canada plays again Friday.
“I think it’s just a protocol that you follow when someone has the symptoms that he had,” said Canadian GM Mark Messier. “It’s not a blunt blow to the head, that kind of concussion. It’s a different kind when you get hit in the jaw. There’s still a protocol to follow and we’re going to do that because it’s the right thing to do.”
via a Chris Johnston tweet,
Ryan Smyth says he has a fractured ankle. He’s heading back to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“The game has changed, there’s no question about it. We’re not a country like Canada or Russia — if the top 20 guys say no, they can still put together a great team. We just don’t have those kind of players. And the players should realize it — you never know, because the level of hockey is getting better.
“You can see Denmark beat Finland (on Saturday). If your top guys don’t go to world championship, it might happen that your team next year might play in B group.”
-Jaromir Jagr talking about the lack of elite players on the Czech World Championship team. More from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail.
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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