Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Russia is the team to beat in Vancouver, according the GM of the defending Olympic hockey champions.
“I think the Russians, in my opinion, are fairly heavy favorites,” Swedish Olympic team GM Mats Naslund told ESPN.com this week. “But otherwise, I think Canada, the Czechs and Sweden can win it. It’s a tough tournament to pick the winner.
“It’s always very close,” Naslund added. “You need that extra luck that we had in Torino. There’s probably three or four teams that can win it.”
from MarketWire via the Earth Times,
Team Canada 72 and Ficel Marketing Corp., Team Canada’s marketing agency of record are offering the Official and First Ever Team Canada jersey from 1972, to our Olympic Athletes in 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
This jersey has become the most recognizable hockey jersey in Canadian Sports History….
“That is the best Team Canada jersey. I don’t know why we changed it.” Wayne Gretzky
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Even if it is sometimes easy to forget, Steve Yzerman actually does have a day job.
Officially, he is the Detroit Red Wings’ vice president/hockey, which places Yzerman just between general manager Ken Holland and vice president/assistant general manager Jim Nill on the NHL team’s administrative pecking order.
But nowadays, wherever he goes and whatever he does, Yzerman is primarily identified as executive director of Canada’s 2010 men’s Olympic hockey team.
added 6:16pm, The link to the story changed on me, but is now working.
USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Gary Bettman. From NHL.com:
Ogrean will discuss the second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, which begins Friday, Feb. 13 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15. Hockey Weekend Across America celebrates hockey and those involved in the game at all levels and also seeks to expose the game to additional audiences to attract more players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans to the sport.
Ogrean’s booking on the NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman also coincides with the one-year countdown to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The Games represent the 30th anniversary of the U.S. ‘Miracle On Ice’ at Lake Placid and the 50th anniversary of the U.S. capturing the Olympic gold at Squaw Valley.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208). You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments to this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We had arranged to interview the KHL president and oil magnate through a league spokesman. We thought the timing was right given the Jaromir Jagr rumors, the Ray Emery situation, the world economic crisis, the nose-diving Russian ruble, falling oil prices and, well, the KHL’s survival.
An Edmonton Journal blog had the industry chirping Tuesday when it speculated the Oilers were taking another run at Jagr (they tried to sign him last July). The Oilers denied it. As we pointed out Tuesday, Jagr can’t leave his Russian contract with Omsk Avangard; and besides, if he did somehow sign with the Oilers, he’d have to clear NHL waivers first.
“Mr. Jagr played today for Avangard,” said Medvedev, who was in New York to take in the Capitals-Rangers game. “Legally, he has a contract. It would surprise me if it was really true that Edmonton tried to negotiate a deal with Mr. Jagr. I don’t like those rumors. But Edmonton publicly announced it wasn’t the case.”
Besides, continued Medvedev, Jagr is signed for “two years plus one [option].”
“And there is no-out clause [in the contract],” added Medvedev.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
No matter how hard Hockey Canada tries, no matter how much it begs, the International Olympic Committee refuses to let it put the traditional Team Canada logo on the sweaters for the 2010 Olympics.
The IOC just confirmed it will strictly enforce the no-logo policy on all Olympic uniforms. It sounds rather silly on the surface, especially considering Team Canada has used the same design for 14 years. But Hockey Canada is a corporation, their symbol is a brand, and the IOC argues that allowing it would lead nations to go a little logo…loco.
From Pierre LeBrun at his ESPN blog:
We have an update for you on that Ray Emery situation we first told you about this past weekend. The former Ottawa Senators goalie has had a change of heart and returned to his Russian hockey club in the KHL.
“I talked to Ray on Monday, and we made the decision that he should go back,” his agent, J.P. Barry, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I felt that he should finish what he started and that we would continue to work out the compensation issue.”
Emery didn’t report back to Mytishchi Atlant last week after the league’s break, citing a breach of contract with the club. Emery and Barry believed the Russian team has been using the wrong exchange rate to pay the goalie, and by their count, they were down about 33 percent in pay throughout the course of the season. Emery threatened to stay home in Ottawa until the matter was resolved, but he arrived back in Russia on Tuesday.
From Arthur Staple at Newsday:
“It was just a real important time in my life,” [Sean Avery] said today. “Just one of those things where I took some time to sit back and help myself become a better person. It was amazing. It was something that was important for me as a person, as a man. Actions speak louder than words.”
It’s Avery’s actions that will be scrutinized when he does get into a game with Hartford. That likely won’t happen until Saturday, or possibly a week from today—he said he did not do much skating in his two months away—and then, he’ll have to show he can be the abrasive, sometimes abusive, edge player who got himself that multi-million dollar deal.
“I’ve been playing hockey for a long time, and my on-ice game has never been an issue,” he said. “It’s other things I was working on. But I’m sure there’s still going to be an element of Sean Avery hockey that’s exciting to watch.”
from Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer,
Head coach Derek Wilkinson, Mann and I meet in the coaches’ office three hours before the game to talk strategy. Wilkinson offered me a one-game gig as an assistant. I get to see the game from his perspective, and the Checkers get publicity.
In the office is a desk, two laptops, a sofa and a cooler with one Coke and at least 15 cans of Bud Light.
At 2:30, we walk down the hall to the locker room to address the players. Mann stands in front of a dry-erase board and talks about inside hockey stuff such as PKs, the F3 pushing to the neutral zone, CFLs and PFKLs. As we leave, a player yells, “Maybe coach Tom would like to put something on the board.”
There’s a tradition. Somebody will write on the board the amount of money he or she will donate to the team’s fines/party fund if the team wins. I write $20, which makes me the team’s new most popular coach.
read on and thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
The 2010 Olympics qualification games are underway in Europe, and Germany has now locked up a spot in next year’s big hockey fest in Vancouver. From the IIHF:
Despite the fact that there is still one day left in the Group E qualification tournament, Germany sealed its spot after winning its first two games and earning six points. Austria, Slovenia and Japan all have two points heading into the last day and cannot catch the Germans in the standings.
Germany also found itself in the hockey news recently on another front: they’re seeking to set a world record for attendance at a single hockey game.
The current record is 74,554 fans who attended a college match between Michigan and Michigan State on October 6, 2001, in the American Football stadium of East Lansing, Michigan.
German organizers expect to break that record with the the opening game of the 2010 world hockey championships, with 75,976 tickets available to the public. The tickets finally went on sale a couple days ago, and reports from Germany (thanks to a KK reader) are that they’ve already sold 35,000 seats—and the game is still 15 months away!
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