Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ken Campbell at THN,
European federations have no problem losing their best young players to the NHL; they’ve grown to accept that as a fact of life. But what they’re finally fed up with is losing top young players and seeing them play in the American Leauge. This season, for example, 64 European players signed their first NHL contracts, but only seven of them are playing in the NHL.
That’s why the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation recently reported it is likely going to pull out of the IIHF’s agreement with the NHL and the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation will probably follow suit. Under the terms of the four-year agreement reached last spring, individual European federations have the right to terminate their portions of the agreement prior to Dec. 31 of this year.
Should the Swedes and Finns pull out of the agreement, it will leave it in shambles. The Russian federation has already opted out of the deal and losing two more federations would make it worthless.
An assistant coach has been suspended three years for his involvement in a bench-clearing hockey brawl between two teams of eight-year-old players.
Randy Brant of the Niagara Falls Thunder will not be allowed to coach or be involved in minor hockey in any way after leaving the bench during the melee in a tournament in Guelph, Ont., on Nov. 23.
The suspension was handed down by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association over the weekend.
One of many complaints that casual sports fans have about hockey is that there are too many “foreigners” in our league. Which, by the way, is utter bunk because they support the NBA’s European and Asian outreach, and the Major Leagues are now making Hispanic players the norm.
But, they do have a point. The NFL, a league with 99.9999999% Americans in it, is the man in the United States right now. The NHL needs some new and talented red, white and blue blood.
...the team selects Max Gerlach…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Sweden’s hockey federation voted last night to formally sever ties to the IIHF agreement. Finnish Ice Hockey Federation managing director Heikki Hietanen says a similar discussion will take place Wednesday in Helsinki. Hietanen says Finnish teams are similarly vexed over losing young players to North American junior teams. He says Finnish teams also aren’t pleased the agreement sees them receive U.S. dollars as compensation. Euros would be a more appropriate currency, Hietanen says.
It’s troubling news for the NHL because free agency in countries like Russia, particularly, could prove elusive.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see every young NHL-calibre player basically forced to sign a long-term contract and never win the right to free agency,” says one NHL player agent with several Russian clients.
from Capitals Insider,
Hershey Bears defenseman Jame Pollock has left the team and signed with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Super League.
The Bears/Capitals immediately suspended him without pay, but that’s probably all the organization will be able to do because Russia isn’t covered by the IIHF’s transfer agreement.
From the Canadian Press,
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey league fined the Quebec Remparts $2,000 Thursday following an incident involving head coach Patrick Roy.
Roy, the NHL’s all-time leader in wins by a goaltender, earned an extreme game misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after confronting the officials following Sunday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Roy was not suspended for the incident.
from the Sports Ticker via Yahoo,
One day after the team bus of the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals crashed, three members of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs were involved in an incident with a vehicle in Windsor, Ontario on Friday morning.
Defenseman Jonathan Sciacca, backup goaltender Anthony Peters and assistant trainer Kurt Pearson were injured while taking a walk at approximately 11 a.m. The Frontenacs still were in Windsor after facing the Spitfires on Thursday night.
The injuries were described as non-life threatening, but all three men were taken to the hospital and treated.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has voted to play all upcoming international tournaments scheduled for North America between 2008-2012 – including the 2008 World Championship – on NHL-size rinks.
Generally, IIHF tournaments are played on international-size rinks, which measure 200 feet long by 100 feet wide. The NHL ice surface is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide.
To compensate for the loss in ice width, the IIHF Council, voting in Zurich, will use NHL ice markings. The blue line on an NHL rink is 64 feet from the end boards, while international-size rinks place the blue line just 58 feet out.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Brian Boucher was living large again. No overnight herking and jerking in his bus seat this time. No cricks in his neck or tightened hamstrings from sleeping sideways, no sudden awakenings because of red lights that changed too fast, or drivers who loved to brake, or worst of all, those crater-sized potholes hidden amid moonless nights.
No, this bus had satellite television. And bunks. Not exactly Ritz-Carlton material, or even rock-star status. More like an Extended Stay America on wheels. But better than those upright rides up and down Route 13 to Norfolk, all the same.
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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