Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Memo to the league: Shea Weber thinks NHLers should go to the 2018 Olympics -- even if they are being held halfway around the world.
Would you argue with Weber, one of the toughest hombres in the game and a two-time gold medal winner with Team Canada?
“The Olympic experience is incredible,” Weber said Friday. “When it comes to representing your country, what can top that?”
Weber’s sentiments were echoed by the likes of John Tavares and Steven Stamkos. But will their voices be heard by NHL owners?
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
According to reports, the NHL and NHLPA are expected to announce the details Friday for the return of the World Cup of Hockey. Among those details is a new team of European All-Stars that would comprise of players who aren't from the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland or Sweden.
If Streit were selected, he'd be suiting up with players like Slovakians Tomas Tatar and Zdeno Chara, Solvenian-born Anze Kopitar and Norwegian Mats Zuccarello.
"I don't like it at all. Not one thing about it," Streit said. "It's a nations tournament. You love playing for your country."
The format of the new World Cup, which hasn't been played since 2004, is to have the European All-Star team, a North American "Young Guns" team comprised of players under 23 years old, Canada, the U.S. and the four aforementioned European nations.
"It's supposed to be the top eight (countries)," said Streit, who represented Switzerland in 12 World Championships. "For players, you want to play for your team. That's the whole purpose of it. I don't know. I don't like it at all. There's supposed to be the top eight. Go with that. Whoever's in is in; whoever's not is not. This is…I don't know."
from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the more curious fixtures on the NHL calendar. Ostensibly it’s a chance for the CHL draft-eligible elites to showcase their stuff in front of the largest contingent of NHL scouts gathered outside of the draft combine and the entry draft itself. But even the players know that the idea of a guy playing himself onto the radar with a boffo performance at the Top Prospects is hokum. “It’s not going to make or break you, but there’s a lot of people watching,” Erie Otters centre Dylan Strome said Tuesday.
By definition, the TPG isn’t a place for discoveries—it’s a by-invitation event, NHL teams letting Central Scouting Service know which CHL players they’d like to eyeball in the smallest possible and seemingly least useful sample, 60 minutes of all-star action. So why do it at all, other than provide a bit of all-star entertainment? Why not do it like CHL all-star games in bygone years, when the teams also included already drafted players, a true major-junior best of?
The key here is timing. NHL scouting departments time their winter meetings around this January event for a few compelling reasons.
1. The area scouts will have books with multiple viewings on top prospects in their respective leagues. Their reports are filed on the fly.
Coverage of the game tonight starts at 7:00pm ET on NHL Network US, Sportsnet and TVA.
The TSN Insiders talked Leafs first, the World Cup of Hockey, outdoor games for next season, the Rangers looking for a faceoff man and the future of Sekera with the Hurricanes.
Also what will Martin Brodeur do, we should know after the All-Star game.
Meanwhile I will just call it a money grab until proven wrong.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel have met and even exceed expectations this season as the top two players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.
As expected, McDavid and Eichel were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top North American players available for the 2015 draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
"During the meetings there were no negative components brought forward on Eichel or McDavid since both are recognized as truly outstanding, gifted young hockey players," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "They play different styles yet both bring the exceptional skills, character and intangibles to be a franchise-type player for an NHL club."
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Swirling rumors suggest that we're just days away from the official announcement of the next World Cup of Hockey and it appears the early talk about the tournament set-up is true. The eight-team event will reportedly feature entries from Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, with two “at-large” clubs rounding out the field. The first will be made up of young stars from around the NHL while the second will be comprised of top players from countries that are not sending their national teams.
Nothing wrong with tossing around new ideas, but it is hard to believe that either of these stuck. Both pose obvious problems.
Take the young stars plan: Will national teams be allowed to claim a player who falls under the age limit if he's one of their best? Does a 20-year-old such as Filip Forsberg suit up for Sweden or the young stars? What about 22-year-old Gabe Landeskog? If skaters of their caliber are kept from the national team, then the World Cup risks losing any claim to being a best-on-best tournament.
And what about Team Potpourri? Sure, it offers a chance for players from lesser national sides like Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) or Mats Zuccarello (Norway) to take part, but has anyone asked the guys who'd have to suit up for this polyglot if they even want to?
“I don't know all the details, but I don't know how excited I am about it,” one NHL player told SI.com recently. “You want to represent your country [in an event like this], not just play on a team.”
more hockey notes...
from CBC News,
The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association is warning its members it is considering banning spectators from weekend games.
In an open letter, VIAHA president Jim Humphrey says the problem of spectators verbally abusing and harassing on-ice officials and players has become so serious the executive is considering spectator-free weekends.
In this scenario, spectators would be banned from the ice rink area which would be restricted to officials and players only. Humphrey says referees would not start games until spectators had left and would suspend play or games if they returned.
He says the executive is reluctant to take such drastic action, but the vindictiveness of a small minority is costing the association promising young officials and making it difficult for the players to have fun.
While most of us stayed hibernating indoors as the temperatures plummeted to -30 C, the Bunton family of Grimsby spent their week out in the backyard.
Southern Ontario's cold, cold week finally froze the Bunton's backyard hockey rink, welcoming the first skate of the season.
What started off as a tiny, 13 x 30 “patch of ice” in 2008 has grown over the last seven years into a massive, 34 x 98 hockey rink, complete with four foot boards, flood lights, a penalty box and change room with a wood burning stove inside to keep warm.
“It’s growing every year until it can’t go bigger. I think I’d have to move to go bigger,” said Mike Bunton. He spent 750 hours building the rink this season.
continued with more pictures and a video too...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean topics from last night- P.K. Subban defensive play, the Canadian WJC team and other international teams, Roberto Luongo, the Edmonton Oilers, Randy Carlyle, Matt Cooke turtling yesterday and J.P. Parise.
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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