Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: 2014 olympics
The Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa spoke with Nashville Predators GM and Team USA GM David Poile and several of his likely Olympic team players about the differences between the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and those to be held in Sochi in February. He brings up one point we've already heard being discussed--the soccer-like style and pace of play that European teams tend to play on 200-foot-long by 100-foot-wide rinks (as opposed to North American rinks, which are 85 feet wide)...
The difference between Vancouver, where the U.S. won silver in 2010, and Sochi isn't so much about geography as it is space. In the U.S. and Canada, the standard rink size is 85 feet wide. In Europe, rinks are 100 feet wide. A smaller playing surface lends itself to the more aggressive, bruising style of play that dominates the NHL. On the larger European surface, it's more a game of speed and finesse.
"The difference is a lot bigger than fans think," said Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman and Team USA hopeful Paul Martin. "You have more room to cover, especially around the nets."
And he duly notes the reason why Team Canada's World Junior team now brings its own chefs to overseas tournaments, and the vast majority of players will have difficulty finding palatable food, "comfort zones" in terms of their accommodations and might deal with a bit of culture shock in Sochi, where we've been told that "there's nothing to do" at the Olympic facilities in terms of filling free time because they're still being constructed:
TSN's Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun offered a slate of scoops on the latest episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's GM's meetings blog entry (it's a blog entry, not a blog, Mr. LeBrun), and the gents covered oodles of issues, starting with Nail Yakupov...
Is there any chance Nail Yakupov ends up being traded out of Edmonton?
Dreger: Not this year. The Oilers have no intentions of trading him. What they need from him, given the fact that he's played 65 NHL games, is to figure it out. He needs to start being a better defensive player, he needs to mature a little bit, work on the issues in his game and be ready for the time when Ales Hemsky is traded by the Oilers so he can take a more predominant role. As for the Igor Larionov story, Craig MacTavish spoke to him and there are no issues there.
And they continue, discussing Vernon Fiddler's future in Dallas, a possible Hiller-to-Nashville scenario, the Florida Panthers,' "Almost Everyone Must Go" sale, P.K. Subban's contract status, and, as you might expect, Steven Stamkos' situation:
The issue of contract insurance for NHL players participating in Olympic orientation camps is such a problem in terms of cost that Sport-Express's Andrei Kuznetsov reports that even the Russians aren't skating today or tomorrow in Sochi, but ahead of the Canadian Olympic orientation camp in Calgary from Sunday the 25th to Wednesday the 28th (and the U.S. camp in Arlington, VA on the 26th and 27th), and as you might expect, Hockey Canada's takng some press flak for not being able to scrounge together the funds to be the only hockey federation that managed to get its orientation campers on the ice (the Swedes, Finns, Czechs, Slovaks, Swiss, etc. did not skate).
The Canadian Press's Donna Spencer noted that Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson and 2014 Olympic team GM Steve Yzerman aren't happy about the no-ice situation:
from Matthew Fisher of Postmedia News,
Slava Fetisov, the former Soviet captain and Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils star, reckons that 90 per cent of the players in the NHL, including just about every Canadian, wants to come to the 2014 Olympics in Russia and that to forbid them “is not the democratic way.”
“The NHL wants to somehow find a way to put a couple of million dollars in its pocket from this question, but they may end up losing money by not being part of the Olympics,” Fetisov said in a recent interview. “It is so narrow-minded. If people do not come to the Sochi Games, that is not right and it is not fair.”...
“The NHL should do the same as soccer, where all the best automatically release their best players for the World Cup and European Cup,” he said.
“If the NHL leaves the Olympics now, it can-t come back even if it wants to when the Games are next held in the U.S. or Canada. If the NHL does not understand that, it is not as smart as I think it is.”