Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: iihf
The IIHF and KHL have been pushing for a "Champions' League" that would include the NHL playing against Europe's respective professional hockey leagues' champions for an over-arching hockey championship trophy, but as the NHL isn't interested in suggesting that the Stanley Cup isn't hockey's ultimate prize, it appears that the IIHF and its European stakeholders have chosen to move forward without the NHL...
The Champions Hockey League, Europe’s new premium club competition, will start in August 2014 and will crown the continent’s club champion in February 2015.
Apart from the reigning national champions and the regular season winners from each of the six Founding Leagues, 26 Founding Clubs representing the top historic brands and most successful teams of their respective countries in the past and today will compete for the European Trophy. After a projected 149-game Champions Hockey League schedule the winner will be hoisting the cup, named after the competition the new C.H.L. emerged from.
In a unique structure for European ice hockey, the Champions Hockey League is a joint project between Europe’s professional clubs, their national leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The three principal stakeholders have formed a shareholder company based in Switzerland, where the clubs own 63 percent of the shares, the leagues 25 percent and the IIHF 12 percent.
As part of the projected number of 40 participating clubs in the inaugural season, the Champions Hockey League will include a number of Wild Card entries, who are top clubs from other European national leagues.
And the press release continues, but here's where things gets interesting, via the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein--because the league that really was the IIHF's co-sponsor in its Champions' League push won't be involved with this endeavor:
The IIHF Green Puck Campaign.
Hockey players and people from all across the globe featured in this video.
from Andrew Podnieks and Martin Merks of IIHF.com,
What he proposes is an annual break every February. His proposal of a four-year cycle is not unlike what Donald Fehr discussed casually of his own opinion with differences when it comes to NHL participation.
Kurbatov believes February should always be the break for Olympic Winter Games and also for World Championships that should only be held in non-Olympic years. But to make this successful from the sporting view it would need an NHL break every year.
“We know the National Hockey League has been willing to take a break in February for the Olympics in the past,” he said, “and we hope that they would be ready take the next step and take a break every year for all these events. It’s possible to discuss with the NHL to have an annual break in February in future.”
I don’t see too much support from this on the NHL side. Sending players to the World Championships in February will never fly.
from Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy,
KHL President Medvedev is also the head of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom. He was in New York to attend the annual meeting with American shareholders as well as conduct other Gazprom business. But he still found time to have a meeting with the heads of the NHL [please note how he calls Bettman “Gary” without using his last name]. Right after the lunch was over Medvedev spoke exclusively with me…
“Yes, we held a meeting today with Gary [Bettman] and Bill Daly. I would like to point out that the meeting had a very friendly feel to it. It was also very constructive which indicates that both Leagues understand each other’s positions and views. It can only help the development of the game of hockey on both sides of the Atlantic. And even though we haven’t accomplished a lot yet, nevertheless we already have a few regulatory documents that govern the respect of each other’s contracts,” he said
If there was ever a National team program historically greater than the sum of its parts, it would be Team Finland. Despite not having the offensive depth of many of their Elite Seven rivals, the Finnish National Team has repeatedly fared well in recent international best-on-best competition. After enduring many decades of lopsided defeats internationally at the hands of Canada, the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and longtime nemesis Sweden, the Finnish hockey program made great strides in the 1990’s, culminating with a World Championship in 1995. In addition, Finland has won more Olympic Hockey medals (1 silver, 2 bronze), than any other nation, since the introduction of NHL players to the Games in 1998.
Finland’s success can be attributed to a strong emphasis on teamwork and the fact that unlike their European rivals, hockey is indisputably the number one sport in their homeland, which has led to the implementation of adequately funded development programs and a strong domestic league in SM-liiga. More than any other European team, Finland employs a fast skating, tight forechecking, North American style of play, augmented by strong defensive zone coverage and consistently elite goaltending. The rinks in Finland have been adjusted to enhance the tight forechecking style of play, by adopting a size that is halfway between the dimensions of NHL and IIHF standards. Furthermore, in an effort to aid the National Team’s development programs, numerous goaltending schools have been created, and often led, by the country’s top puck stoppers. This has led to the emergence of many elite young goalies in the NHL, such as Tuukka Rask, Pekke Rinne, Antti Niemi and perhaps Kari Lehtonen, if he can find health and consistency in a Dallas Stars uniform.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: antti+niemi, dallas+stars, espoo+blues, iihf, jere+lehtinen, kari+lehtonen, mikko+koivu, olli+jokinen, olympic+hockey, pekke+rinne, saku+koivu, sm-liiga, teemu+selanne, tuomo+ruutu, tuukka+rask
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 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 Risto Pakarinen at IIHF.com,
The 22 winners of the three major championships - the Stanley Cup, a World Championship, and an Olympic gold medal – were inducted into the Triple Gold Club in a ceremony held in Vancouver on Monday. All 22 members of the exclusive club were present, as they were introduced to the stage and handed a national team sweater with special TGC patches….
Their careers span over four decades, and over four different countries, but on Monday night, the only thing that mattered was that exclusive membership in the Triple Gold Club, as the players reconnected with old teammates – like Peter Forsberg and Valeri Kamensky, and Nicklas Lidström and Igor Larionov – or exchanged a few words with their former idols – like Niklas Kronwall and the former Soviet stars, over some.
Check out some interviiews from the players involved in the ceremony at NHL.com.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, Before The Road to Sochi 2014 lurches to a conclusion, the NHL needs to tidy up some issues. In no particular order:
• Licensing. During Salt Lake City 2002, the NHL had the right to have its shield appear with the Olympic rings. That didn’t happen in Turin or Vancouver. To extract more from its Olympic participation, the NHL would like more co-branding.
• Scheduling. Like the Players Association, the NHL is concerned about the abruptness of the switch from league games to Olympic games. (Edmonton played Anaheim on Sunday night. This tournament began Tuesday.) A buffer would be nice, in any case, although travel from North America to Sochi would make it imperative.
• Coverage. The league has its NHL Network, but in the Vancouver pecking order, it runs neck-and-neck with The Score. (The Score, for those not privileged to live in Canada, is a tertiary all-sports network that is a non-rights holder here.) The NHL Network does not envision showing games, naturally, but at least it would like greater access to players.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Fasel stopped short of dropping to his knees and pleading with Bettman to make sure NHL players are in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, but he didn’t stop short by a lot. He suggested the NHL can lose its All-Star break to create more time to send players to Sochi and said continuing to send players would enhance the game’s growth.
“The effort to shut down for two weeks and play here is worth it,” Fasel told reporters at a news conference while Bettman, sitting to his right, grew increasingly red-faced. “For our game, our fans, Gary, we need you.”
Bettman, the red spots in his cheeks fairly blazing by now, smiled. “It’s nice to be needed,” he said, though his tone didn’t match his words.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,
Every year, the International Ice Hockey Federation tweaks the format of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament and every year, it becomes more complicated - to the point where even the principal players aren’t exactly sure of how the tie-breakers work, or more importantly, whether they’ll need to run up the score on a hapless opponent to ensure a higher seed for the playoff round.
“I have read the rules,” said Brian Burke, Team USA’s general manager. “I went to Harvard law school and I’m not sure I understand them.”
Officially, the 12 competing teams are divided into three groups of four teams for the preliminary round and play a round robin, with three points awarded for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss and zero points for a regulation loss.
Police in southern Ontario have launched a fraud investigation after about 60 young hockey players said they paid thousands to attend a European tournament that didn’t happen.
The players, who are mostly from southern Ontario and in their late teens, paid roughly $3,000 each to travel to France to participate in the tournament.
Event organizer Ontario Central Scouting (OCS) promised dozens of professional hockey scouts would be at the tournament, said the players.
Instead, when they returned to Toronto on Tuesday, the dejected group said there was no tournament and they ended up playing a few games against each other….
OCS blamed the International Ice Hockey Federation — the organization that governs hockey around the world — saying it warned European scouts to stay away from the Canadian players because the OCS was not sanctioned by Hockey Canada.
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!
Press release from the KHL:
The Disciplinary Committee of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) recently met to discuss violations of the IIHF bylaws on player transfers in connection with the transfer of United States forward Matt Murley to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) club Amur Khabarovsk.
Mr. Murley left the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL) and joined the Amur team of the KHL on October 10. The NHL informed the IIHF that the player had a valid contract with Carolina and had no right to enter into an agreement with any other club.
Complete explanation below. [Update: Plus added links down below]
The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF.
Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:
Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.
After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.
“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).
“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The NHL says the IIHF has bowed to KHL boss Alexander Medvedev and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly goes as far as suggesting Medvedev and the IIHF are working together.
“There is a real concern that the IIHF as an organization has been co-opted by Medvedev and the KHL. There is no other explanation for their recent behaviour and for refusing to uphold their principles. It raises real questions about the type and nature of the relationship that exists between the leadership of the IIHF and Medvedev.”
from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
The e-mail from Szymon Szemberg from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that came last Thursday was very simple and very to the point. The planned IIHF get together in New York on September 4 dissolved or in Szemberg’s words. “That meeting is cancelled or possibly postponed.”
Release from the KHL press service today:
KHL is in Disagreement with the Proposal to Suspend Players Signed Contracts
Today the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) suggested conducting an investigation regarding six players: Alexander Radulov, Nikita Filatov, Tomas Mojzis, Jason Krog, Fedor Fedorov and Victor Tikhonov. Until this investigation has come to its final conclusion and the IIHF has rendered its decisions, all the concerned players will be suspended from international transfers and competitions.
Regarding this statement KHL clarifies its position:
We accept the idea of an investigation but specify that it should be conducted within the framework of the relevant legislation of Russia, USA and Canada, as well as in accordance with the labor law regulations of the KHL and the NHL.
From the CP via TSN,
Russian ice hockey player Maxim Mamin was banned for two years Monday following a positive doping test at the world junior hockey championship.
Mamin was 19 when he tested positive for a metabolite of nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, after a game in Pardubice, the Czech Republic, in January. His test result was almost three times the reporting threshold under World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
From Sergei Balash at Russia Profile.org,
The twists and turns of the final game were reminiscent of what the sport itself had gone through over the past decade and a half. After winning the Olympic hockey tournament in 1992 and capturing the world title in 1993, all of Russia’s major hockey accomplishments came just on the junior level, with the U20 team winning gold thrice from 1999 to 2003. Back then, the decline was evident in all winter sports, historically Russia’s strongest sport.
The long way back
“It’s always easy to ruin something,” said Vyacheslav Fetisov, director of the Federal Agency for Physical Education and Sport. “We were unbeatable in hockey. If someone said back in 1988 or 1989 that we’d win just two World Championships in the next 20 years, nobody would believe it.”
more on the road map Russia has followed to rebuild its hockey (and general sporting) dominance
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Russian hero Ilya Kovalchuk said it best when he summed up his team’s ability to come back from a two-goal deficit to win the gold medal game of the World Championship against Canada in overtime Sunday afternoon.
“When you’re playing on the big rinks and you’re trailing by two goals, it’s always tough to come back,” Kovalchuk said.
There is a certain contingent of hockey snobs that look down their noses at the NHL product, all the while claiming the international game to be far superior, in large part because the players have so much room to display their creativity.
They are wrong, so wrong.
Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca gets a 19-month jump plotting his Team Canada Olympic lineup for the 2010 games:
There’s still an NHL season and a half to play out, but as we sit here in May 2008, here’s who I would dress for the February 2010 Games.
Up front, these are my nine offensive guys at forward, in no particular order: Crosby, Eric Staal, Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews. Don’t be surprised by the last name, he’s a stud and 19 months from now you won’t question Toews on the Olympic team.
And in other international hockey news…
Geraldine Heaney, Angela James and Cammie Granato made women’s hockey history on Thursday. The trio of pioneers became the first women players inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, along with former superstar Mario Lemieux, Russian great Igor Larionov and the first French player ever to skate in the NHL, Philippe Bozon.
more here with video
Update 11:10am ET: A conversation with Larionov on the occasion of his induction into the IIHF Hall of Fame, discussing everything from the NHL to the state of Russian hockey.
To clear up some conflicting reports and rumors, a quick note about Eric’s and Jordan Staal’s status in the wake of the unfortunate death of their grandfather.
Eric Staal has left Team Canada at the World Championships to join his family and will understandably be missing his game scheduled for Wednesday. Jordan Staal is said to be playing tonight for the Pittsburgh Penguins, then flying home briefly tomorrow to attend the funeral. He isn’t expected to miss any games.
From Rhéal Séguin at the Globe & Mail,
Hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak has taken hundreds of flights over his career and witnessed many bizarre incidents on planes, but nothing like last week’s midair altercation that left a drunken Russian passenger dead.
Mr. Tretiak was fast asleep in the first-class section of an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Toronto, on his way to the prestigious international hockey championship in Quebec City, not knowing that one of his diehard fans was determined to talk to him.
“I felt someone shaking me on my shoulder and I woke up. There was this guy standing next to me. He looked like he had been drinking. Before I realized it, somebody else was pulling him away as he screamed, ‘Tretiak, Tretiak.’ And then they just took him away,”
continued… *a strange story, and obviously very upsetting, experience for Tretiak
from Lightning Strikes,
This news release just arrived from the Lightning. No confirmation on the ACL, but the fact that the team is acknowledging surgery is likely would seem to square with the early reports. Here’s the release:
TAMPA BAY - Tampa Bay Lightning center Jeff Halpern has suffered a right knee injury that is expected to require surgery, it was announced by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster.
added 8:10pm, from the CP via TSN,
Tampa Bay centre Jeff Halpern is expected to miss the next six to eight months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, the Lightning announced Wednesday.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
New NHLPA boss Paul Kelly arrived at his first world under-20 championship on Wednesday to mix and mingle with NHL scouts and general managers as well as IIHF officials. One of the causes he has championed since he took over his office on lower Bay St. in Toronto was to better market hockey in the United States.
He should have a chat with the people that run USA Hockey. For the second year in a row, Canada and the U.S. will meet in the semifinals at the world junior and for the second straight year hockey’s governing body down south made available for interviews after practice only three players and coach John Hynes.
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.
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.