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The American Hockey League is apparently looking to build on the hockey connections between Sweden and North America, and build a little rivalry in the process.
The league has announced that this year's AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's NL will feature an inter-league game between a team of AHL stars the SHL's Färjestad BK.
This is a really cool idea, and one that will probably get tongues wagging about increasing the integration between North American and European pro-leagues. No word on any reciprocation by the AHL - but one has to assume that something could be in the works that will see an AHL team head to Sweden at some point.
Hungry for a Boxscore?
The Eurpoean Trophy kicks off today, continues Friday, and really picks up the pace early next week.
Participating teams represent seven different countries. Many of them have won relatively recent championships in their respective leagues. And some are Europes oldest teams (a look at the teams page will verify this).
I imagine that one of the Euro streaming sites will provide coverage to those interested in hockey in August
It has only been a few weeks since the CHL announced the ban on European goalie. At the time I was in Finland instructing and learning how to instruct in their system. Since then a few articles have surfaced discussing the Swedish system of developing goaltenders. The Finns view the Swedes as the country most likely to overtake them as the leading developer of goaltenders.
What is the Swedish Recipe for goaltending development.? The two links below will reveal their secret ingredients.
A continent away, Europe's season ending championship is taking place, with teams sourced by the 17th through 30th best teams from the NHL.
One player who is not from an NHL team is gathering some attention, this entry from the NYT Slap Shot Blog discusses John Gibson at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
It is rare for the United States to use a teenage goalie at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships, and John Gibson’s performance in his tournament debut was of rare quality.
Gibson, a 19-year-old from Pittsburgh, made 31 saves to backstop the Americans to a 4-1 win over Finland on Wednesday. The Finns are co-hosting the tournament with Sweden this year, but he was unfazed by the boisterous, flag-waving crowd of 12,484 at Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena.
At 19, it is hard to tell how much seasoning he will need before the Anahiem Ducks have a goaltending logjam.
As the eyes of the hockey world rivet themselves to the SC playoffs, a void in the world of amateur coaching has occurred. Two weeks after Yale captured the NCAA D-1 title, former long time Yale coach Tim Taylor lost his battle with cancer. While not an NHL coach, the name should be familiar to anyone who is a part of USA Hockey, particularly those who live in and follow the sport in North Eastern USA.
More on Taylor with additional links.
Although not a major league hockey city, Houston has supported a professional team since the 60's. It appears that this year's Calder Cup Playoff will end that run.
The story further describes the situation, and within that story is a link recounting hockey memories in the U.S.'s fourth most populated city.
A continent away, International championships are well on their way to being determined.
Most notable is the conclusion of the KHL, who yesterday crowned Dynamo Moscow champions for the second year in a row.
Story (in English) and 14 minutes of video highlights (in Russian) found here.
While the NHL regualr season is about 1/3rd compete (so to speak), the KHL wrapped up its regular season Sunday.
The Gargarin Cup is set to start tomorrow.
The link below is in English language tracker, starting with quarter round games.
In this season of a no-season, a 5 minute escape from reality. Jokerit fans travel to Turku for an SM-Liiga game.
This is why I love the Finns!
And 81 is a popular jersey number for Jokerit fans.
Just a couple of comments on the IIHF World Juniors so far.
Team USA has been very disappointing. After a good first game against Denmark (winning 11-3) it’s been pretty sparse for USA junior hockey. After loosing 4-1 to Finland, USA lost to the Czech Republic today and are done for the tournament. Not good.
Every time I watch the Juniors I wonder why the NHL doesn’t go to the modified icing rule they use.
Petr Mrazek (Detroit Red Wings) has looked pretty darn good. Even in the lose to Team Canada he looked decent. Hopefully the Wings have their goaltender for the future. Or at least a solid back-up (think Rask in Boston).
Canada is the cream of the crop again this year. Yea, that was obvious.
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