Category: Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey News

Report: Evgeni Malkin to talk with Lemieux about 2018 Olympic participation

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been able to dodge, dip, duck, dive and…dodge all questions about the 2018 Olympics to this point, but that was bound to end sooner or later. Ownership hasn’t really taken a clear stance, Sidney Crosby has avoided questions on the matter deftly as always (but still expressed the standard player opinion that he hoped to play) but often the more outspoken players on Olympic issues are usually Russians. And it may be Evgeni Malkin who pushes the envelope the furthest to get clarity to the situation. Malkin will reportedly seek council with Mario Lemieux around Christmas to discuss Olympic participation in next February’s Olympic games, per this Translated TVA story

McDavid disappointed at NHL decision to skip Olympics

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said he’s disappointed the NHL won’t be sending players to the Winter Olympic in South Korea. “It would have been a special group, and you’re just hopeful to be a part of it,” McDavid told reporters at a charity event Wednesday. McDavid’s comments came a day after Hockey Canada announced it was looking for non-NHL talent for Canada’s roster in Pyeongchang.

Report: Hobey Baker winner Butcher won’t sign with Avs, will test free agency

It looks like the NCAA’s Hobey Baker Award winner won’t sign with the NHL team that has his rights … again. Last year, Jimmy Vesey rejected the Nashville Predators’ offers in a very public way, ultimately signing with the New York Rangers. Defenseman Will Butcher will test free agency on Aug. 15 instead of agreeing to an entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche, as his agent confirmed to BSN Denver’s Adrian Dater. “We informed the Avalanche of that decision,” Butcher’s agent, Brian Bartlett, told BSN Denver. “We appreciate what Colorado has done, and we’re not ruling out the Avalanche as a potential destination. But we just feel there will be other opportunities that should be explored

Hockey Canada exhibition rosters a dreary reminder of the Pyeongchang reality

Willie Desjardins
Hockey Canada unveiled two largely unimpressive pre-Olympic exhibition rosters on Tuesday, THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Like any tragedy, it gets worse with detail.

Hockey Canada released the names of the 45 players who will compete in two exhibition tournaments next month in a showcase of sorts for newly-appointed general manager Sean Burke, who carries the burden of assembling a Sr. Men’s National Team without NHL talent thanks to the league’s decision to shun South Korea.

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Here are the Sochi Hockey Open and Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov rosters, respectively, which are made up almost entirely of players who ply their trade in Europe, via TSN:

Roster 1: 

Forwards: Justin Azevedo, Gilbert Brule, Brandon Buck, Kevin Clark, Andrew Ebbett, Bud Holloway, Rob Klinkhammer, Brandon Kozun, Ben Maxwell, Brandon McMillan, Eric O’Dell, Daniel Paille, Mason Raymond, Max Talbot, Linden Vey

Defence: Chay Genoway, Geoff Kinrade, Patrick McNeill, Maxim Noreau, Mat Robinson, Jonathan Sigalet, Karl Stollery

Goaltenders: Justin Peters, Kevin Poulin

Roster 2: 

Forwards: Taylor Beck, Sean Collins, Cory Emmerton, Ryan Garbutt, Andrew Gordon, David McIntyre, Jacob Micflikier, Trevor Parkes, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Derek Roy, Greg Scott, Paul Szczechura, James Wright

Defence: Cam Barker, Carlo Colaiacovo, Stefan Elliott, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Kevin Klein, Shawn Lalonde, Craig Schira

Goaltenders: Ben Scrivens, Kevin Poulin*

* named to both rosters

Burke won’t be limited to this list; Hockey Canada president Tom Renney said Tuesday that the federation won’t “leave any stones unturned” in the process of formulating the roster tasked with defending the gold won in Vancouver and Sochi.

But whatever talent is available, be it veterans in limbo like Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan or prospects from junior and the collegiate ranks, it can’t change this grim reality: the 2018 Olympic tournament will be played without legitimacy — and perhaps to negligible fanfare.

Canada won’t just be without Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. It will be competing against Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

Consider what’s happening in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto, especially. Can competition between inferior talent honestly expect to sway fans in NHL markets with Stanley Cup ambitions? Just because they’re wearing the Maple Leaf and there are five rings at center ice?

Of course, you would expect many Canadians to set their alarms in the knockout round, at least, and still experience some of the pride that the last two teams managed to instil if Canada succeeds against other diluted entries in Pyeongchang – especially if they’re considered overmatched.

But Canada’s roster unveiling will be just one of many sobering reminders (hardly exclusive to the reigning Olympic champions) in the months leading up to the Olympics that the event accepted as the pinnacle simply will not measure up this time around.

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