Sundin, Lidstrom, Alfredsson join Swedish national team in advisory roles — free of charge

Swede Daniel Alfredsson watches his backhander in the final Olympic game of his career (Getty Images)

The Swedish men’s national team is one of the most successful programs in international hockey history, and now three of the country’s greatest players are now joining the front office staff.

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced Tuesday that Mats Sundin, Nicklas Lidstrom and Daniel Alfredsson will all be aiding Sweden’s men’s national program going forward — and they’ll be doing so free of charge. Reason being, said the Swedish Ice Hockey Association’s development chief Tommy Boustedt, is the three legendary national team members want to give back to the program.

“We have not talked about any compensation whatsoever,” Boustedt told Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet. “All three have said they want to be involved and give back what they have received from the Swedish ice hockey.” Read more

Russian Ice Hockey Federation fined more than $85,000 for leaving ice at Worlds

Jared Clinton
Alex Ovechkin (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The Russian national team has been hit with an CHF 80,000 fine — roughly $85,000 USD — as the result of their actions following the gold medal game at May’s World Championships in Czech Republic.

During the post-game ceremony, the Russian team, including staff and players, left the ice before the Canadian national anthem had been played and the flags of the three medalling countries were raised in celebration. Following the incident, IIHF president Rene Fasel told Russian news outlet TASS he was, “deeply disappointed,” and that it was the first time he had seen such actions at a World Championship.

Following the incident, Andrei Safronov, Team Russia’s GM, was apologetic about the incident, saying it wasn’t the fault of anyone but the team. Read more

Rudi Ying and the inevitable Chinese hockey revolution

Ryan Kennedy
Rudi Ying (photo by Ryan Kennedy)

For a kid who grew up in China, Rudi Ying was in a pretty good place for a hockey player this week. The 17-year-old center and fellow Beijing product Wei Zhong both took part in the BioSteel summer camp in Toronto, meaning they were sharing the ice and playing alongside Tyler Seguin, Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid and a host of other NHLers and top prospects.

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Great Britain’s women’s national team goaltender signs professional men’s league deal

Jared Clinton
Sheffield Steeldogs logo (via Sheffield Steeldogs)

You won’t find Nicole Jackson at the Olympic games or the World Championships, but having established herself as one of the best women’s netminders not yet in the top level of international competition has opened the door for her to join the men’s English Premier League next season.

The EPIHL’s Sheffield Steeldogs announced this week that Jackson, 22, will be joining the club as a backup netminder. The contract is a two-way deal that will also allow her to play in an amateur league so she can continue to get starting work.

Jackson won’t be making her EPL debut, however, as this past season she had played alongside the Steeldogs in the English Challenge Cup. Read more

Ovechkin says he’ll play at 2018 Olympics whether NHL players are going or not

Jared Clinton
Alex Ovechkin (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

If Alex Ovechkin’s dedication to suiting up for the Russian national team wasn’t obvious from his scrambling across the pond to play in the 2015 World Championship, his commitment to playing in the 2018 Olympics should be all the evidence you need.

In an interview Wednesday, Ovechkin said that no matter the NHL’s decision on whether NHL players will be allowed to play at the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, he’ll be pulling on the Russian sweater at the tournament.

“The same situation was with the (2014) Sochi Games, they said NHL could not be allowed to come,” Ovechkin told Russian outlet TASS. “I hope the sides will reach an agreement.

“Anyway, I and other players will definitely come [to the 2018 Olympics].” Read more

Five players who could represent North America in IIHF Legends League

Jared Clinton
brindamour-96262464

It was announced late last week that the IIHF has approved a letter of intent for a new league, the World Legends Hockey League, which will pit the best 45-plus players against each other in a brand new international competition.

The league, headed up by chairman Pavel Bure, won’t have representatives from Canada or the U.S., instead featuring clubs from Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany. However, there will be a one-game event in which some of the greatest North American stars will suit up again: an all-star game that is set to take place in the first week of October and will kick off the brand new league.

Because there will be no North American representation once the league gets in full swing, we won’t quite know how a full squad of veteran Canadian and American talent will stack up against their international opponents. It doesn’t mean we can’t consider five players who might be interesting additions to the roster, however.

And while it would be great to see Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux lineup one more time, we’re being a bit more realistic with our choices. So if the chances are next to nothing that the veterans would lace them up for international competition one last time, you won’t find them on this list. Here are five players who could realistically skate for Canada or the U.S. in the WLHL: Read more

U-18 gold: Canada makes it 8 straight at Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament

Josh Elliott
Pierre-Luc Dubois

Though it’s named for a Czechoslovakian player, make no mistake: the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament has historically belonged to Canada.

That was once again the case on Saturday, as Canada’s latest under-18 squad dropped Sweden 7-3 in the championship game. It was Canada’s eighth straight win at the tournament, and its 20th championship in the tournament’s 25-year history.
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Report: Team Russia captain, defenseman Ilya Nikulin leaving KHL for NHL

Jared Clinton
Ilya Nikulin (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Yet another veteran Russian defenseman is leaving the KHL to try his hand at NHL action.

Earlier this off-season, 32-year-old Evgeni Medvedev left the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan, where he had played the majority of his career, to sign a one-year, $3 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. And while terms and location have yet to be decided, it appears Medvedev is about to be joined by 33-year-old former Team Russia captain Ilya Nikulin.

According to Sports-Express.ru’s Slava Malamud, Nikulin has decided to leave the KHL and head to the NHL, though it’s uncertain where the veteran blueliner will land at this time. Read more