We’re going to go out on a limb here and predict that Sidney Crosby will be on Steve Yzerman’s final list when he submits Canada’s Olympic team roster in early January. But the more he watches the Pittsburgh Penguins play, the more he has to be at least entertaining the possibility of naming James Neal and Chris Kunitz along with Sid the Kid.
Actually, Crosby played his 500th game Thursday night and scored points No. 704, 705 and 706, so perhaps it’s time to start calling him Sid the Adolescent or something like that. In any event, Crosby and accomplishments are doing a good job of making a lot of us feel old.
Getting back to Kunitz and Neal, perhaps it’s not so preposterous to suggest that they should both be considered for Canada’s team in Sochi. And here’s why. Because they have an uncanny chemistry with the best player in the world at the moment. And because they wouldn’t be riding Crosby’s coattails. It’s not always easy to play with someone as sublimely talented as Crosby. You have to be ready to get the puck any time under circumstances where other players might not be able to deliver. And that takes a unique chemistry. Read more
Back in July, I put together my initial picks for Team Canada. Since then, Steven Stamkos has gone down with a broken leg, Jordan Staal has been underwhelming in Carolina and the goalie situation has become much more clear. So I’m updating my picks. Here is what my Team Canada would look like today:
John Tavares – Sidney Crosby – Martin St-Louis
My thinking: I originally had Stamkos in Tavares’ position here, but with his availability up in the air, I’ll put another sniper in his place for the time being. And I’m keeping St-Louis on the team because he has the experience, skating power and skill set. No Stamkos required. Crosby as the top line centre is obvious. Read more
We just finished putting the finishing touches on our 124-page Olympic collector’s edition magazine called Chasing Glory. It sets the table for all the nations in both men’s and women’s hockey at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in February. It makes for an ideal Christmas stocking stuffer and is available for sale in a couple of weeks.
One story that grabbed my attention was researching the 1952 Edmonton Mercurys team that represented Canada at the Games in Oslo and won gold. It was Canada’s last gold in men’s hockey for 50 years until Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, Martin Brodeur and Co., beat the Americans in the championship game in Salt Lake City in 2002.
The Mercurys were chosen in 1952 because they were deemed to be 100 percent amateur. All their members were employees of the Waterloo Mercurys car dealership in Edmonton. A number of other amateur teams applied for the right to represent Canada, but it was too cost prohibitive to have a national tournament to determine a representative. And because the Mercurys won the World Championship title in 1950, it was decided they would represent the country well.
The IIHF and the NHL have announced the officials who will work the 2014 Olympic tournament in Sochi. The group will be represented by seven NHL referees, seven international referees, six NHL linesmen and eight international linesmen.
The following are the NHL officials who will work the event:
Dave Jackson – Referee
Mike Leggo – Referee
Brad Meier – Referee
Tim Peel – Referee
Kevin Pollock – Referee
Kelly Sutherland – Referee
Ian Walsh – Referee
Derek Amel – Lines
Lonnie Cameron – Lines
Greg Devorski – Lines
Brad Kovachik – Lines
Andy Mcelman – Lines
Mark Wheler – Lines Read more
The International Ice Hockey Federation’s decision to move the men’s Olympic roster announcement deadline from Dec. 31 to Jan. 7 wasn’t warmly received in our office (it really messes with one of our print deadlines), but hey, this isn’t about us.
It does give injured hopefuls such as Tampa Bay superstar Steven Stamkos a bit more time to heal before their countries submit names. It also allows players on the bubble another week to shine (or falter) before the final decision is made.
Could one of those players be Carolina Hurricanes’ stopper Cam Ward?
For THN’s new Rookie Issue, we spoke with two rookies of the league. But they’re not players. One is a new owner and the other a new GM.
George Gosbee is one of nine co-owners of the Phoenix Coyotes, as well as its executive chairman and governor.
The Hockey News: When the ratification process ends and you’re confirmed as the Coyotes’ new owners, do you celebrate?
George Gosbee: We were more excited when we (agreed to) the deal with the NHL, because it was a long process with many ups and downs. The end of that grind was what we were looking forward to. Once that was completed, it became about hockey, which was what we always wanted.
THN: In my experience covering the Coyotes’ ownership story over the years, a number of people refer to the fact the arena isn’t in Phoenix proper as an issue. How do you see that being a factor?
GG: We’ve always been cognizant of it. One of the great things is the arena. And there’s a large metropolitan base and a huge number of Canadians there. We’re not going to be able to change the distance; we’re going to be able to do a bunch of things, maybe look at some transportation. But it’s about building a winning organization. If we’re successful, we’ll get more fans out to see other Coyotes games and not just their favorite old hometown team’s game. And we’re starting to see that.
Growing up in Canada and being part of hockey and seeing how successful the Flames have been since they came over from Atlanta, we realized that what we do as owners off the ice is a partnership with what the team does on the ice. We have to both win on that. So we have to look at a lot of revenue areas, a lot of building aspects of what we do off the ice. And I think once we do all that, we’ll see more fans out during winning seasons and losing seasons. I’m confident of that.
John Carlson has an excellent chance to make Team USA for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Stare at that sentence. Soak it in. Did a faint wave of horror wash over you? If so, you’re no regular hockey follower. You’re a diehard, a Canadian and you remember the 2010 World Junior Championship.
It was an epic tilt between Canada and the United States. Jordan Eberle, Mr. Clutch, had scored twice in the final three minutes of regulation to save Canada’s, er, bacon and force overtime. The momentum seemed to belong to the Canadians, especially playing at home in Saskatoon.
Then John Carlson did this:
The goal cemented Carlson’s status as one of the world juniors’ greatest heroes and that’s why, when they hear his name and “Team USA” whispered in the same sentence, Americans should be excited.
Just two weeks after suffering a broken right leg, Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos is already walking without crutches or a protective boot. And that’s good news whether you’re a fan of the Bolts, Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics or hockey in general.
Stamkos met with Tampa Bay media Monday morning and shocked the world by entering the room entirely on his own two feet.
Stamkos told reporters Monday he expects to play again this season. But that didn’t look like a strong possibility when he was hurt Nov. 11 after crashing into a goal post against the Bruins.