Shannon Szabados forgoes NWHL opportunity to re-sign in men’s pro league

Jared Clinton
Shannon Szabados. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Shannon Szabados has her eye on a starting job this season, but that doesn’t mean she’ll have to leave the SPHL to play in either of North America’s women’s leagues.

In an interview with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, Szabados said she was given the opportunity to join the NWHL — the newest professional women’s league in North America and one that will pay its players — but she has instead chosen to return to the Columbus Cottonmouths for her second full season in the men’s league.

“I definitely thought about (the NWHL),” Szabados told Matheson. “I wasn’t contacted directly by a team, but I was by the league. I got all the information about the draft and signing up and, yeah, I read it all.” Read more

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

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

‘Miracle on Ice’ goaltender Jim Craig selling Olympic memorabilia, asking price is $5.7 million

Jared Clinton
Jim Craig's game-worn jerseys from the 1980 Olympics. (via Lelands)

If you’ve ever wanted to have your own Olympic gold medal, you can now purchase the very one given to ‘Miracle on Ice’ goaltender Jim Craig for a cool $1.5 million. Don’t worry, though, you’ve got until Aug. 1 to round up the cash.

With the help of sports auction house Lelands, Craig, 58, has placed a lot of 19 items up for sale that include famed items like his gold medal, game-worn jerseys and the American flag which he famously draped across his shoulders after winning the gold medal. The prices for the memorabilia – it’s not an auction, it’s a sale – range from the $1.5 million price tag on the Olympic medal to $5,000 for clothing items, such as his Team USA pre-Olympic jacket.

Other items for sale include Craig’s game-used mask, stick, pads and skates from the Lake Placid, New York tournament. In total, the 19-item lot is worth an eye-popping $5.7 million. The sale opens up on Aug. 1 and will close on Nov. 1. Read more

Elite Prospects begins building women’s hockey stats database

Erika Grahm was the first women's player to have full statistics added by Elite Prospects. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Women’s hockey is continually growing in popularity, thanks in large part to league’s such as the CWHL and the upstart NWHL, and Elite Prospects is keeping up with the addition of more than 700 women’s players to its database.

The hockey statistics website announced Tuesday that they are undertaking a massive project to add women’s players throughout the world, which began with Swedish winger and Olympian Erika Grahm, who plays club hockey for MODO in Riksserien, Sweden’s women’s elite league.

In an interview with Sweden’s Expressen, Grahm said it was a great honor being the first women’s player to have all her stats added .

“There are many who asked why we are not with (the men) and (I would have) really have liked to answer it,” Grahm told Expressen. “I wondered, too. But it is a step in the right direction.” Read more

Edmonton big winner, insanity big loser in Free Agent Frenzy

Andrej Sekera  (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The same day Connor McDavid wore his Edmonton Oiler colors for the first time ever on the ice, his bosses were upstairs going about the process of giving him some legitimate NHL players to surround him.

It’s difficult, nay impossible, to declare the winners and losers of a free agent frenzy day before Canada Day has even included, but it’s difficult to not get excited about what’s going on in western Canada these days. The oil patch has been sucked dry of good hockey for so long that sometimes it looked as though neither the Oilers nor the Calgary Flames were ever going to get it right.

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Want to make Team Canada? Play like Alex Killorn and Jake Muzzin

Alex Killorn Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the braintrust for Canada’s World Cup of Hockey team met Monday to begin the task of assembling the Canadian team for the tournament, each member of the management team was asked to present a mock roster based on the playoffs and recent World Championship. And the way GM Doug Armstrong sees it, everybody’s first list probably has the same 15 or 16 players on it.

We’re not giving anything away when we say that list almost certainly includes Carey Price in goal, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, P.K. Subban and Alex Pietrangelo on defense and Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Claude Giroux, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin at forward.

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