IIHF says Toronto could be sole World Junior host in 2017

Rene Fasel (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On the heels of experiencing an attendance disaster in Montreal, the International Ice Hockey Federation is open to suggesting to Hockey Canada that the 2017 World Junior Championship be held exclusively in Toronto.

Both IIHF president Rene Fasel and Frank Gonzalez, an IIHF council member and WJC tournament director, acknowledged at a news conference Sunday that the Montreal numbers did not reach expectation and would consider the possibility of holding the entire tournament in Toronto.

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Getting To Know: Dan Boyle

Mark Malinowski
Dan Boyle (Jared Silber/Getty Images)

Status: New York Rangers defenseman.

HT: 5-11 WT: 190 pounds

DOB: July 12, 1976 In: Ottawa, Ontario

First Hockey Memory: “Like, me playing or watching? I was a Flyers fan growing up. So I just remember watching the Flyers whenever I could on TV. My favorite Flyers were Rick Tocchet and Ron Hextall. I wore #22 for Tocchet. I also liked Brian Leetch. I started skating when I was six years old.”

Hockey Inspirations: “The thrill of trying to win. Trying to win the Cup. I’ve been lucky enough to win it once but I want to do it again.”

Last Book Read: “I don’t read books. I can’t remember [smiles].”

Current Car: “Mercedes.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Winning the Cup (with Tampa in 2004).”

Most Painful Moment: “Most painful moment…probably last year.”

Favorite Uniforms: “I grew up a Flyers fan so I’ll just stick with that.”

Favorite Rinks To Play: “Madison Square Garden and the Shark Tank.”

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “Why do I love playing hockey? Because that’s my passion. That’s what I love do to.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “Andre Roy.”

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Marty St. Louis.”

Most Memorable Goal: “First goal probably. Against Philadelphia (Vanbiesbrouck in 1999 with Florida).”

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “I’ve had plenty [smiles].”

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Golf.”

First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: “Wayne Gretzky was probably the most famous. I remember I talked with him on the phone. That was the first time, when he called me for the Olympic Team in 2006.”

Strangest Game: “Earlier this season we won the shootout, came in and had to get re-dressed because they called the goal off. So we had to go back and play and we lost. It was strange.”

Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty, loyalty, and competitiveness.”

Mark “Scoop” Malinowski is the author of the new tennis books “Facing Federer” and “Facing Hewitt” which are available at amazon. He’s currently working on “Facing Probert.”

Year in Review: top 10 stories of 2014

Sidney Crosby  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The calendar year of 2014 will be remembered for a lot of things, not the least of which was that it was the year in which a bunch of NHLers looked like Harry ‘Apple Cheeks’ Lumley. An outbreak of the mumps caused a number of players to log sick days and for the league to take precautions against a more widespread outbreak.

It will also be remembered for double gold for Canada…again, and a host of on- and off-ice developments that shaped the game. Here are the top 10 stories from 2014:

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Top 10 players of 2014: Game’s brightest shine in Olympic year

Sidney Crosby

Whether the NHL participates in the 2018 Olympics or not, it will forever be hard to top the talent seen in both the 2010 and 2014 games. Not only was the men’s game showcased on one of the brightest stages, the women’s game provided some incredible drama in the medal round.

As such, there is a pair of women on this year’s top 10 players. There are also appearances from a few future stars. One member of this list did outstanding things before becoming a pro, and is already making his mark on the NHL in his rookie season, while others are breaking out or remaining at the top of their games. Read more

Dominik Hasek, Scott Niedermayer headline 2015 IIHF Hall of Fame

Dominik Hasek IIHF HOF featured

Already members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Scott Niedermayer and Dominik Hasek will enter the IIHF Hall of Fame as part of a seven-member class of 2015.

Other inductees include longtime Czech captain Robert Reichel, Sweden’s Maria Rooth, Fran Rider in the builder category, and Lucio Topatigh, an Italian national rewarded for his play for a non-top hockey nation. Read more

Oilers already have perfect man to oversee rebuild: Bob Nicholson

Nicholson

So Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was scheduled to meet with the media on Friday morning to “address the Oilers performance through 26 games and take questions.” That promises to be a pleasant exchange of ideas.

By all accounts, MacTavish will not announce either of the two things for which many Oiler fans are clamoring – that he’s firing the coach or he’s making a blockbuster trade to upgrade the roster. In reality, with an 11-game losing streak and the stench of defeat permeating the organization, neither of those would provide much relief. The best thing the Oilers could do now is stay the course and finish in the standings exactly where they are now. That would guarantee them at worst the second overall pick and the best chance at the first, meaning they’d have the opportunity to draft a potential generational superstar in either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Not even the Oilers could screw that up. Read more

Pat Quinn and me: Remembering a legend

Pat Quinn (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

When I think of Pat Quinn, I harken back to the dark days of February, 1999. Quinn was just months into his tenure as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was equally green as the Maple Leafs beat reporter with The Toronto Star covering him.

I had found out not long before that my father was dying of cancer. Word somehow got to Quinn and one day during a post-practice scrum when I think he could see I was smiling on the outside and dying on the inside and was being cajoled by my colleagues, he pulled me into him with his big right arm and held me close for just a second. He never mentioned a word of it ever again, and neither did I. Read more

Iconic Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov dies at age 84

Adam Proteau
Viktor Tikhonov (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Viktor Tikhonov, the iron-willed coach who helmed the Soviet Union’s best hockey teams during the height of the Cold War’s peak, died in a Moscow hospital Monday. For better and worse, the 84-year-old was one of the most influential figures in Russian hockey history, winning three Olympic gold medals, eight IIHF World Championship gold medals, 13 consecutive Soviet titles as head coach of CSKA Moscow, and one Canada Cup. Tikhonov had been admitted to hospital suddenly in late October, and was reported to have had lost the ability to “move independently”. Tikhonov is predeceased by his son, Vasily, who died at age 55 in 2013. His grandson, also named Viktor Tikhonov, played in the NHL with Phoenix in 2008-09 and currently plays in the Russian-based Kontinental League.

Born in 1930, Tikhonov first gained prominence on the Russian hockey scene playing for the Air Force’s team and Moscow Dynamo; he scored 35 goals in 296 games during a 15-year career in the Soviet Elite League, but it wasn’t until he retired and moved behind the bench that Tikhonov truly made a name for himself. Read more