Quebec City arena could pit steel companies against battered wood industry
By: The Canadian Press
Feb 11, 2011
MONTREAL - Quebec City's push to build a new $400-million hockey arena could end up pitting steel companies against the province's battered wood industry.
Canam Group, a leading structural steel fabricator that has built many of North America's premier sporting venues, hopes the new arena will allow it to show off its metal in its own backyard.
"When we are talking about an arena in our own province that would be several miles from one of our main plants, we would definitely love to have it," senior vice-president Luc Pelland said in an interview.
But the arena's key backers and a coalition that defends the wood industry are pushing hard for the structure to be made out of the renewable resource.
Robert Beauregard, president of Coalition Bois Quebec and a forestry professor at Laval University, said using wood can help the environment and forestry industry while creating a new expertise for the province.
Using wood can help the province achieve its greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol because each cubic metre of wood used instead of steel or concrete avoids the emission of one tonne of carbon dioxide, he said.
Quebec is already a leader in engineered wood products like glue-laminated timber and wood I-joists.
"If we were able to develop further those products into whole buildings that becomes an opportunity for economic growth," he said.
Building the arena out of wood could also give work to Canadian heavy timber companies. The five main producers are located in Quebec, B.C. and Alberta.
"In Canada we've had lots of closures of forest industries over the last few years and we think that if we could develop an expertise in outstanding buildings made out of wood, that creates a whole new business, a whole new value creation network that we can export afterwards."
Several buildings, including the Richmond Oval that hosted long-track speed skating at last year's Vancouver Olympics, are made from wood. A nine-storey building made of wood in London, England, has also altered what was thought possible.
Beauregard said there's no longer a technical limit to what can be done and believes the entire arena can be made from wood.
But Pelland said the structural integrity of the building would limit the use of wood to between 35 and 40 per cent, and mostly as an architectural detail visible to fans.
Steel would still likely remain a key component, especially for the roof, he said.
The main seating area of Montreal's Bell Centre was constructed with concrete. The choice of materials varies by city, region, province or state.
As the steel capital of the United States, it was likely never an option to consider an alternative material for the Penguins' new arena built by Canam, he said.
While it has some competitors in the U.S. northeast, transportation costs give Canam a clear advantage, along with its design team that can minimize costs by limiting the amount of steel used, added Pelland.
Yuri Lynk of CanaccordGenuity said the Quebec City arena could be a positive catalyst for Canam and generate some $50 million in revenues, or roughly 10 per cent of its current backlog.
"Should the Quebec City stadium come to fruition and be constructed of steel and not concrete, as Montreal’s Bell Centre was, we believe the company has a good chance of securing the contract given its capabilities," he wrote in a report.
The North American sports shrines built by Canam include hockey arenas in Toronto and Ottawa, the new Yankee Stadium and the home of NFL's New York Giants and Jets.
Francois Moreau, chief executive officer of ABCP Architecture and a partner in the non-profit organization backing the arena, is also pushing for wood to be a key component of the arena to showcase Quebec's battered industry.
"The wood industry is in danger, we have to promote it and show the technological advances while putting Quebec's engineering on the table," he said in an interview.
He said professionals hired by the city will look more closely at the potential cost of the different materials that can be used.
Still, he said, companies like Canam would play a key role because wood would likely be limited to 40 per cent of the arena.
Agent says Coyotes trading Rieder would be best for everyone
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 29, 2016
Tobias Rieder and the Arizona Coyotes aren’t any closer to a contract, and it’s gotten to the point where the 23-year-old could be looking for a new home for the 2016-17 campaign.
The clock is ticking for free agents to sign on the dotted line before the start of the new campaign, though it appears the only way restricted free agent Tobias Rieder is going to be signing at all is if the Arizona Coyotes are willing to budge on their offer or if they send the 23-year-old elsewhere.
For the past few months, contract talks between Arizona and Rieder have appeared to have reached somewhat of a stalemate, and according to his agent, Darren Ferris, it’s about time that the Coyotes either meet Rieder’s asking price or deal his rights.
Ferris’ suggestion that the Coyotes trade Rieder comes only days after Arizona GM John Chayka reacted to the trade request of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba by saying he didn’t feel Rieder’s situation would get to that point.
“Going public like that, it sheds some light on the situation,” Chayka said, according to AZ Central’s Sarah McLellan. “But at the same time, I don’t expect anyone to be influenced by that type of reaction. For us, again, we like (Rieder). If you look at the Trouba situation, they haven’t had a contract discussion in months. They weren’t talking. This (negotiation with Rieder) has been since February, and we’ve made a series of offers and different ways to try to get this done.”
Most bizarre about the entire situation with Rieder and the Coyotes is that it’s not as if the gap in ask and offer is that large. Ferris told Morgan that Rieder is looking for a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season, but the Coyotes haven’t offered more than $2.2 million per season and it doesn’t sound as if they want to go much higher.
“They are not working toward any amicable deal at all,” Ferris told Morgan. “There really haven’t been any negotiations, per se. The team is unwilling it seems to negotiate. Tobi is the only one making any effort…It’s unfortunate that a good kid gets treated this way. He never balked at the defensive role they made him play, and they don’t seem to value the intangibles he brings to the team.”
That the Coyotes are unwilling to bend to Rieder’s demands is a bit shocking given he scored 14 goals and 37 points this past season while playing a solid two-way game, and he’s the type of player who could be a perfect fit in the middle six as Arizona continues to grow. That’s not to mention that the Coyotes have more than enough cap space to make the deal work. While it would require going over the cap ahead of the season, Dave Bolland landing on long-term injured reserve will free up more than $5 million in cap space, which is more than enough to sign Rieder.
Cap space or not, though, after an entire off-season without a contract it sure seems as if Rieder’s next deal won’t be in Arizona unless the Coyotes acquiesce to his asking price.
Devils ink Quincey to one-year deal, shore up blueline ahead of season
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 28, 2016
Kyle Quincey was left waiting until the final few weeks before the regular season, but he’s landed himself another NHL deal. The veteran rearguard took a big pay cut to land with the Devils, though.
The Devils had no problem relying on all-world goaltender Cory Schneider in 2015-16, but with higher hopes for the coming season, New Jersey GM Ray Shero has gone out and attempted to shore up his defense by adding free agent Kyle Quincey.
Quincey, 31, signed a one-year, $1.25-million deal with the Devils Wednesday, and the signing allows him to completely forego the pro-tryout process regardless of the fact that he’s landing his contract so late in the off-season. The new deal is a hefty pay cut for Quincey — he’ll see his salary drop by $3 million from this past season — but the one-year deal gives him the chance to come into New Jersey, prove his worth and potentially land a longer-term extension with a higher salary.
This past season in Detroit, Quincey averaged nearly 20 minutes per game, but was plagued by injury. He suffered a concussion early in the campaign that put him on the shelf, but the more serious injury came when Quincey was forced to undergo surgery on his ankle to remove bone spurs. He ended up missing more 35 games while fighting his way back into the lineup, and he finished the year with a respectable four goals and 11 points in 47 games.
It’s almost a given that Quincey will come in and play top-four minutes for the Devils, and that shouldn’t be surprising following the trade that sent Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers for Taylor Hall. In fact, it’s the Larsson-for-Hall swap that likely helped facilitate Quincey’s addition to the Devils. Without the hole on the back end, the Devils may not have had much use for the veteran rearguard.
However, with Larsson gone, the Devils don’t have much depth — veteran or otherwise — on the blueline. The off-season acquisition of Ben Lovejoy fills one hole, but veteran Andy Greene is starting to show signs of slowing and the top-four without Quincey would have been rounded out by John Moore and Jon Merrill.
Quincey’s addition means that the Devils can also likely give Damon Severson another year to grow after his promising rookie season and a sophomore campaign that was trying at times. Severson averaged 18 minutes per game, but could be eyeing a part-time spot in the top-four this year.
Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad cleared for action after World Cup injury
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 29, 2016
The Florida Panthers had an injury scare on their hands when Aaron Ekblad was sent home early from World Cup action, but they can rest easy as the 20-year-old rearguard will be ready for opening night.
Aaron Ekblad being forced to leave the World Cup, especially with what was rumored to be a concussion, was just about the worst news the Panthers could have gotten ahead of the regular season, but the worry has subsided ahead of the campaign as Ekblad has been cleared to return to the Florida lineup.
More than a week after leaving Team North America and returning to Panthers camp, Ekblad, 20, has been cleared to return to action, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, and Ekblad was right back into action Thursday morning when Florida took the ice. While a concussion was the initial report surrounding the nature of Ekblad’s injury, it was later determined that he was suffering from a neck injury.
It was clear the Panthers brought Ekblad back to training camp as a precaution, more than anything, and members of the front office and coaching staff, including coach Gerard Gallant, didn’t seem too worried about Ekblad’s injury upon his return.
Having a healthy Ekblad back in the lineup is going to be of paramount importance for the Panthers, and his role is almost certain to expand this coming season. Though he has averaged nearly 22 minutes of ice time per game over the past two seasons, the departures of Brian Campbell, Dmitry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson almost certainly means that more minutes are coming Ekblad’s way, even despite the additions of Jason Demers and Keith Yandle on the back end.
The 2015-16 post-season is as clear an indication as any of just how important Ekblad has become in Florida. Over the course of the Panthers’ first-round series against the New York Islanders, a series the Cats lost despite being the favorite, Ekblad averaged upwards of 25 minutes of ice time per game and saw as much as 32:36 of ice time in Game 5’s double-overtime loss.
Ekblad was rewarded this past off-season with a monster eight-year, $60-million contract extension from the Panthers, and he’ll enter this campaign as the No. 1 defenseman in Florida despite the fact he’s also the youngest player on the entire roster.
Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky celebrate the Game 2 overtime winner at the 1987 Canada Cup.
Author: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Down Goes Brown: What was the best Game 2 in World Cup history?
By: Sean McIndoe
Sep 28, 2016
Five out of seven World/Canada Cups have been best-of-three finals, so let's take a look back at those five games, and rank them from worst to best.
Tuesday night's Game 1 of the World Cup final, which saw Team Canada earn a 3-1 win over Team Europe, sets up a do-or-die Game 2 Thursday night. A Canada win would end the tournament, and the trophy will be in the building, unless the league has come to its senses and thrown that ugly thing into a raging bonfire instead.
There have been seven World and Canada Cups in international hockey history, but we didn't get to see a Game 2 in all of those. Twice, in 1981 and 2004, the format called for a one-game final. But it's been best-of-three in the other tournaments, which gives us five Game 2 to work with. So today, let's take a look back at those five games, and rank them from worst to best.
As always, this is opinion only, and if you disagree, then you're wrong.
No. 5 – 1984: Canada 6, Sweden 5
The road there: Canada stumbled through the 1984 tournament, going 2-2-1 through the round robin and barely making the playoff round as the fourth seed. But Team Canada earned a trip to the final thanks to an overtime win over the Soviets in the semi-final, and they were facing an upstart Swedish team that had beaten them in their round robin meeting and had just embarrassed the Americans with a 9-2 blowout. The Canadians took the opener by a 5-2 final, but the second game proved closer.
Game 2: The game looked like a laugher early on, with Canada scoring four times in the first seven minutes and adding a fifth before the first period was over. A Paul Coffey goal early in the second made it 6-1, setting the stage for a furious Team Sweden comeback. They scored three unanswered goals to close out the second period, and draw to within 6-5 early in the third. But that was as close as they came, as Canada held on for the win and the series sweep.
The aftermath: This turned out to be the first of three straight Canada Cup wins for Team Canada, and remains the only finals appearance by Team Sweden.
The bottom line: What looked like a laugher wound up being a reasonably entertaining contest. But the game everyone remembers from the 1984 Canada Cup will always be that semi-final thriller with the Soviets.
No. 4 – 1991: Canada 4, USA 2
The road there: Coming on the heels of the 1987 tournament, fans were probably hoping for yet another final between Canada and the Soviets. But with the team in turmoil, partly due to the political situation back home, the Soviets failed to even make the playoff round. That left Canada looking for a new challenger, and the Americans were happy to step in for their first ever Canada Cup final appearance. The two teams met in the round robin, with Canada winning 6-3 to hand the Americans their only loss of the stage, and Canada followed that up with a 4-1 win in the opening game of the final.
Game 2: This game may best be remembered for who wasn't playing. Team Canada captain Wayne Gretzky was knocked out of action in Game 1 on an ugly hit from behind by Gary Suter. The check left Gretzky unable to suit up for Game 2, and contributed to the back problems that slowed him down for much of the early 1990s.
Looking for the sweep, Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Americans clawed back with a pair of second-period goals. But Steve Larmer earned some revenge on Suter by stripping him of the puck during an American powerplay and then scoring on a breakaway for the winning goal.
The bottom line: This game, much like the 1991 tournament itself, was an entertaining one that for some reason isn't all that well remembered by many fans.
No. 3 – 1996: USA 5, Canada 2
The road there: The Americans swept through the round robin with a perfect 3-0-0 record, including an impressive 5-3 win over Canada that featured a wild early brawl. That win earned them a quarter-final bye, and after knocking off the Russians 5-3 in the semis, Team USA came into the final looking like they had a real shot to wrestle the international crown away from Canada. But Steve Yzerman's overtime winner in Game 1 in Philadelphia handed the Americans their first loss of the tournament, and left them needing a pair of wins in Montreal to take the tournament.
Game 2: Team USA jumped out to an early lead, but Canada came back to tie the game before the first intermission. Goals by John Leclair and Brett Hull gave the Americans a 3-1 lead, and Mike Richter stood on his head to keep it that way until a late powerplay goal by Joe Sakic made it 3-2 with five minutes to play. That was as close as they came, and a pair of Team USA empty net goals padded the final score to 5-2.
The aftermath: Team USA completed the comeback in Game 3, winning by another 5-2 score to capture their first (and so far only) best-on-best championship.
The bottom line: Despite the two empty netters making the score more lopsided than the game was, this was a fun matchup that featured lots of star power, some bad blood, and a raucous Montreal crowd. You can watch the highlights here.
No. 2 – 1976: Canada 5, Czechoslovakia 4 (OT)
The road there: Four years after the legendary Summit Series, the Canada Cup was born in an effort to create the first true international best-on-best tournament. There was no semi-final back then, with the top two teams heading directly to the finals. Canada grabbed one of those spots, finishing first in the round robin with a 4-1-0 record. But while many had expected a Summit Series rematch in the final, the Soviets were edged out of a spot by Czechoslovakia.
The opening game of the final was a blowout, with Canada earning a relatively easy 6-0 win. Game 2 ended up proving to be a bigger challenge.
Game 2: Canada grabbed a 2-0 lead just two minutes in, but Czechoslovakia fought back to tie the game early in the third. A Bobby Clarke goal restored the Canadian lead, but two quick Czechoslovakian goals gave them a 4-3 lead with four minutes to play. Bill Barber tied it with two minutes left, and that set the stage for Darryl Sittler to deliver the first ever Canada Cup with what still stands as one of the most famous goals in the tournament's history.
The aftermath: To this day, Sittler and Team Canada assistant coach Don Cherry are still arguing over who's idea that move was.
The bottom line: You could make a great case for this game being No. 1 on the list. I think it’s a coin flip, but I'll take the game that directly led to one of the greatest moments in hockey history.
1987: Canada 6, Soviet Union 5 (2OT)
The road there: Canada and the Soviets finished in the top two spots in the round robin, then knocked off Czechoslovakia and Sweden, respectively, in the semi-finals to set up the first best-on-best multi-game series between the two rivals since the 1972 Summit Series.
Game 2: With the Soviets looking to clinch their second Canada Cup in three tournaments, the series shifted to Hamilton for the second game. The two teams resumed the all-out offensive pace, with Canada leading 2-1 before the game was even four minutes old. Then it got better.
Canada took a 3-1 lead to the first intermission, but the Soviets tied it in the second before Mario Lemieux quickly restored the lead. The Soviets tied it again early in the third, but Lemieux scored again midway through. That set the stage for a frantic end to regulation that saw Valeri Kamensky score with a minute left to send the game to overtime.
With the trophy on the line, the two teams went back and forth through one scoreless extra period. But midway through the second overtime, Canada finally ended it. Guess who.
The aftermath: This game was so good that the hockey gods decided to re-use the same script for Game 3: A back-and-forth thriller that ends with a 6-5 Canada victory on a Mario Lemieux winner.
The bottom line: The series finale was quite possibly the greatest international game ever played. And it was made possible by this one, which was almost as good. That's enough to earn it the top spot on our list, narrowly ahead of Sittler's fakeout.
Sean McIndoe has been writing about the NHL since 2008, most recently for ESPN and Grantland. He spends most of his time making jokes on twitter, where you may know him as @downgoesbrown. He appears weekly on TheHockeyNews.com.