Archive for International Hockey


World Cup of Hockey preview: Team USA

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The World Cup of Hockey will be back next September in Toronto, prior to the beginning of the 2016-17 NHL season. Scouting for the national teams has already begun, with GMs and coaches announced and the expectations of rosters being set sometime in March. We’ve seen snubs and surprises in the 2014 Olympics, so let’s go over some expected changes in the rosters.

Over the next few months, before the rosters are announced, we’ll take a look at the possible additions and subtractions to the World Cup teams, and how certain countries may look different than what we expect.

NOTE: For a complete outlook on the structure of the teams, please read this article from  Read More→

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Adam Graves has been appointed as Special Assistant to the General Managers of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Graves will report to Peter Chiarelli and Stan Bowman. Former Ranger Pat Verbeek was named as Director of Player Personnel.

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Per Frank Seravalli, ex-Ranger head coach John Tortorella will be named as the head coach for Team USA for the World Cup of Hockey. Torts was fired by the Rangers after a disappointing playoff run in 2013, and was replaced by Alain Vigneault. Torts landed with the Canucks, but was fired after one season.

The Rangers are expected to send Americans Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh to the World Cup. Chris Kreider may make the team as well.

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NWHL set to launch this fall

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Per Travis Hughes, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) is set to play its inaugural season this fall with four teams: Boston Pride, New York Riveters (based out of Long Island), Connecticut Whale, and Buffalo Beauts. There is currently a women’s team in Boston as a part of the CWHL (additional teams in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Brampton), so it will be interesting to see how two women’s teams in Boston works out.

The teams will play an 18 game season, one game per week, and have two weeks of playoffs in February.

This is a big step for women’s hockey, as this will be the first paid professional league. It will be interesting to see if the league will get TV time, but I think the biggest point of interest –aside from the hockey– is to see how it will coexist with the CWHL. The CWHL doesn’t pay (as is my understanding). If the league is profitable, which is, unfortunately, the most important factor of the business (it is a business), I can see these two leagues merging at some point.

Puck Daddy has more information about the league and its commissioner Dani Rylan. Check it out as well.

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ESPN gets World Cup of Hockey TV rights

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The NHL and NHLPA have officially announced that ESPN will have the exclusive TV rights for the World Cup of Hockey, returning in September 2016. ESPN will air all tournament games, from round robin through the finals, with most games appearing on ESPN and ESPN2. This has been widely speculated since the announcement of the return of the tournament last month.

My best guess is that this is a feeler for both ESPN and the NHL/NHLPA. The network gets to gauge the hockey market, both locally and globally, for a possible future investment when NBC Universal’s exclusive deal is up in ten years. The league/players union gets to see how ESPN will broadcast the games, and see if a potential deal is feasible in the future.

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World Cup of Hockey set for September 2016

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The World Cup of Hockey is back. Gary Bettman announced the return of the tournament today, slated for September 2016. The tournament will be two weeks, beginning on September 17, 2016 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto. Eight teams will be competing in the tournament: Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Team Europe (the remaining European countries not included in the “Big Four” European countries), and the North American Youngstars.

Each team will have three pre-tournament games, followed by three round robin games. The top four teams will play in a single elimination semi-finals round, and the winners will play a best of three finals. Each team will consist of 20 skaters and 3 goalies.

The plan is to have the tournament every four years.

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Anthony Duclair and Canada defeated Igor Shesterkin, Pavel Buchnevich, and Russia last night by a score of 5-4 to take gold at the 2015 World Junior Championship. Duclair scored Canada’s first goal of the game on Shesterkin 23 seconds into the game. Shesterkin faced two more shots, allowing another goal, before being pulled. Buchnevich recorded an assist in the game.

For the tournament, Duclair finished with a line of 4-4-8 in 7 games. Buchnevich finished with 1-5-6 in 7 games.

Shesterkin finished with a 1.98 GAA and a .938 SV%. Brandon Halverson played in one game, stopping 14 shots for the shutout.

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Three Rangers prospects will square off gold at the 2015 World Junior Championships, as Anthony Duclair and Canada will take on Igor Shesterkin, Pavel Buchnevich, and Russia. Canada defeated Slovakia 5-1 in the semifinals, with Duclair notching a goal and an assist.

Shesterkin stopped 26 of Sweden’s 27 shots in Russia’s 4-1 victory. Buchnevich was held off the score sheet.

The gold medal game is tonight at 8:15 on the NHL network.

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Igor Shesterkin continued his sensational 2015 World Juniors tournament yesterday, stopping 39 of 41 shots as Russia sent Brandon Halverson and Team USA home in the quarterfinals. Pavel Buchnevich notched an assist in the first period of the win. Halverson did not play in the contest.

Anthony Duclair and Canada destroyed Denmark in their game, sending the Danes packing with an 8-0 win. Duclair recorded an assist in the win.

The tournament resumes tomorrow, with Russia taking on Sweden and Canada taking on Slovakia. The Canadians, who were heavily favored heading into the tournament, will likely head to the finals as well. Russia is looking to take down a Sweden team that beat them in the preliminary round.

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Canada, Russia, and Team USA all played on New Year’s Eve, but all were already guaranteed spots in the elimination round by that point. The games were for standings. But it was also for pride, as Canada took down Team USA 5-3. Anthony Duclair was held off the scoresheet for Canada, and Brandon Halverson did not play in the game.

Russia lost to the Czech Republic 4-1. Pavel Buchnevich was held off the scoresheet, and Igor Shesterkin stopped 23 of 26 shots.

USA faces off against Russia today at 1pm in the quarterfinals, which will send at least one New York Rangers prospect home. Canada has a relatively easy matchup against Denmark, tonight at 8pm. If victorious, USA will face the winner of Sweden/Finland, and Canada will get the winner of Czech Republic/Slovakia.

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