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  1. Russia has been suspended from competing at the 2018 Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in light of rampant doping in that country. As per the IOC, clean, individual, invited athletes will still be able to participate, "be it in individual or team competitions, under the name 'Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)." They will play with a uniform bearing the OAR name and under the Olympic Flag, and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony. In light of this news, the KHL will probably not release its players. Maybe it is unfair to punish players not involved in the doping incident, so I wonder if we will see if Russia is also banned from World Juniors in Dec?
  2. I was reading a couple of articles about in the last couple of months of the participation of NHL players in the Olympics. I was reading one article last week about that which I think it will be their decision. In the article, they commissioner of the league that said they wouldn't participate and also, that the teams are not preparing for an alternative schedule. In my opinion, it's a wrong decision for the league, and I don't like it. I believe that the Olympics will only do for the league. The exposure of this game to the rest of the world is important for the league, and this helps the league to grows. By not participating I think they are missing a great audience that could have been exposing to this game. I believe that taking part in the Olympics increase the explosion and you can reach an audience that won't have to know about it. If you send the best players, so there is a great chance that more people will see it and maybe get into this game and will bring more audience. I think that this decision is wrong for the league and I disappointed that I won't see the best players in the world play in the Olympics. Hopefully, it will change, but I don't give a chance.
  3. Tuesday was the day that a lot of Canadians had marked on their calendars as it marked the announcement of the roster that will hit the ice to defend gold at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Steve Yzerman and the selection committee made the announcement just before 11:00am and Yzerman and the rest believe this is the team that gives Canada the best chance to win gold. Most hockey fans have been making up their own roster of who they would take, but here is the roster that will take the ice in Sochi: Goaltenders: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith Defense: Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Humuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews Of course when a country with the overwhelming abundance of talent such as Canada is forced to put together a roster of just 25 players there are bound to be omissions and additions that many will question and argue against and this team is no exception. In goal there is seems to be no surprises with Luongo, Price, and Smith however in other spots on the ice there are a few interesting choices that were made. The most notable omissions to the team this time around include Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, Philadelphia Captain Claude Giroux, San Jose’s Logan Couture, Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and James Neal and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Meanwhile some notable admissions were Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz, Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter, and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau. For team Canada it is hard to justify some players over others as the numbers of player having great seasons this year is so large. One of the most controversial additions is Chris Kunitz. Kunitz is having a great year having put up 23 goals and 47 points in 44 games so far. However it seems that the biggest reason for Kunitz being named to the team is because of the chemistry that he has had with Sidney Crosby. So the one looming question following Kunitz is, is he there simply just to compliment Sidney Crosby? For the mean time it looks like that is the case though you can’t ignore that he has more than a point per game this year. However, one other question to consider when looking at Kunitz is if Crosby were to be injured and unable to take the ice in Sochi, would Kunitz be able to gel well enough with another centreman and vice versa? Team Canada obviously thinks so and let’s hope that they are right. As for Carter, Carter has been one of the better shooters the past few years and is a proven finisher a great asset for any team. This season he has 26 points and 15 goals in 33 games. This means Carter is scoring almost once every two games and last year averaged what would have been over 50 goals in a full season. Marleau is a unique pick in the sense that he wasn’t a name that garnered a lot of attention yet almost seems like a no brainer to be on the team. He has been fairly consistent his entire career and also been a great leader. Though Marleau’s numbers dipped a little last season putting up just 31 points in 48 games, this year he has put up 41 points in 43 games and seems to back at it. Marleau was also part of the team that won gold in Vancouver and will bring a veteran presence to the team as well as the ability to play in all situations for Canada. One of the more notable omissions was Claude Giroux, in Giroux’s case it seems that his slow start may have been what plagued him the most. Giroux started off the season not recording his first goal past the 10 game mark, due in part to both his play and the poor play of the rest of the Flyers. Giroux has substantially picked up his play since and how has 38 points in 42 games, but it seems like this hot streak may have come too late for Giroux and may have caused him his spot. Former Olympians Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, and Brent Seabrook were also snubbed of spots on the team as well. A lot of controversy arose last week after Team USA announced that Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan did not make the roster that will represent the States in Sochi, but it seems that for Canada opinions about who should and who shouldn’t have made the team have been even more intense. However, arguments aside the team has been announced and bearing a few injuries to the team, this will be the team that will look to defend gold for Canada. A case could be made for or against almost every player named to the team and some people may just do that. Many may not agree with who all made the team, but one thing is for sure, there is no shortage of talent on this roster of 25 of Canada’s best. Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman
  4. habsguy26

    Team Canada 2018

    First of all, congratulations to the 2014 Men's Canadian Olympic Hockey Team. Go Canada Go! I'll be cheering from home! Also, in case you missed it, here are the 25 members of the team, arranged by where I think they'll be playing. Forwards Kunitz-Crosby-Stamkos Perry-Getzlaf-Tavares Sharp-Toews-Duchene Benn-Bergeron-Nash Carter/Marleau Defence Weber-Keith Doughty-Pietrangelo Bouweester-Subban Hamhuis/Vlasic Goalies Luongo (will start 1st game) Price Smith As for my evaluation of this team, I expect nothing less of gold in Sochi. I trust that Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock, and all of Hockey Canada made the right choices and all I can do as a die hard fan of Canadian hockey is cheer them on. Not sit here and criticize every move made. Management and the coaching staff know what they're doing (re 2010), so don't doubt Team Canada. Now, moving on. Today, Hockey Canada announced their 25 man roster for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. With very close attention being paid to the members of this squad, I've decided to look a bit further. The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Canada's quest for gold at the 2018 games is set to begin in a few weeks, Sunday, February 23rd. Immediately after this year's gold medal game. Yup. While, my squad for the 2018 games is a complete shot in the dark and is just for fun, the guys I picked are based off of who I think will be the best players come February 2018. Enjoy! Forwards (in no particular order) Jonathan Drouin Sidney Crosby Steven Stamkos Jamie Benn Jonathon Toews Connor McDavid Nathan MacKinnon Sean Couturier Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Johnathan Tavares Taylor Hall Jordan Eberle Tyler Seguin James Neal Defencemen (in no particular order) Kris Letang Drew Doughty Alex Pietrangelo P.K Subban Shea Weber Aaron Ekblad Duncan Keith Dougie Hamilton Goalies (not in particular order) Carey Price Jonathan Bernier Jake Allen Honorable Mentions (a lot of them) Malcom Subban, Braden Holtby, Claude Giroux, Corey Perry, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Tyler Benson, Sean Day, Mark Visentien, Logan Couture, Patrice Bergeron, Brendan Gallagher, Zachary Fucale, Steve Mason, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fluery, Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, Brent Seabrook, Milan Lucic, Brent Burns, Chris Chelios, Mike Green, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Rick Nash, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Mark Staal, Cody Hodgson, Luke Schenn, Braydon Schenn, Jared Cowen, Tyler Myers, Evander Kane, Ryan Murray, Mathew Dumba, Travis Hamonic, Mark Schiefele, Mike Smith, and Patrick Sharp Did I miss anyone? Do you think you can come up with a better team! Let me know and leave a comment! Thanks for reading and stay classy. Habsguy26
  5. This is the list of players invited to summer Olympic camp for team Canada. Goalies: Corey Crawford, Braden Holtby, Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith Defensemen: Karl Alzer, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Mike Green, Dan Hamhuis, Travis Hamonic, Duncan Keith, Kris Letang, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf, Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Seabrook, Marc Staal, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Logan Couture, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Chris Kunitz, Andrew Ladd, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Rick Nash, James Neal, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Patrick Sharp, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal,Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews If you were organizing the team which 12 forwards, 6 d-men and 2 goalies would you choose? Who would play together on lines? If you think others not invited to camp should be on the team, add them and explain why.
  6. Although it may still be about 6 months until the winter Olympics get under way in Sochi, Russia, speculation about who will be suiting up for team Canada this time has already began as Team Canada wrapped up its orientation camp Wednesday. Looking forward it is already clear that Canada will have to make sure that they do not make the same mistake they made in 2006 in Turin, Italy. Canada made a mistake when they tried to replicate the same team that had won during the previous games in Salt Lake City. That means that Canada and fans alike, should expect a number of changes to the roster if they hope to be successful. Looking at the roster that captured gold in 2010 in Vancouver, it seems there are already some names that are obvious additions and subtractions to the squad. In terms of additions the obvious names that stick out are Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, and John Tavares all of whom have grown drastically in the last four years and have become superstars of their respected NHL clubs. In terms of subtractions from the squad names such as Scott Neidermayer and Chris Pronger are obvious since they are no longer playing in the NHL. However, names such as Dany Heatley and Brendon Morrow can also likely be added to this list because of their drop in production to their teams in the last couple years. Now despite these obvious admissions and subtractions there are likely other changes that will be made to the team. So, here are a few more possible roster moves that could be made heading to 2014. After coming off a Norris Trophy season Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has to be garnering much more speculation than he was prior to this season. Subban seems to have matured more as a hockey player since playing under new habs bench boss Michelle Therien and this maturity may be the thing that lands him a spot on the team, as his skill is unquestionable. Pittsburgh dman Kris Letang is another name that might be an obvious addition to Canada’s back end especially with the omissions of Pronger and Neidermayer. Letang has become one of the most dynamite offensive dman in the league and would be a great asset to the Canadian powerplay. Another Penguin that could garner some talk is James Neal his solid play the last few seasons along with his solid playoff numbers might be proof that he can perform under very high pressure situations. Plus having some chemistry with Sidney Crosby couldn’t hurt his chances either. Oilers young guns Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle could both be possible additions up front as both have started to become leaders on a still very young Edmonton team. One name that is likely to not get much attention, but that I feel still should at least be in the back of the minds of those putting the roster together is Kings’ forward Jeff Carter. Though Carter only mustarded up 33 points in 48 games this season, which still isn’t terrible, 26 of those 33 points were goals. This means that Carter is a proven marksman, he can finish plays and his big frame and speed can make him hard to handle in the offensive zone. On the goaltending front Luongo is likely still going to hold the starting job. Martin Brodeur has turned down a spot on the team and Marc-Andre Fleury’s recent failure to perform in the playoffs when his team has needed him most has left the two other positions opened. So with that in mind the door seems wide open for almost any tender to come in and take the job. It seems that Habs Carey Price could be one of the more likely names to get a shot. After coming off a Stanley Cup win and a solid playoff performance, Corey Crawford’s name has now come up. Mike Smith is the other name being mentioned for the third string position, now that he has become a wall in Phoenix. Essentially, in the end it will likely be a fight for the second and third string positions as Luongo will likely hold the reigns. In the meantime there are also a bunch of names that might either have to play themselves back on to the team or on to it. A quick list of these players include: Brent Seabrook, Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, Matt Duchene, Milan Lucic, Jeff Skinner, Alex Petierangelo, Mike Richards, and even possibly Jarome Iginla (who did not receive an invite to the orientation camp). For this group it seems that age is a big factor. It will be a question if the older players will be able to keep and stay competitive playing against the best players in the world and if some of the younger players will be able to handle the pressure and experience needed. Luckily all the names above have had international experience so all could be very viable options. One other thing I feel that Steve Yzerman and the team selection committee need to be weary about is the fact that these players will likely be able to play out of position if needed. It has been made clear that Canada has an abundance of very talented centreman. Crosby, Tavares, Toews, Getzlaf, Giroux, and Bergeron can all play the centre position, but with only four centre spots, I feel these six names are too valuable to be left off the team. Some of these players may have to play on the wing and I think it is important for Team Canada to realize this and understand that these players are among the best in the world and should be able to adapt. TSN recently placed Pittsburgh Penguin forward on the left side alongside Sidney Crosby as they felt Crosby would need someone he was familiar with on his wing. Crosby is the most talented player in the world and will be able to play with any winger he steps on the ice with. So, with that in mind I don’t think Kunitz will make the team. So to wrap it up here is my final roster for team Canada heading into the 2014 games, which I’m sure I will make changes to as next year starts and the Olympics grow closer. Also take into consideration that I am not necessarily making lines, these are essentially the names that I feel give Canada the best chance at repeating as Olympic Champions. Forwards: Nash Crosby Stamkos Getzlaf Toews Perry Tavares Giroux E. Staal St. Louis Bergeron Richards Ex. Neal, Carter Defense: Doughty Weber Keith Letang Subban Petierangelo Ex. Seabrook Goaltenders: Luongo Price Crawford Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman
  7. This is the list of players invited to summer Olympic camp for team USA. Goalies: Craig Anderson, Ryan Miller, John Gibson, Jonathan Quick, Jimmy Howard, Cory Schneider Defensemen: Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, John Carlson, Dan DeKeyser, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Jake Gardiner, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Seth Jones, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter, Jacob Trouba, Keith Yandle. Forwards: Justin Abdelkader, David Backes, Beau Bennett, Nick Bjugstad, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Alex Galchenyuk, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Okposo, TJ Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Kyle Palmieri, Zack Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Brandon Saad, Craig Smith, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler. If you were organizing the team which 12 forwards, 6 d-men and 2 goalies would you choose? Who would play together on lines? If you think others not invited to camp should be on the team, add them and explain why.
  8. The 2013 IIHF World Hockey Championship wrapped up a couple weeks ago in Sweden and Finland with this year’s winner being the host Sweden team. This year the tournament had its fair share of interesting story lines from the amazing place of the Switzerland team to France pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history. So, with the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games just around the corner there might be some early signs of what’s to come in Russia when the world’s elite will play for gold. Canada once again came up short in the quarterfinals, losing to host Sweden 3-2 in a shootout. The early exit however, has become somewhat of a ritual for the Canucks over the past four tournaments. The Canadians have not captured a tournament win since 2007 when they defeated Finland 2-1 in the gold medal game. However, this year the biggest blunder by one of the stronger teams in the world came at the hands of the Russians. A very strong Russian team that included superstars such as Alex Semin, Alex Radulov, Ilya Kovalchuck, and Ilya Bryzgalov lost a shocker to France 2-1. France has never been a force in World Championship play, in fact their strongest finish in the tournaments history was 6th place. A finish they have never been able to meet since they achieved this back in 1930. To also put the loss into perspective, France did not qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games. However, the biggest story of the tournament was the stellar play of Switzerland. Switzerland finished the round robin with 20 points, good enough to be the top team from either pool. The Swiss defeated the Czech Republic, moving on to the semifinals where they will met the USA. In their semi-final match against the Americans, Swiss played another dominate game and took the contest 3-0, sending them to the finals for the first time in team history. The Swiss historically have never fared much in the tournament except for playing somewhat of a spoiler to other nations. The Swiss’ only other significant achievement came back in 2010 when they defeated Canada 2-1 for the first time in the tournament’s existence. The Swiss during the tournament defeated both the Czech Republic and Sweden (the eventual tournament champs), both of who will be in the same pool as the Swiss during the Olympics, which could be a good sign for the Swiss moving forward. However, it is important to know that the teams that are taking part in the World Championships right now will be greatly improved come the Olympics with the additions of many more NHL players who will join their fellow countries. Though, the approval of NHLers being allowed to compete in next year’s games has yet to be determined. So, heading into the 2014 Olympic Games it will be very interesting to see if more shocking upsets and Cinderella stories will be made. Could we be starting to see an emergence of new hockey powers in the world? For now only time will tell. Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman
  9. Hey guys, this is a new series from me. I'll be going through all of the 2014 olympic hockey teams and projecting their rosters... remember, this is permitting on whether the NHL decides to go there or not... but if Bettman wants to grow the game like he says he does, he will send Sid and Ovie to Sochi. But anyways, Part 2 is on The Czechs. Enjoy, and please leave a vote and a comment telling me how you like the series! At the end of the series, I'm going to put in my brackets and reveal who I think will win the gold, silver and bronze medals. Thanks for your time! Head Coach - Alois Hadamczik First Line: LW: Milan Michalek C: David Krecji RW: Martin Havlat Second Line: LW: Ales Hemsky C: Tomas Plekanec RW: Patrik Elias Third Line: LW: Martin Erat C: Tomas Fleischmann RW: Jiri Hudler Fourth Line: LW: Tomas RolinekC: Martin Hanzal RW: Roman Cervenka Extra Forwards: Micheal Frolik, Vaclav Prospal First Defence pairing: LD: Pavel Kubina RD: Tomas Kaberle Second Defence pairing: LD: Zbynek Michalek RD: Marek Zidlicky Third Defence pairing: LD: Rostislav Klesla RD: Jaroslav Spachek Extra Defenceman: Roman Polak Starting Goalie: Ondrej Pavelec Back-up Goalie: Tomas Vokoun Third string Goalie: Jakub Stepanak Obviously the Czechs will be missing a main stay in Jaromir Jagr, as he will be long retired by the time Sochi rolls around. Havlat, Hemsky and Michalek will be looked at to fill the role. It will be a tough to to fill, as Jagr is arguably the best Czech to ever lace up a pair of skates. Pretty standard team and no real surprises. I wouldn't expect the Czechs to go to far though, so sorry! But you can expect to see Pavelec on his game. The next part of this series will be on the Swedes. See you then.
  10. Hey guys, this is an idea for a series I literally just thought of... I'll be going through all of the 2014 olympic hockey teams and projecting their rosters... remember, this is permitting on whether the NHL decides to go there or not... but if Bettman wants to grow the game like he says he does, he will send Sid and Ovie to Sochi. But anyways, episode 1 begins with Team Russia. Enjoy, and leave a vote and a comment telling me how you like the series! At the end of the series, I'm going to put in my brackets and reveal who I think will win the gold, silver and bronze medals. Thanks for your time! Head Coach - Vyacheslav Bykov First Line: LW: Alexander Ovechkin C: Evgeni Malkin RW: Alexander Radulov Second Line: LW: Ilya Kovalchuk C: Pavel Datsyuk RW: Alexander Semin Third Line: LW: Nikita Filitov C: Mikhail Grigorenko RW: Nail Yakupov Fourth Line: LW: Nikolai Kulemin C: Evgeny Kuznetsov RW: Artem Anisimov Extra Forwards: Alexander Frolov, Maxim Afinogenov First Defence pairing: LD: Dmitry Kulikov RD: Andrei Markov Second Defence pairing: LD: Denis Kulyash RD: Fedor Tyutin Third Defence pairing: LD: Anton Volchenkov RD: Denis Grebishkov Extra Defenceman: Alexei Emelin Starting Goalie: Semeyon Varlamov Back-up Goalie: Ilya Bryzgalov Third string Goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky * HEY guys, sorry for the lines and stuff not matching up..... don't know how to fix it! * There was a lot of close calls here. But this is what I think the team will look like. The Habs and the Flyers are well represented here with two players a piece, and as well as the 2012 entry draft with Nail Yakupov and Grigorenko making my team. Obviously the Russians have a high powered offence and hard hitting defenders like Volchenkov and Emelin. Their powerplay would be lethal, with Markov dishing the puck to Ovechkin, Kovalchuck, Malkin and Kulyash (the guy who has a 110 MPH slap shot). Ultimately I think it will be Varlamov getting the call over Bryz, mostly because Varlamov is proven to be clutch, and as most of you know, Bryz really isn't... So tell me what you guys think of my Russian line up for Sochi! The next episode will feature the Czechs!

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