It seems like much of the hockey news these days is about anticipating what will happen next and how best to prepare. While there is little going on the ice (unless you're in Lake Placid and then I'm really jealous of you), there are mostly stories and analysis aimed at helping us all to understand what we can expect in the world of professional hockey as a "business," not only this season, but over the next few years.
Since Free Agent signings began a month ago, there has been an uncomfortable subtext related to the expiration of the NHL's CBA at the end of the 2011-12 season. Is this just because it's summer and the media doesn't have another three-way desert showdown between Bettman and Balsillie and the City of Glendale story to sink its teeth into in 2010? Or might it be that everyone involved remembers how horrible the lock-out season was for NHL Hockey's players, owners and fans and is terrified that it could happen again and is simply over-reacting? Take a look:
Perhaps the most anticipated arbitration hearing in NHL history is going down in Boston this week. And the repercussions may carry forward to the negotiations between the Players Association and the League for the CBA. For [another] in-depth analysis of "what the heck is going on here?" one of Kukla's Korner regulars attempts to make sense of all the angles. KuklasKorner : Kovalchuk contract arbitration not clear cut This week, starting today and in an undisclosed location, men will sit down in a small square room with the windows shuttered, and the NHL and the NHLPA will goe toe to toe over the validity of the flag-bearer contract of Ilya Kovalchuk.
NHLPA Approaching One Year Without a Leader - From The Rink from our own Bob Wage: Would the NHLPA hiring of Donald Fehr be good for hockey fans?
Blackhawks pay the price of success - The Globe and Mail Niemi’s departure from the Stanley Cup champs simply part of doing business in today’s NHL
Kevin Allen talks to the always outspoken uber-GM Brian Burke Veterans iced out as cap, cash concerns chill free agent market - USATODAY.com Paul Kariya also hasn't found work, nor have Bill Guerin and Lee Stempniak, who had 21 and 28 goals respectively, last season.
After the jump, looking forward with a little less lawyerly gravitas and a lot more youthful exuberance.
Lake Placid and preparing for World Juniors in Buffalo this winter.
Ah, Lake Placid in August watching competitive hockey at the Herb Brooks Arena between the best teenagers on the planet. A few lucky puckheads are there and sharing the experience.
USA Hockey junior evaluation camp Blog - 2011 World Junior Championship NHL.com's Adam Kimelman brings you all the happenings at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, with this recap of Tuesday's game: U.S. rides fast start to 6-3 win over Sweden
For today's game vs Finland, Brian Dumoulin will not play. Is this just because of the depth available or did his two penalties including an after-the-whistle "roughing" on Tuesday mean he needs to cool his heels for international play? Justin Faulk did not disappoint, quarterbacking on the numerous US power plays, and picking up two PP goals yesterday with his blast from the point. He will be in the top pairing again today. When the only player with two goals is a defenseman and about the youngest player on the US Roster that's cool. It's even better when he's a Carolina prospect. Sorry no video, but this is a fine moment to visualize:
Faulk's point shot hit the right post, bounced off [Swedish goalie] Petterson-Wentzel's back at 9:41 to make it 5-3.
From HockeyBuzz.com - Julie Robenhymer - Answering Your WJC Camp Questions has some further good thoughts on Dumoulin and Faulk. (s/t to @mab55264 for the pointer)
The photographer we know as Sandpiper (from her images of the Albany River Rats) will be making the trip to Lake Placid today and will be posting photos of the game at her flickr site. She will be focusing on Faulk as well as Tommi Kivisto and Rasmus Rissanen for Team Finland. I'll update here later with an easy link when they are up.
You can also check out the USA hockey U-20 Camp blog for updates on scores, photographs, and the link to stream the game online for $6.99. Today's game begins at 4pm.
And the Canadians start their U-20 Camp today in Newfoundland today (running through the weekend). Here's TSN's page devoted to their teenage hopefuls. Jeff Skinner will be among those trying to impress Team Canada's coaches. This quote, tweeted by NHL.com's Mike Morreale this morning, aptly sums up the mood [full interview with Coach Cameron here] :
Canadian National Junior coach Dave Cameron: "Players need to recognize it's no longer our divine right to win this tournament (WJC)."
Closer to home, the Hurricanes announced the names of those who will represent the club in Traverse City in September. Jeff Skinner, Jared Staal and Justin Shugg are recent additions from OHL clubs, and Riley Nash, Zac Dalpe and Mike McKenzie are recent signees from NCAA backgrounds. Michal Jordan, Matt Kennedy and Mike Murphy are among those who will be attending for their second year (and might be front runners to captain the squad). Here's the rest of the story: Canes to Return to Traverse City Rookie Tourney. The Carolina Hurricanes will participate in the 2010 NHL Prospects Tournament from Sept. 11-15, in Traverse City, MI.
Apparently the NHL is considering broadcasting the games on the NHL Network but needs some encouragement. If you would like to join the groundswell of hockey fans craving live hockey on TV in mid-September, please drop them an email here. As they say, "early and often" is a good approach. A tweet expressing your hunger for hockey to @NHLNetUSA couldn't hurt either.
As hockey media begins to wind up for the new season, the August tradition of lists and projections for the new year has begun. Puck Daddy has begun their series of team-by-team features called: Mount Puckmore. Canes Country was asked to put the Hurricanes Fourfathers together, so keep an eye out for that later this week.
NHL.com has begun their 30-in-30 series and we can look for the Canes preview on Saturday.
Sophomores To Watch In 2010-11: Eastern Conference - From The Rink Cory Lavalette puts together a list of several Eastern Conference sophomores who should emerge as key players for their teams in 2010-11.
Erik Cole returns to Oswego to help community : Sports : WSTM NBC3 You can't miss it when you head into Oswego via 481 North, a sign that tells you you're entering the hometown of 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Erik Cole. Chad LaRose, John Forslund and Joe Corvo were among those attending this fourth annual charity golf tournament and weekend event. The Canes linked the audio with Cole and John Forslund that was on XM Radio this morning. This was a big deal up there: Part 1 and Part 2.
Laviolette ready to coach Flyers from Day One - 2010 Offseason News Peter Laviolette, named to Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly for 2010" as the top coach in the city, recently offered his thoughts regarding the off-season maneuvers and the upcoming season via phone from his summer home in Florida.
Hurricanes' owner Peter Karmanos Jr, is getting some recognition in Michigan for his contributions to the sports community there: Lengthy wait over for state Hall class : The Detroit News After more than a year of waiting, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 54th class on Sept. 13 at the Rock Financial Showplace.
And be sure to check out Helsinki's preparation for the NHL Premier Games between the Hurricanes and the Minnesota Wild that was shared by the Wilds' PR Team on the scene yesterday: Giant billboard adorns Hartwall Areena for...
((UPDATE from HELSINKI))
Our "Man in Helsinki" hockey journalist Juha Hiitelä tweeted a few minutes ago that there was Media Availability earlier today with the Finnish NHL players for the Premier Games. Enjoy these interviews with Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen. For more on exactly what Ruutu is telling us about sauna plans for his unsuspecting teammates, check out our Finn Aficianado LTD's What Happens in Helsinki from the weekend updated with an explanation. One note: to watch the videos, there might be a longer than usual delay waiting for it to connect and buffer. Patience - even in Finnish - it's worth the wait. Ruutu video and Jokinen video.
In our own backyard
Two annual events that indicate the end of the off-season is near.
The Kids 'N Community 13th Annual Celebrity Golf tournament is set for the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary on September 27th. You can download the 4-page Information and Entry Form here: Kids 'N Community Golf tournament
If you prefer more sweat and less time, then perhaps you want to check out the Friesen Physio Fitness Summit set for Sunday, September 12, 2010, 9:00 AM
Raleigh-Charlotte train traffic jumps 200% - Triangle Business Journal It appears it was a good idea to add a midday train to their schedule.Interesting in light of the arrival of AHL hockey to Charlotte. Will this is an option for some of us?
President Obama deals out executive trash talk for Caps owner Leonsis - ProHockeyTalk includes this excerpt of a conversation between the POTUSA and Ted Leonsis at a basketball game in DC this week:
While the black third jerseys are great, it seems that when they are wearing the hometeam's red, our boys are especially hot: Men Wearing Red Found to Trigger Female Desire - Tech Talk - CBS News Study Finds That the Color Red Enhances Male Attractiveness to Women Read more by Charles Cooper on CBS News' Tech Talk.
Last week, a couple you tweeted me the first part of this story on six-year-old mini-mites dropping the gloves to go, till one hockey mommy intervened. Good stuff. However, the way the Panthers' captured the viral youtube video and had David Booth talk it over the boys made it a great PR moment is nothing short of awesome: Panthers' 'Root Beer Summit' the most adorable thing you'll watch today - Puck Daddy [how do you top: "I was twying to get the hat twick" ?]
And for those counting down: there are now 43 days till training camp.