Month: June 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Fleury, Methot, Neal headline Golden Knights’ expansion draft roster

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By Navin Vaswani – The Score

The NHL’s 31st team is ready to play hockey.

The Vegas Golden Knights‘ expansion draft roster was unveiled Wednesday night, ending months of speculation as to the look of the league’s newest team.

Here are head coach Gerard Gallant’s players, broken down alphabetically by position:

Forwards

  • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (from Flyers)
  • Connor Brickley [1] (from Hurricanes)
  • William Carrier [2] (from Sabres)
  • David Clarkson [3] (from Blue Jackets via trade)
  • Cody Eakin (from Stars)
  • Mikhail Grabovski [4] (from Islanders via trade)
  • Nikita Gusev [5] (from Lightning via trade)
  • Erik Haula (from Wild)
  • William Karlsson (from Blue Jackets)
  • Brendan Leipsic (from Maple Leafs)
  • Oscar Lindberg (from Rangers)
  • Jonathan Marchessault (from Panthers)
  • James Neal (from Predators)
  • Tomas Nosek (from Red Wings)
  • David Perron (from Blues)
  • Teemu Pulkkinen (from Coyotes)
  • Reilly Smith [6] (from Panthers via trade)
  • Chris Thorburn [7] (from Jets)
  • Alex Tuch [8] (from Wild via trade)

Footnotes

[1] Hurricanes trade 2017 fifth-round pick to Golden Knights as part of Brickley selection.
[2] Sabres trade 2017 sixth-round pick to Golden Knights (so Linus Ullmark wouldn’t be selected, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman).
[3] Blue Jackets trade David Clarkson, 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick to Vegas as part of Karlsson selection.
[4] Islanders trade 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick, forward Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Jake Bischoff to Golden Knights as part of Jean-Francois Berube selection.
[5] Lightning trade Gusev, second-round pick in 2017, fourth-round pick in 2018 to Vegas as part of Garrison selection.
[6] Panthers trade Reilly Smith to Golden Knights for 2018 fourth-round pick.
[7] Golden Knights flip Jackets’ first-round pick in 2017 to Winnipeg for Jets’ first-round pick in 2017 and third-round pick in 2019 (as part of agreement to keep Vegas from selecting Toby Enstrom in the draft).
[8] Wild trade Tuch to Vegas for conditional third-round pick in 2017 or 2018.

Defensemen

  • Jake Bischoff [9] (from Islanders via trade)
  • Alexei Emelin (from Canadiens)
  • Deryk Engelland (from Flames)
  • Jason Garrison [10] (from Lightning)
  • Brayden McNabb (from Kings)
  • Jon Merrill (from Devils)
  • Marc Methot (from Senators)
  • Colin Miller (from Bruins)
  • Griffin Reinhart (from Oilers)
  • Luca Sbisa (from Canucks)
  • David Schlemko (from Sharks)
  • Nate Schmidt (from Capitals)
  • Clayton Stoner (from Ducks)
  • Shea Theodore [11] (from Ducks via trade)
  • Trevor van Riemsdyk (from Blackhawks)

Footnotes

[9] Islanders trade 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick, forward Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Jake Bischoff to Golden Knights as part of Jean-Francois Berube selection.
[10] Lightning trade Gusev, second-round pick in 2017, fourth-round pick in 2018 as part of Garrison selection.
[11] Ducks trade Theodore to Golden Knights as part of Stoner selection.

Goalies

  • Jean-Francois Berube [12] (from Islanders)
  • Marc-Andre Fleury [13] (from Penguins)
  • Calvin Pickard (from Avalanche)

Footnotes

[12] Islanders trade 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick, forward Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Jake Bischoff to Golden Knights as part of Berube selection.
[13] Penguins trade 2020 second-round pick to Vegas as part of Fleury selection.

NHL Awards: McDavid wins big while Bobrovsky, Burns, Matthews earn hardware

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By Navin Vaswani – The Score

The league handed out its annual hardware Wednesday night, and here’s a rundown of who won what:

Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid

The kid’s alright.

McDavid scored an awards hat trick Wednesday (he officially collected his Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer), capping off his stellar night by winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. He’s 20 years old.

Vezina Trophy: Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky won his second career Vezina Trophy, punctuating a remarkable season for both the 28-year-old and his Columbus Blue Jackets. The goaltender was emotional in victory, noting his return from groin injuries that threatened to derail his career for good.

James Norris Trophy: Brent Burns

Burns has his Norris Trophy. The San Jose Sharks defenseman edged Erik Karlsson for the award, his first, after posting career highs across the board.

Calder Memorial Trophy: Auston Matthews

For the first time in basically forever, a member of the Maple Leafs won an NHL award, with Matthews declared the league’s top rookie. He scored 40 goals and Toronto made the playoffs.

Bill Masterton Trophy: Craig Anderson

Anderson had one hell of a year. His wife Nicholle was diagnosed with cancer in the fall, resulting in the goaltender taking multiple leaves of absence from the Ottawa Senators. The club rallied around its goaltender and his wife, though, and the Sens’ deep run into the playoffs was one of the more special stories of the season.

Even better, Nicholle was in attendance in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, cancer-free.

Frank J. Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron

Bergeron won his fourth Selke Trophy on Wednesday, tying legend Bob Gainey for the most all time. Bergeron took the honor for the third time in four years. It’s his until it isn’t.

Jack Adams Award: John Tortorella

The man affectionately known as “Torts” won his second career Jack Adams Trophy, and he deflected praise thrown his way, saying he was glad his Blue Jackets were recognized for their incredible regular season.

Ted Lindsay Award: McDavid

McDavid’s peers know he’s the man. The Oilers captain took home most outstanding honors, as voted by the NHLPA.

NHL GM of the Year Award: David Poile

Poile’s Nashville Predators fell two wins shy of the Stanley Cup, but the general manager was rewarded for how far his team has come.

Lady Byng Trophy: Johnny Gaudreau

Calgary Flames superstar Gaudreau took home his first NHL trophy, the Lady Byng. He finished fourth in voting last season.

Latvian-born Canadian hockey player Krista Yip-Chuck allowed to represent Latvia

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By Kas jaunas.lv

Canada-born Latvian-born hockey player Krista Jip-Chaka received the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Council authorization to represent the Latvian national women’s national, reports the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation.

Currently, 21-year-old Krista Jip Caka last year turned to LHF and expressed her willingness to represent the Latvian female national team. In the spring IIHF application was submitted to Jip-Chaka could play in the world championship under the Latvian flag.

As the main argument for playing for Latvia national team Krista Jip-Caka said her roots were from Latvian orgin. Krista is Canadian with Latvian dual nationality, she acquired a Latvian passport  on April 14, 2015.

The previous four seasons Krista Jip-Chaka played for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Yale University team, which last season she recorded 20 points ( 5+ 15) she was elected captain by her teammates.

She was born in Whitby, Ontario, while her mom Liza Preisa once engaged in volleyball and played for University of Cincinnati.

 

Four years ago Krista Jip-Caka was part of the Canadian U-18 list of candidates, as well as becoming the Canadian U-18 Championship winner.

Latvian women’s national team in April played at world championship division I Group B and finsh in third place.

Jokerit To Host SKA In Open – Air Classic

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By KHL.ru

On the 2nd of December, 2017, Helsinki will host a KHL regular championship match between Jokerit and SKA Saint Petersburg, and the game will be a “Winter Classic” staged in an outdoor arena. The timing of the match coincides with three significant anniversaries: the 10th season of the Kontinental Hockey League, the 50th anniversary of the founding of HC Jokerit, and the centenary year of hockey in Finland.

The idea of holding a first-ever outdoor game in a KHL regular championship came from Jokerit. The Helsinki club proposed marking its 50-year jubilee with a major celebration for all the fans in Finland, and the plan drew enthusiastic support from the KHL.

A KHL match between two of the strongest European clubs will be one of the highlights of the League’s 10th anniversary season. Thanks to the vast territory covered by the KHL, the game in Helsinki will attract the attention of people across many countries and from fans of clubs which play in the competition. For this reason, marking the 100th anniversary of Finnish hockey with a KHL match dedicated to the occasion will be a superb way to raise awareness throughout an entire continent about the strong traditions of these great hockey powers. At the same time, the teams will be playing for valuable points in the regular season, and so the game will be fiercely competitive and even more exciting for the fans of both clubs.

The venue for the match was chosen with great care. It was here, over one hundred years ago, on the frozen waters of an inlet separating Siltasaari and Kaisaniemi, two areas of Helsinki, that amateur hockey players first started playing the exciting new game, which in those years involved fighting for possession of a ball rather than a puck.  Soon the Finns had created a permanent rink in Kaisaniemi Park, and matches in the national championship have been played here to this day.

Three days after the Jokerit – SKA game, the same venue will stage a match from the Finnish League. The two games are united under the banner, “Helsinki Ice Challenge,” and surrounding the playing surface will be special stands built to accommodate around 18,000 spectators. A sell-out crowd for this event would set a new attendance record for the League.

It is hoped the fans will feel the atmosphere of a century ago, a time when a new sport was taking its first steps on Finnish soil. Most of the open-air stadium will be for standing spectators, as that is how the hardy souls watched hockey back in those pioneering days. The Finnish club has announced that tickets for the match will go on sale from the 8th of June, 2017.

This match in the Great Outdoors is just one of many planned events dedicated to marking the 10th anniversary of the Kontinental Hockey League. News of the other surprises and celebrations to delight the fans during this anniversary season will appear in due course on the League’s official website.

PH ice hockey team targets gold in SEA Games

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By Dennis Gasgonia – ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Philippines has a national ice hockey team and it’s aiming for the gold in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in August.

French-Filipino Francois Gautier, general manager of Hockey Philippines, said they will be holding the Philippine Ice Hockey Tournament starting Wednesday to help prepare the team for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Gautier said they will be tested against hockey teams from Korea, Taipei and Singapore. Some of these clubs are expected to field professional players.

“These teams that are coming are a lot stronger than the teams that we’re competing against in the SEA Games,” Gautier noted.

According to Gautier, Thailand is the heavy favorite in the biennial games, but is expected to face rough sailing due to a complaint it received in the Sapporo event.

Gautier noted that the Thai team brought five Swedish players in that event and if those players won’t be eligible for SEA Games, then the Philippines will come in as the favorites.

“I’m not gonna guarantee a gold, but that’s what we’re going for. We’re not going to settle for anything less,” he said.

It will be the first time that the Philippines is fielding an ice hockey team to compete at the SEA Games.

“The goal is to prepare the team for SEA Games. What better preparation than to play them against some really tough competition?” Gautier said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.

The Philippine team recently won bronze in the 2017 Winter Asian Games in Sapporo, Japan last February. Its best win was a rousing victory over Qatar, 14-2.

Karjala Tournament grows

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By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

The Karjala Tournament, one of the men’s national team events of the Euro Hockey Tour, will grow to six teams. The traditional four national squads of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden will be joined by Canada and Switzerland.

“There was desire from Canada to play against Euro Hockey Tour countries,” said the Finland Ice Hockey Association’s General Director Matti Nurminen. “The significance of the Karjala Tournament for the teams involved this year is particularly high. As NHL players are not going to join the Olympics in February, players from other leagues will give a taste of the Olympics at the Karjala Tournament.”

Switzerland as the fifth-best European nation in the IIHF World Ranking was invited as well and will complete the six-team tournament in Finland.

The event, known as Karjala-turnaus in Finnish, has been held every season since 1995/96 and is one of the most prestigious annual invitational tournaments for men’s national teams outside of the Worlds and Olympics. It usually takes place in November in Helsinki. Last year’s event was won by Russia.

For Canada the Karjala Tournament held 8-12 November will be a major opportunity to test players from Europe ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as will be the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, 26-31 December.

Ticket sale for the event will start on 31 August it was announced by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and the schedule will be released in mid-August.

Q & A With Adil El Farj

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

When you talk about the country of Morocco, Ice Hockey is not a subject unless you talk to Adil El Farj who is Morocco national team goalie and now is with  Fédération Royale Marocaine de Hockey sur Glace.
We caught up with Adil in Montreal and ask him some question about himself and Hockey in Morocco.

Where did you start playing the game of Ice hockey?

I live in Canada, so hockey here is not the national sport … it’s the national religion . So when my parents moved to Canada the logical thinking was to play hockey.

Goaltending is a tough position, why did you pick this position? 

As a kid from Montreal my idols were Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin, Jimmy Waite and later Martin Brodeur. So goaltending was a no brainier for me.

When did you hear about Hockey in Morocco?

I was in Quebec City in February 2006 and I saw that Morocco was a participant in the famous pee wee tournament. I was really proud to see them play.

Why did you become Involved in Morocco Hockey?

In 2008 the guys went over to UAE for the Arab cup and I got in touch with them to get involved !

What are the main challenges for the advancement of ice hockey in Morocco?

The biggest challenge right now is building a full size IIHF rink ! We have pressure from both the kids and the senior players to have one : The kids because of the growing number that want to join and start hockey, And adults because they want to play a real game 5 on 5 and not 3 on 3.
Having a full size rink will allow us to participate in the IIHF World Championship program and become a full member.

Right now we are stuck in a loop, like all the non participants countries we don’t have a regular ice so we don’t play in the IIHF championships . And since we don’t participate in any IIHF championship our authorities in Morocco don’t see why we  should have a rink.

In Morocco there are some small Ice rinks where you have held some hockey camps for kids, how did that go and will there be any future camps organized?

We had to refuse kids ! The ice was too small but we managed. During the 2015 IIHF congress we obtain donation of gear. This donation was VERY VERY much appreciated. It was not enough for the kids . Remember there is no equipment  stores in Morocco and the closes place to buy a puck is in Barcelona !

In 2016 the African Cup for club teams took place, How did Morocco do and will there be any future tournaments?

Oh it was fun! Even if it was a organization challenge, we had a lot fun.
What impressed the IIHF observers is the level of play of the teams that were there and also the crowd ! We had a full house.

Morocco National Team has not played since 2008 Arab Cup. You have mention to me about a possible organizing a tournament for small hockey nations,. has there been any progress since we last talk about it?

In my last IIHF congress in Moscow, we discussed with IIHF non participants countries to create a Championship ! The point of doing this is to give our players an opportunity to compete vs other players on an international  level.

Also our goals is to show the IIHF that we are taking things serious and we are doing something and not just waiting for a miracle !
In order For international hockey to develop, we and all the IIHF members that don’t participate in regular competition must have an international competition to offer our players a hope that they can compete with other hockey nations, otherwise we would  be telling them that they have no horizon or hope other than local house leagues!
Right now Namibia left the IIHF because they felt they are going no where with no participation.

We have to turn the tide to show the IIHF that small countries want play and want to grow the game.

Your Jersey is displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame along with the hockey greats. This must of been a huge honour for you?

You have no idea how big an honor it is ! But most important is that this jersey and all the other artifacts are there because of all the guys and all the Morocco hockey players and staff. It’s a great honor for all of us.

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What would like to see happen in the next 5 yeas for Ice Hockey in Morocco and Africa in general?

My personal goals for the next five years
– build a full size arena
– increase the number of female players and have a female league.
– Participate in IIHF World Championship Program
– Organize an IIHF Championship for small nations
– Organize an IIHF semi annual congress

Penguins repeat Stanley Cup with Game 6 win against Predators

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By Michael Traikos – National Post

They say dynasties don’t exist anymore. And maybe they are right. Maybe no team will win four straight Stanley Cups like the New York Islanders did back in the day.

But what the Pittsburgh Penguins achieved in back-to-back years is pretty special.

Rookie goalie Matt Murray recorded his second straight shutout and Patric Hornqvist scored with 95 seconds remaining in the third period, as the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

It was the first time that a team has repeated as champions in almost 20 years. And for that, the Penguins mostly have Sidney Crosby to thank.

Crosby, who won his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, scored eight goals and 27 points in 24 games. He now has three championships. That is one more than Mario Lemieux — and the Penguins captain is not yet 30 years old.

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Sid is obviously an unbelievable player,” said Phil Kessel, who has won in each of the two years since coming to Pittsburgh in a trade from Toronto. “You watch him out there and he does the little things and he does them well. You just follow his lead. We did it again.”

This year’s win might have been harder than a year ago. The team was missing Kris Letang and was missing Murray for the first two rounds. By the time the Penguins reached the final, the team was running on fumes.

But they found that extra gear when they needed it, even if the Predators had been the better team at times.

Evgeni Malkin had 28 points, including three goals in the Cup final. Jake Guentzel, who was in the minors for most of the year, led the playoffs with 13 goals. And Murray, who came back from injury and replaced Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 3 in the Eastern Conference final, played his best when it mattered the most.

But it was Crosby who willed this team to victory.

He might not have scored the game-winner in Game 6, but the Penguins wouldn’t be here without him. He scored seven points in six games against the Predators. In the process, he made a household name out of Guentzel.

“You come to the rink every day and you get to play with him, so it’s special,” said the 22-year-old rookie. “Obviously, he took me under his wing every day. I was fortunate to have him. It’s crazy how this year went. Lots of ups and downs. But this is definitely the way to end it.”

The Penguins had been in this situation before in the playoffs, having led 3-2 against the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators. Both times, they failed to close things out in Game 6 and needed a win in Game 7.

Pittsburgh had hoped to learn from that mistake. But it’s not always about the team trying to close. The Predators were a desperate team. They were also confident, having outplayed the Penguins for most of the series. And they were at home, where they had a near spotless record in the playoffs.

This one was a nail-biter, the first competitive game in a series that had followed no formula except that the home team had won each of the first five games. That obviously changed in Game 6. But it wasn’t easy.

The first three periods were like watching an extended overtime. No one wanted to give up the first goal. No one even wanted to give up a scoring chance.

When they did, the goalies were there to bail them out.

Both Rinne and Murray had been good at times during this series — but never in the same game. In Game 6, we were finally treated to a goalie duel.

When Nashville finally put one in the net, it didn’t count.

About a minute into the second period, Filip Forsberg took a wrist shot that Penguins goalie Matt Murray got a piece of, but ended up sneaking underneath his arm and dribbling towards the goal line. Nashville’s Colton Sissons poked the puck into the net, but just as the crowd started cheering the referee was waving the goal off.

The refs, of course, were not to blame for Nashville’s lost.

The Predators had chances. They had four power plays in the game, including back-to-back opportunities midway through the second. It should have resulted in one, if not two goals. But Pittsburgh’s penalty kill, which was basically Murray standing on his head, kept Nashville off the board.

With Murray holding down the fort, the Penguins finally snuck one past Rinne. It was a weird one. A shot from Justin Schultz bounced off the back of the net and Patric Hornqvist somehow banked the puck in off Rinne and into the net.

Carl Hagelin added an empty-netter for good measure.

“It’s the toughest trophy in all of sports to win,” said Lemieux. “It’s something special.”

Mexico Wins First Ever Ice Hockey Gold at Pan-Am

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By Steve Ellis – Eurohockey. com

On the night of game six of the Stanley Cup finals, Mexico managed to finally secure their very first gold medal after beating Colombia 1-0 on home ice at the fourth Pan-American Ice Hockey Games.

Mexico was hungry to score the first goal of the contest after a dominant tournament from the start. In the past three tournaments, Mexico failed to take home the gold medal, including the past two years when Colombia took the victory.

In the dying minutes of the first, Mexico struck first. After countless opportunities in the opening period, Adrian Padilla made it 1-0 after staying close around the net and knocking in a rebound past Zack Frost, giving the hosts the advantage heading into the second frame. It turned out to be the only goal the team would need, defeating Colombia for their first ever gold medal, not only at the Pan-Am, but in men’s ice hockey competition.

The win capped off a perfect tournament for Mexico, who won all six games en route to a gold medal. The win comes after two straight losses to Colombia in the finals and a big defeat at the hands of Canada back in 2014, which resulted in silver medals all three years.

Earlier in the day, Argentina, who won just one previous game at the tournament this year, pulled off a 6-1 win over Mexico’s U18 team to secure their first medal. It was just their third win ever in hockey competition after beating Brazil 5-3 in 2014 and Chile 26-0 to start the tournament this year.

Shutouts Spotlight the Action in Mexico Day Five

By Steve Ellis – Euro hockey.com

Shutouts by Colombia and Brazil start action on Friday at the Pan-Am Ice Hockey Games.

 Colombia B 5, Argentina B 0

A dominant effort on Friday has given Colombia’s B team their first win of the 2017 Pan-American Ice Hockey Games thanks to a 5-0 victory over Argentina’s B team.

It has been a rough tournament for Colombia Rojo, who have seen their A team counterparts win all their games so far. For Colombia, the team knew that Argentina’s B team would be their best bet in the tournament after losing twice to Brazil’s top squad.

So far, Pablo Llinas has been Colombia’s top forward with two goals. Josafat Triana is the only other skater with two points, while William Martinez, Nestor Rojas and Kelsey Murkin have all contributed goals.

Brazil A 16, Brazil B 0

Brazil’s fifth victory ever was their biggest in their short history in ice hockey, but it came at the expense of their weaker team, Brazil B.

it was the second straight shutout for Brazil, who defeated Colombia B 7-0 on Thursday. Andreas Diego Mindell has been very strong for Brazil, posting four goals and four assists for eight points. Bruno Gomes has also  been tremendous, putting up three goals and three assists, while Gustavo Tecchio has five points from the blue line. Brazil won’t have any time to rest as they’ll face Argentina B later in the day. Brazil has two games still left to play, with Chile and Argentina B on tap before the medal round on Sunday.

Colombia B 6, Chile 0

For the second time in a few hour span, Colombia’s B team finished with a shutout.

This time, it came at the hands of Chile, who won their very first two games on Thursday. For Colombia, it gave them hope that they could grab another win on the weekend, but with just two wins overall.

Brazil B 3, Argentina B 2

Brazil’s B team became the final team to win a game at the Pan-Am tournament, defeating Argentina’s B team 3-2.

It was the second loss of the day for Argentina’s B team, who have yet to win in three playoff games. Their only win came on day one when they beat Brazil’s B team 6-1, struggling to score ever since.

Mexico B 2, Argentina 1

Mexico B grabbed their first victory of the second round to tie them with Mexico and Colombia for first in the second round.  

Mexico only has two goals in the final round after getting shutout in their first game. The win did put them ahead of Argentina, who sit fourth in the final round after losing both of their opening games. 

Mexico  2, Colombia 1

Mexico win a close encounter with the defending champions to remain in first place. Mexico has only given up one goal in the second round.

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