The Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation has found an in-house solution to replace Kevin Constantine, who left over the summer despite his ongoing contract. Keeping his current position, acting professional director Don MacAdam will now also work as the federation Head Coach. MacAdam will be assisted by Balázs Ladányi, who is currently in charge of the U20 team, reportedMagyar Nemzet.
Kevin Constantine has put the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation (MJSZ) in a very awkward situation by taking a job in Canada despite his contract still being valid this summer. At the same time, the American professional has also put his club team in an uncomfortable position by leaving. The MJSZ took legal action and Constantine did not avoid prosecution. The Western Hockey League (WHL), a member organization of Canada’s top junior hockey league, banned Constantine as head coach of the Wenatchee Wild for two years for what the official wording described as discriminatory and derogatory remarks. The Constantine chapter is over once and for all in Hungarian hockey, with the MJSZ announcing on its website that Don MacAdam will take over as head coach of the men’s national team until the end of the season.
MacAdam is no stranger to the hockey world. In Hungary, he made his name as head coach of Romanian team Csíkszereda, in 2019, he was asked to become the professional director of youth development at Ferencváros, and from 2021, he was appointed as the development director of the MJSZ, later the sports director.
Levente Sipos, the general secretary of the MJSZ, said that they had searched for a possible successor to Constantine for a long time, but the professionals they had chosen could not take on the job of Hungarian captain because of their club commitments.
We decided to appoint Don because he has been working in Hungarian hockey for many years, so he knows the players and coaches, the potential, the goals, and the challenges of the sport. He has a wealth of experience and expertise, having worked in the NHL, written books, and taught,
Don MacAdam (b. 1950) played hockey in the lower divisions of the North American leagues and was under 30 when he became a coach. He first became an assistant coach at the University of New Brunswick in 1976, and then head coach for eight years, being named coach of the year in his first season. He taught and coached in Canada, becoming assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 1986, assisting Jacques Demers. After three seasons with Edmonton. He also joined Oilers farm team in the AHL and won a championship gold ring as a member of the 1990 Stanley Cup-winning Oilers staff. It was also the club where the most famous hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, played, although the Great One was no longer with the Oilers, joining the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. MacAdam spent the 1990s in the AHL and the 2000s in the ECHL, and coached in Japan for two seasons. He has been working in Europe since 2014.
The Hungarian national ice hockey team was among the elite at the World Championships this year, but was eliminated in a huge battle. In 2024, they will try to qualify for the Division I/A World Championship, which will take place from April 28 to May 4, and will include Hungary and hosts Italy, Slovenia, Romania, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, with two teams making the elite.
The Slovak women’s hockey team will not participate in the next international event until February 2024. Until then, the basis of the national team will be prepared under the banner of ŠKP Bratislava, which operates in the multinational EWHL. The youth girls’ national team program continues according to the original schedule.
The women’s national team played its last game at the end of August at the A-Group tournament of the Division I of the World Championship in China. The next event awaits in March and April of next year, when the team will appear at the B-group tournament of the Division I of the World Championships. In Riga, Latvia, the Slovak women will be fighting for promotion to Division I A of the world championships.
“Based on the current state the budget for women’s national teams, was decided together with the leadership of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association that the senior team will not participate in any international events until the end of the year. The World Championships in China and the preparatory camp at the venue of the World Championship drained us financially. The costs of travel, accommodation and preparation were high. That’s why we took this responsible step, similar to, the example, the Norwegian association,” said the general manager of the women’s national teams, Ľubomíra Kožanová.
However, the best Slovak female hockey players playing on ŠKP Bratislava are also currently guaranteed an international confrontation. In the EWHL, they play against teams from Austria, Italy, Poland, Kazakhstan and Hungary.
“At the same time, we are happy that more and more of our players are working abroad. After a long period, Iveta Klimášová became active in Finland. Lucia Drábeková and Barbora Kapičáková got an engagement in China, and we will also monitor the performance of other players palying abroad . At the next international tournament in February, which will most likely be in Bratislava, all the adepts for the WC in Riga will be able to show themselves,” continued Kožanová.
The under-18 and under-16 girls’ youth national teams will not be affected by the restrictions in the coming weeks and months. The U18th are awaiting a home tournament in Púchov in November, on the 16th they will travel to France. “In the near future, we will place emphasis primarily on the high-quality preparation of the 18-team squad, which will compete in the elite category championship in Zug, Switzerland in January,” added Kožanová.
The Portuguese Winter Sports Federation (FDIP) and the Royal Spanish Ice Hockey Federation have signed a collaboration agreement with a view to organizing an Iberian Ice Hockey League ice.
“The highest federative institutions of Spain and Portugal of the sport, with the support of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), signed yesterday (Saturday) an agreement that begins with the participation of the Portuguese Club H.C. Porto in the Spanish National League of Ice Hockey (LNHH)”.
According to the note, the signing of the agreement took place in Vilamoura, where the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress is taking place this week, and had the support of its president Luc Tardif, with the two federations expressing, on paper, their intention to develop a active collaboration for the promotion and development of ice hockey in Spain and Portugal.
“The first stage of this agreement is already underway and involves the inclusion of the Portuguese Club H.C. Porto in the official RFEDH competition: the National Ice Hockey League (LNHH)”, says the statement, adding that the Portuguese team has already competed in the their first games in this competition, which has a total of eight participating teams.
The agreement also aims to allow both federations to consolidate their competitions and teams, creating in the short term an Iberian Ice Hockey League, with different clubs from Spain and Portugal, with Andorra as a possible third country to complete the picture.
Türkiye’s 15-year-old Tan Nisan Göksal has become the youngest ice hockey player ever transferred to a European nation, signaling a bright future for both herself and her homeland in the world of ice hockey.
Known for their success in the Turkish league and their contribution to the national team, the Istanbul Pirates Ice Hockey Club is now beaming with pride over exporting young talent to Europe.
Tan Nisan Göksal, who rose through the ranks of the club’s youth system, has now made a significant move to Hungary, joining the Angels team.
During an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) at Zeytinburnu Ice Island in Istanbul Göksal shared her aspirations and hopes for the future.
Göksal’s journey in ice hockey began at the young age of 5, as she recalled her early days skating along the Yeşilköy shore.
It was during one of her outings that she crossed paths with the players of the Pirates Ice Hockey team who were practicing on the rink, and that is when her love affair with the sport began at 6.
Clearly passionate about the sport, Göksal expressed her love for ice hockey and the exhilaration of being on the ice.
She emphasized the importance of family support in her journey, especially crediting her father for introducing her to ice hockey and fostering her passion for the sport.
Göksal’s talent was discovered by the Hungarians during a tournament in Hungary where she played alongside her Pirates teammates.
After a match, a member of the opposing team approached her father and expressed their eagerness to have the youngster on their roster.
When asked about what sets her apart from other players, Göksal pointed out her proficiency in skating, which eventually led to her potential being recognized.
She aspires to represent the Turkish national team, saying: “I’m currently part of the U18 national team. I also want to earn a scholarship to study abroad.”
The prospect of traveling frequently back and forth to play has raised questions about fatigue, but Göksal has acclimated to the routine.
She mentioned that while it was daunting at first, she has gotten used to it, and she prefers it because it allows her to continue her education in Türkiye.
Balancing her education with her athletic career is challenging, but Göksal manages with the support of her school.
She highlighted the importance of school support and understanding teachers, which enables her to continue her studies alongside her sports career.
Reflecting on her upcoming journey to Hungary, Göksal expressed her pride and gratitude while crediting the support she receives from her friends.
When asked about her advice to those curious about ice hockey, especially children, Göksal enthusiastically recommended the sport. “People do ask,” she said. “Yes, it is indeed an important sport. It is incredibly fun and action-packed. It is very fast, especially. You have to think on your feet. I highly recommend it.”
Her future goals include competing in the Youth Olympic Games (Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games) after their U18 team defeated Mexico in England. She expressed her belief in the potential of the younger generation in Turkish ice hockey and wishes to see both the national and senior teams reach greater heights.
After the preparatory camp in Chomutov, the Czechs presented themselves on the international stage in style. The bronze medalists from the last World Championship confirmed the calling card of the best European team at the Euro Hockey Tour despite the initial point loss. Against the Finns, they struggled for the lead from the very beginning, which they still held after half an hour of the game, mainly thanks to Denisa Křížová’s hat trick, but then the Suomi hockey players began to dominate, they overcame the Czech resistance with three goals, and Michaela Pejzlova’s last goal turned out to be only cosmetic in the end score adjustment. In the frantic end, the Czechs could no longer score and fell narrowly 4:5. “I don’t think they were much better. It was a classic up and down match. But they went to the goal more, had more shots and chances. They were probably better at this. We have to focus more on the ending,
But the Lionesses quickly put the first game behind them and won full points against the Swedes. Although the Tre Kronor girls quickly took a two-goal lead, Carly MacLeod’s selection produced a brilliant turnaround to celebrate a 4-3 win. “It was a good match for us. The Swedes flew at us, they were more active, which led to a few mistakes on our part, but I really liked how we were able to get back into the match,” praised the Czech coach.
The Czechs made up for the unsuccessful start against Sweden in the following duel. They confirmed their rising performance curve in the revenge against the home hockey players, who scored three goals in just the first quarter of an hour. “Our goal is always to start well, fast and play hard. Maybe only in the match against Sweden did the opponents overpower us in the first ten minutes. We are trying to have a good start, we managed to do that today,” Carla MacLeodová evaluated the game of the national team. Great shooting productivity and forward activity bore the desired fruit three more times, and after a 6:2 result, the Czech Republic avenged their opponents’ initial defeat.
Finally came the revenge against Tre Kronor’s selection. The Lionesses built a three-goal lead by the halfway point of the match, which the Swedes almost managed to match, but thanks to the excellent performances of both Czech goalkeepers, the national team celebrated a hard-fought victory 3:2. “I think we were able to create a lot of scoring opportunities. And that’s exactly what we want from the match. Sweden is a quality team. It took advantage of a few moments when we weren’t quite 100 percent. But our goalkeepers made a lot of good saves. I don’t take the fact that it was able to equalize with a single goal difference as a negative. The important thing is that we were able to keep the match on our side and win,” Carla MacLeodová evaluates the duel.
The improving performances and three wins in a row eventually ensured the Czech Republic nine points and first place in the tournament ahead of the runner-up Finland. “The whole week was great and very valuable for us in terms of the result. It is a demonstration that our performance is still growing and improving. During the week we focused on a lot of details and I think we are stronger in many ways. We managed to play the last match much more evenly. We didn’t do that very well in the previous races. I’m really proud of the team for the effort they put into it,” the Canadian coach praises the performance of her charges.
Two victories are enough for the women’s national team to win the 4-nation tournament in Kloten.
The home tournament in Kloten is over. The women’s national team easily wins the two games played . The team won the first game against Hungary 4:1. The Swiss also won 4-1 against France. “The team performed well in both games. We had a young team that did a good job,” said Colin Muller, head coach of the women’s national team. The last game in which Switzerland would have played Germany had to be cancelled. A large part of the German team suffered from an acute gastrointestinal disease.
On June 2, the grand opening of the ice arena at the Sports and Concert Complex named after Heydar Aliyev took place in Baku. The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan put this facility into operation in order to stimulate the development of sports such as figure skating and hockey in the country.
head of the press service of the ministry Gabil Mehdiyev , the arena will operate not only for training future athletes, but also available to amateurs.
Under the Federation of Winter Sports, sports the ice rink will be opened for future figure skating and hockey athletes. For athletes the training will be free this month and will be charged next month. For amateurs or those wishing to start doing these sports not for a sports career, but as a hobby, classes will also be paid, for” G. Mehdiyev noted.
The representative of the ministry also added that the cost of training has not yet been set, this will be handled by the managers of the ice arena.
In turn, Secretary General of the Azerbaijan Winter Sports Federation, President of the European Ski Mountaineering Consulate of the International Ski Mountaineering Federation Gunel Badalova said that the Federation regularly received proposals to open an ice rink so that both athletes and amateurs could practice figure skating and hockey.
“For the development of any sport among the local population, it is necessary to start with infrastructure, and then increase the number of athletes. I want to note that at the opening of the ice arena, we were approached by a lot of people who wanted to enroll their children in figure skating and hockey. Just yesterday, a woman applied to the Federation – her family had recently moved to Baku. She said that in country where they came from her daughter was engaged in figure skating and really wants to continue working in this direction.
This suggests that there are many people in Azerbaijan who want to engage in these sports and move in this direction professionally, even among those who do not know how to skate at all. I would also like to note that among those who want to skate are not only girls, but also boys,” G. Badalova emphasized.
According to her, the Federation plans to engage in educational detail among kindergarteners and school students in order to attract those who want to engage in these sports professionally. In addition, excursions around the ice arena will be held for children as part of physical education lessons.
“The arena will operate not only for professional skating, but also for mass use. Those of all ages can visit it. To do this, we are now developing a schedule and setting prices. When the work is completed, we will publish all the necessary information by putting the ice rink into operation,” she said.
Badalova also noted that in order to work with future athletes, the Federation is negotiating with professional coaches from around the world. At the moment, figure skating coach Vitaly Novikov has arrived in Baku . The specialist has coached teams both in Russia and in the USA.
“Negotiations are also underway with ice hockey coaches. We strive for the Azerbaijanis living in our country to start practicing winter sports, therefore we attract foreign coaches, not athletes.
By the way, for the development of ski mountaineering (skiing), we invited a coach from Andorra Patrick Kampais , he has been training our guys from Gusar and Baku for a year now. Now we have only five athletes in ski mountaineering, but to increase their number we plan to hold selections in June, September and October,” our interlocutor summed up.
German Ice Hockey Federation announced today at a press conference that this year’s Deutschland Cup will take place in Landshut for the first time from November 8th to 12th, 2023. The 34th edition will have for the first time, women’s and men’s national teams and will hold their tournaments in one arena ( The Fanatec Arena).
There will be four women’s teams and four men’s teams.
When it comes to ice hockey, this May has been starkly different for Lithuania and Latvia. Having lost to South Korea, the former has dropped into a lower league, IB, and the latter has risen to the dizzying dazzle of stardom, winning bronze in the 2023 IIHF ice hockey world championship that was held in Riga and Tampere.
Note –with a win against the mighty United States.
“The entire country was and still is in a state of euphoria. Over 30,000 gathered in the center of Riga to greet the players upon their return and Monday was declared a legal holiday as well. Moments like this when it seems everyone has finally found one thing they can agree on are invaluable – for national morale and positive thinking,” Ilze, an American living in Latvia, told BNN.
With the braliukai (that’s how many Lithuanians call their closest neighbours, Latvians, amicably) leaping in joy, many Lithuanian ice hockey pundits and ordinary Lithuanians are scratching heads anew – can the country’s ice hockey be any better? And what needs to be done to ascend the IIHF ladder?
Remigijus Valickas, executive director of Lithuania’s National Ice Hockey League (LNIHL), says “all is about traditions.”
“LIKEWISE LITHUANIANS IN BASKETBALL, LATVIANS HAVE VERY STRONG ICE HOCKEY TRADITIONS,
hence the respective attention to young ice hockey players, the financing of ice hockey schools, and the sport’s infrastructure. Until recently, Lithuania has had only three ice hockey arenas – in Elektrėnai, Kaunas, and Rokiškis. To draw a parallel with basketball, where our national basketball team would be if had only three basketball courts?” R. Valickas told BNN.
He says that with more ice arenas being opened, more children enroll the ice hockey schools.
“And the number of our children playing ice hockey has grown exponentially – from 170 in 2013, when I came to the Ice Hockey Federation, to a little bit over 1 100 now. So, the investments in children will yield results – sooner or later,” the LNIHL executive director emphasised.
Yet, he agrees, getting back to the IIHF’s higher tier, IA, to which the Lithuanian ice hockey squad belonged before dropping into IB after an unsuccessful tournament in May, will not be easy.
“The top division has 20 teams. So considering everything and being the 23rd on the IIHF ranking our situation is not tragic. By the way,
THE ONLY TIME OUR NATIONAL SQUAD PLAYED IN THE TOP DIVISION WAS IN 1939.
Understandably, there were quite a few teams in the championship and ice hockey has changed unrecognizably since then,” R. Valickas noted.
He says Lithuania has never beaten Latvia on an ice hockey rink yet.
“We lost even against their teams with the second-tier players on the rink. But there is always a first time – for our win against it, too,” he said.
Speaking to BNN, Gintaras Nenartavičius, a sports journalist at lrytas.lt, insisted that, compared to the situation two or three years ago, Lithuania is seeing a slump in the performance on the rink.
“A couple of years ago, we saw a kind of rise in the sport, but things are edging downward now. Just a few years ago, we could fight on par against Poland, but they crushed us 7-0 in the IIHF’s IA tournament in May, a big embarrassment. Even the Poles were surprised how weak our team was,” he said.
According to the sports journalist, there is a “bunch of reasons” for Lithuania’s unimpressive performance on the rink.
“Of course, No. 1 is traditions.
WE ARE A BASKETBALL COUNTRY, NOT ICE HOCKEY. IN LITHUANIA, ICE HOCKEY IS DEEMED A NICHE SPORT,
with the games’ centers still being far from the major cities: in Elektrėnai (a town of about 11,000 inhabitants in Vilnius County, some 45 kilometers away from Vilnius – L. J.). And the other in Rokiškis, a far-flung provincial town,” G. Nenartavičius said, adding: “Recently, the Latvians have significantly ramped up their ice hockey infrastructure and the bulk of it is in Riga.”
According to the journalist, unless the local ice hockey coaches can pick talents from a big line-up of children, a breakthrough cannot happen in the sport.
“Now, they train who they have – quite a few children on the rink. Far from the luxury of basketball coaches who have dozens and dozens lining up for the selection,” G. Nenartavičius said.
In his words, as a sport, ice hockey is expensive – for children and their parents.
“The gear costs hundreds and thousands. It is not like basketball where you can put a T-shirt on and any sneakers and run on the court. Many parents just cannot afford having their child in an ice hockey school,” the journalist suggested.
“I spoke to some Ukrainian children and their parents who came to Vilnius from Kharkiv (Ukraine’s second-largest city – L.J.). Even though, all together, Ukraine’s ice hockey is weak, but, to believe them, they had great conditions for training there. And here the conditions they have do not even come close to those in Kharkiv,” he added.
For Aurimas Jokimčius, head of „Šaulys“ ice hockey school in Šiauliai, Lithuania’s fourth-largest city, the underlying issues of national ice hockey are embedded in the sport’s financing.
“Unlike in Latvia, where both Government, the local municipalities, and numerous big-name companies support the sport financially, here in Lithuania, we are getting just crumbs.
THE SECOND REASON IS THE LACK OF PROPER ICE HOCKEY ARENAS IN LITHUANIA.
We tend to support sports, with the exception of basketball, only when their best athletes win internationally,” A. Jokimčius told BNN.
Asked how his private ice hockey school has been doing over 10 years in operation, he was honestly blunt: “We have been skidding most of the time and we are still skidding, yet persevering and chugging forward.”
“For many parents, ice hockey is too expensive. Imagine the prices of the outfit at nearly 500 euros and the arena lease costs us roughly 2000 euros per month. And then travelling to tournaments and so on,” he said,
Yet the school founder and coach says that, when it comes to the children’s motivation, he has no problem with it.
“When you play ice hockey in Lithuania, getting into the national squad is much easier than, say, for all the aspiring young basketballers, where the competition is huge,” A. Jokimčius said, adding: “If you work hard and stay goal-oriented, success will come. For example, we have young Lithuanians playing for top-tier Swiss and Swedish ice hockey clubs.”
However, he is hesitant if Lithuania can make it into the top IIHF division in the next 10 years.
“Many cards have to fall on the table favourably. Having many more ice hockey arenas, allotting bigger financing for the sport is a must. Our Baltic children, and Lithuanian children too, are gifted as players of physical sports, so I am optimistic,” A. Jokimčius said.
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