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Konstantin Komarek: – We prove in 3rd period that we can score goals

In the 1st day of IIHF World Championship div IA Austria beat Korea 3:2 SO. That was a hard game for one of the favourite to promotion to the top division. Game winning goal was scored by Konstantin Komarek. – We had a few chances in the first period so we could easly score 2 or 3 goals. Just the puck didn’t bounce in – he told.

 

Did you underestimate Korea?
Konstantin Komarek: – No, I don’t think we underestimate Korea. We knew they play fast hockey. They have a few Canadiens, few really good players too. We had a few chances in the first period so we could easly score 2 or 3 goals. Just the puck didn’t bounce in but we prove in 3rd period that we can score goals as well.
Do you think Korea lost they power in the 3rd period?
KK: – No, I don’t think so. I think we were a better team. We just kept going and we put the puck in the net.

Tomorrow next game with an Asian team. Japan would probably be even more dangerous opponent for you.
KK: – Yes, Japan play quite similar to Korea. They are fast too. We just need to play good in defence for entire 60 minutes and try to avoid mistakes as today and we shall win.
What do you need to improve?
KK: – Just the defensive games. No mistakes in defence and in our zone – that’s how we lost two goals versus Korea – and just put the puck in the net. We had couple of good chances today and I hope tomorrow puck is going to bounce in.

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Alan Lyszczarczyk: – I’m glad that coach gave me a chance

We talked with Alan Lyszczarczyk of the Sudbury Wolves about the debut in the National Team of Poland, great performance of the U18 national team, OHL season and the future – mainly related with the draft to the NHL.

Jacek Kopcinski: What do you think about your debut in the National Team of Poland?

Alan Lyszczarczyk: – We won 8:2, so we played good and effectiveness. We played a good game but of course, it could always be better. Coach Jacek Płachta gave me a chance to play today, so I’m very happy. This is an opportunity for me both before the World Championships as well as before the NHL draft.

JK: This game came just after the U18 World Championship. The game against Lithuania was a big change of the levels?

AL: – Well, it was completely different opponent. Games at U18 World Championship were a completely different games; here we practiced different elements before the World Championships div. IA.

JK: At the tournament in Brasov you’ve beat all of the other team. I guess you could not expect so easy tournament…

AL: – Of course, we did not expect such an easy tournament. For every game we’ve approached with humility. From the first to the last minute we wanted to play at 100% and the game we pretend went off a lot of goals. Only in the first periods came out to us a little bit less, but we played better and better every minute.

JK: How other players welcome you in the National Team?

AL: – Everyone welcomed me very nice, although probably most of them remember more my father than me (laughs). We used to joke that I was walking on a representative locker room as there was reaching to their knees. But of course, everyone is very nice, everyone wants to help me.

JK: How do you find your chances to play at World Championship div IA?

AL: – I think we’d have to ask the coach about that. I’m trying to get a place in a team for this event. I want to show the best of me and we will see what will happen next.

JK: NHL draft soon. How do you approach to this event in your career?

AL: – I’m working on it his whole career – it’s a dream come true. So far it is only a list, but I’m proud that I found on them. To draft picks, but still a long way to go. Now I would like to get to the World Cup seniors show up and can thus increase their chance tournament to play in the NHL. Every month ranking changes, so do not look at it that I’m actually lower than I was before. It is managers of teams choosing players. To which the team would like to get? I do not really have a favorite team, because more football than watching NHL (laughs). I just want to get into this league and show what I can do – it’s my dream.

JK: Finally, how would you summarize the season in Sudbury Wolves?

AL: – It was a very great season, I’ve gathered 50 points, so I am very happy. The following season I want to improve this result, so you should wish me luck. The team was young, so we were at the end of the table, but we fought in every game. Each of the players approached the game with the intention of winning it. The next season many guys will stay at the team, so I think that will improve our position in the table.

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First of all… happiness!

Dear Hockey Fans!

Christmas time is a time of joy and peace; a time that we should spend in a special way with our loved ones.

We hope that this special time will allow you to relax from your busy work and study and spend this time with your families. We hope that after Christmas again we will together enjoy the magic of this beautiful discipline which is the hockey.

We also hope that the year 2015 was for your success stories, and the new – 2016, will be even better, both for ourselves and for our hockey.

With hockey greetings

Editorial office of portal Planet of Hockey

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The Republics: Estonia

Most hockey fans, I am sure, are familiar with the Soviet Union’s famous hockey program, the “Red Machine” that dominated the sport for the better part of four decades. However, since the breakup of the USSR in the early 1990s, the various independent republics that used to comprise it have followed a number of different paths with regards to ice hockey. And so I thought it would be interesting to examine the state of the game in each of those post-Soviet nations. We will do this geographically, beginning, in the far north-west of the former USSR, with Estonia.

Some quick descriptive notes: Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic countries (Latvia and Lithuania are the others), sharing land borders to the south with Latvia and to the east with Russia. To the west, we find the Baltic Sea, while the coast of the Gulf of Finland, where Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn is located, lies to the north. Per Wikipedia, Estonia currently has a population of approximately 1.3 million people.

This is actually a very appropriate time to be discussing the game of ice hockey in Estonia, since the country is somewhat in the hockey news at the moment. It was a revealed a couple of weeks ago that the owners of a newly-founded club in Tallinn are in the process of applying to join the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2016-17 season. If they succeed, the team, Ilves Tallinn, will play at the Tondiraba Jäähall, a 6,000-seat arena that opened its doors in 2014. It will also mean the return of Estonia to top-level club hockey for the first time in more than 60 years.

Organized high-level ice hockey in Estonia began in the 1930s, when the country, independent during the inter-war period, achieved membership in the IIHF and set up a national league. The Baltic countries were then occupied by the USSR in the course of World War Two, and when Soviet hockey began in the winter of 1946, there was Estonian representation in the league in the form of Dinamo Tallinn. Dinamo would remain part of the top Soviet division for its first seven seasons, before being relegated after the 1952-53 campaign. The Estonian domestic circuit, the Meistriliiga, continued to operate as a regional league throughout the Soviet era. When Estonia regained independence in 1991, the country also regained its IIHF membership, and joined the list of countries playing for the World Championship.

In the big international picture, Estonia has never qualified for the top division of international men’s hockey, although the country did spend three years in the second tier in the 1990s. Estonia will play the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship as part of Division IB, the third tier. That tournament will be held in Zagreb next April, and Croatia, Romania, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Lithuania will provide the opposition for the Estonians. Estonia’s junior team will play their World Championship in Division IIA (the fourth tier) of the U20 set-up, while the Under-18 squad is a division below that, in IIB.

The Estonian men’s team is also looking to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Estonia survived the first preliminary qualifying round – in fact, they thoroughly dominated it, defeating Mexico, Israel, and Bulgaria by a combined score of 58-4. Tougher opposition (Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania) awaits in Preliminary Round 2 next February. Should the Estonians get by that hurdle, there will be a final Olympic qualifying group competition in September of 2016.

Estonia has 30 registered women players, per the IIHF, and the women’s national team is currently on a hiatus after contesting a couple of World Championships in the lower divisions in the mid-late 2000s.

On the domestic front, the Meistriliiga is a cozy four-team affair, with one of its member clubs being Estonia’s Under-18 national team, Eesti Noortekoondis. Last year’s champions, Tartu Kalev-Välk, are not in the league this season. The early pace-setters in 2015-16, with a current record of 4-1, are Narva PSK, from eastern Estonia virtually on the Russian border.

If the KHL plans of Ilves Tallinn come to fruition, one of the goals of the project will be to build up the national team by giving Estonian players some regular top-level opposition, much as Medveščak Zagreb have sought to do in Croatia. It is almost a sure thing that one of the team’s first signing targets will be Robert Rooba of Finnish club Espoo Blues. Rooba, a 22-year-old forward from Tallinn who boasts good size at 6’3” and 205 lbs, is still very much a development player – he has yet to record his first point in the Finnish Liiga this season, through 17 games. However, his experience at lower levels, including several seasons on Finland’s junior circuit, suggests that he can score at a least a bit. Whether he can develop enough of a scoring touch to be a useful player at the KHL level remains to be seen.

Across the water, there is, and has been, only one Estonian-born player in the NHL, and he comes with an asterisk — although Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov was born in Narva, he holds dual citizenship in Russia and Finland, and plays his international hockey for the latter. The only other Estonian player ever drafted by an NHL team is forward Toivo Suursoo, taken by the Detroit Red Wings in the 11th round in 2004. Suursoo did play some in the AHL; he scored a respectable 14-12-26 in 51 games for Cincinnati in 2000-01. After a lengthy career for a number of teams mostly in various European leagues, he retired in 2013 after a couple of seasons as a player-coach in Norway.

So that is where matters stand at the moment with regards to ice hockey in Estonia. The big question for now, of course, is whether this new KHL project can get off the ground – and, if it does, whether it can be successful. We will get some indication early next week, on December 8th to be precise, when the Ilves Tallinn ownership group meets with KHL officials for preliminary discussions.

Thank you for reading! Next time in this series, we will move a bit southward and take a look at Latvia.

(Image Source)

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Bettman earned $9.6 million in 2013-14 season

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman earned more than $9.6 million in salary in benefits during the 2013-14 season, according to the league’s U.S. tax filings, as first reported by Sports Business Journal on Monday.

Bettman, 63, earned approximately $800,000 more in 2013-14 compared to the previous season. His compensation for 2012-13, which included the full lockout-shortened season, was $8,854,610.

For comparison, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earned $44 million in 2012 and $35 million in 2013. Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig reportedly earned $14.5 million back in 2006.

The NFL, like the NBA and MLB previously, dropped their tax-exempt status in 2014, which means they no longer must publicly file financial information. That leaves the NHL as the only major professional sport in North America still tax-exempt.

Bettman’s $9.6 million figure included salary, deferred compensation, other compensation and nontaxable benefits. His base salary was listed at $9,490,438, according to the filing.

Only four NHL players earned more than Bettman during the 2013-14 season: Shea Weber($14M), Sidney Crosby ($12M), Ryan Suter ($12M) and Zach Parise ($12M), according to GeneralFanager.com.

The NHL employed 669 people during the 2013-14 season. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly was the next highest earner at $3.1 million, up from $2.98 million in 2012-13.

As a whole, the NHL reported a loss of $8.47 million for the fiscal year, but the figures do not include team-related business or revenue from NHL Enterprises or NHL Network, which do not require tax-exempt public filings. In this filing, the NHL reported $124.4 million in operating revenue, compared to the approximate $3.7 billion the league generated overall.

During the 2013-14 NHL season, the NHL spent nearly $20 million in legal services on four different firms.

Last week at the PrimeTime Sports and Entertainment conference in Toronto, Bettman said he had no plans to retire any time soon. He has been the NHL’s commissioner since Feb. 1, 1993. Under his watch, annual league revenues have grown from $400 million to a projected $4 billion this season.

“That’s not on my radar screen,” Bettman said of retirement.

High-ranking 2013-14 salaries reported in the NHL’s filings, as per Sports Business Journal:

Gary Bettman (commissioner): $9,617,464
Bill Daly (deputy commissioner): $3,121,594
John Collins (chief operating officer): $2,209,569
Colin Campbell (senior EVP, hockey operations): $1,620,004
Craig Hartnett (chief financial officer): $1,279,276
David Zimmerman (EVP, chief legal officer): $951,006
Joseph DeSousa (EVP, finance): $742,274
David Proper (EVP, media distribution): $602,922
Stephen Walkom (SVP, director of officiating): $547,955

All figures are in U.S. dollars.

 

Frank Seravalli (TSN)

Photo: The Canadian Press

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USA Roster Evaluation: Deutschland Cup

The Deutschland Cup, as its name would suggest, is a tournament held in Germany and hosted by the German Ice Hockey Federation. Held in early November, the four-team tournament features the second tier of European hockey nations (Germany, Slovakia, and Switzerland), and a team of North American professionals playing in Europe––Americans in odd-numbered years, Canadians in even-numbered years.

The US won the tournament in 2013, with 2015 IIHF World Championship bronze medalists Steve Moses and Dan Sexton playing big roles. Canada did not have nearly as much luck last year, finishing fourth, with Micki DuPont and Bud Holloway as the only two players who would also play for Canada less than two months later at the Spengler Cup.

John Tortorella was originally supposed to coach this team as preparation for the World Cup of Hockey, but his hiring by the Columbus Blue Jackets prevented what would have been an awesome chance to see how he and top 2016 prospect Auston Matthews would get along. A replacement coach has not been named, but I’d have to guess Craig Johnson, the assistant for this tournament, is bumped up to the head job.

The US just announced their roster, about two weeks before the tournament begins in Augsburg. Here is what the roster looks like:

Goaltenders

Cal Heeter, Hamburg Freezers (DEL): In 2013, Heeter impressed USA Hockey scouts enough in his first professional season with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms to be named to the bronze medal-winning IIHF World Championship roster (although he didn’t play). In 2014, the 6’4″ Heeter was called up from the Phantoms to the Philadelphia Flyers to play in the final game of the regular season, losing to Carolina 6-5 in a shootout of what is so far the 27-year-old’s only NHL appearance. 18 months later, the St. Louis native struggled to find playing time with KHL Medveščak Zagreb and joined German side Hamburg Freezers, where he should see a lot of starts with Sébastien Caron out with an injury. I’d expect Heeter to be the backup for the Americans at this tournament.

Ryan Zapolski, Lukko (Liiga): Zapolski had a dominant year three seasons ago with the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL, winning the league’s Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, and Most Valuable awards. But there aren’t many spots open for you in the NHL if you’re a goaltender who is only 6 feet tall, so he packed his bags and headed for Finland. Zapolski, a 28-year-old from Erie, Pa. who was the starter at this tournament two years ago, has been pretty good through his third season with Lukko, and is off to a great start this year, with a .954 save percentage in sixteen games. Zapolski is expected to start two of thre three games for Team USA, just like in 2013.

Defensemen

Mike Brennan, Vaasan Sport (Liiga): A long time ago, Brennan captained Boston College to an NCAA title. Once he turned pro, Brennan made his living on his fists, amassing over 100 penalty minutes in three consecutive AHL seasons, although he hasn’t played a single game in the NHL. After no AHL team wanted him, the right-shot from Smithtown, N.Y. went to Germany’s Iserlohn Roosters, and then Finland’s Vaasan Sport, in more of a defensive defenseman role than an agitating one. The 29-year-old has not played for Team USA since the 2004 IIHF Under-18 Championship.

Chad Billins, Linköpings HC (SHL): If you’re really into NHL prospects, you may know who Billins is. An All-Star in each of his two AHL seasons, Billins won a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013, scoring 14 points in the playoffs. In 2014, Billins received two call-ups to the Calgary Flames: one (two games) after an injury to Mark Giordano, and another at the end of the year when the Flames realized they weren’t going to make the playoffs anyway. At 5’10”, the left-shot realized his skills were probably best-suited in Europe, so he signed in the KHL before joining the Swedish Hockey League halfway through the 2014-15 season. This is Billins’s first time representing his country.

Sam Lofquist, SaiPa (Liiga): Lofquist has spent nearly all of his professional career in Europe, and joined SaiPa in 2014-15 after three years in the Swedish second-tier Allsvenskan. A physical but high-scoring defenseman from Somerset, Wis., Lofquist is a point-per-game player through fourteen Liiga contests, and is already halfway to last year’s point total despite having played 45 fewer games. The chances of Lofquist keeping up his production at this pace are small, but the 25-year-old right-shot has earned this spot on his first Team USA entry since the 2008 IIHF Under-18 Championship.

Brian Connelly, EC Red Bull Salzburg (EBEL): Once upon a time, Connelly was a very productive AHL defenseman, with two All-Star appearances and a 52-point season. But of course there’s the size issue (5’11”) and the defensive prowess of the NHL team that first signed him (Chicago Blackhawks), so the left-hander from Bloomington, Minn. chose to go overseas in the summer of 2014. Connelly first landed with Sweden’s Leksands IF, where he struggled mightily. Now, with an American-friendly organization in Austria, he is back to his old self in terms of offensive ability from the back end. At 29 years of age, this is Connelly’s first time wearing the stars and stripes.

Cade Fairchild, Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL): You’ll notice that size issues on  the smaller North American ice are a pattern on this roster, as they are of Americans playing in Europe. Fairchild, of Duluth, Minn., was on USA Hockey’s radar from a young age, having played at two IIHF Under-18 Championships and two World Junior Championships in a four-year span. He signed with the St. Louis Blues after four years of college and played five NHL games during the 2011-12 season on four separate call-ups. But a 5’10” defenseman is a 5’10” defenseman, and Fairchild soon found himself in the KHL. Now in his second season in Russia, the 26-year-old lefty can be our power play quarterback in Augsburg.

Matt Gilroy, HC Spartak Moscow (KHL): I have always liked Gilroy, dating back to his time in college. In his senior year at Boston University, Gilroy won the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player, and capped his career with a national championship. He also had a productive enough rookie season with the New York Rangers to be named to Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. But the Long Islander’s lack of physicality and defensive ability soon became telling, and when Gilroy couldn’t find an NHL job, he became an All-Star with Atlant Moscow Oblast. Now 31, Gilroy is a key contributor to a revitalized HC Spartak Moscow blue line. My money would be on the right-handed shot captaining this team.

Blake Kessel, Ilves (Liiga): Kessel is more known for who he isn’t than what he is. Notably, his sister Amanda was one of the best hockey players in the world before her concussions, and his brother Phil is one of the best goal scorers in the NHL. You might have heard of them. Blake is a pretty good right-handed offensive defenseman, but he has never played in the NHL. He spent most of the past three seasons in the ECHL before joining Ilves in February of 2015, where the 26-year-old is taking on more of a shutdown role. Kessel last played for the United States at the 209 World Junior Championship.

Forwards

Tim Stapleton, EHC Biel (NLA): Stapleton, a 5’9″ left winger from La Grange, Ill., knows the ins and outs of professional hockey more than perhaps anyone on this roster. Since graduating from college in 2006, the 33-year-old has played in Finland, the KHL, the AHL and 114 NHL games (all with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise) before joining NLA this season. Stapleton also has a boatload of international experience, playing in three IIHF World Championships and two previous Deutschland Cups. The elder statesman of the team, Stapleton has a good shot at the captaincy.

Ryan Stoa, Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL): Stoa is a big, powerful center who has started strong in his second KHL season, with 17 points in 24 games, tops among Americans in the league (this noting Brandon Bochenski will likely play for Kazakhstan from now on). Before moving to Russia, Stoa played five years in North American professional leagues, mostly in the AHL, although he has 41 games of NHL experience with the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals. American fans should expect a big performance out of the 28-year-old from Bloomington, Minn. as he attempts to get back to North America.

Broc Little, Linköpings HC (SHL): Since his high school days, Little has been known as a player who can find every goal-scoring opportunity imaginable. In his first professional season, the 5’9″ left winger led the Swedish second-tier Allsvenskan in both goals and points, and led the SHL with 28 goals this past year, his first back in Sweden after trying his hand at the North American game. In his second year with Linköpings HC, Little, 27 years old, has eight goals in fifteen games. He played at this tournament four years ago, fresh out of college. Now, Little will be asked to carry the goal-scorer’s role that he’s used to.

Ben Hanowski, Augsburger Panther (DEL): Hanowski’s claim to fame is that he was once traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Calgary Flames for Jarome Iginla, and played sixteen games for Calgary after a great college career. But with the likes of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan establishing themselves on the Flames, Hanowski (Little Falls, Minn.) soon found himself out of a job in Calgary. At 25, there’s still time for the right winger to get back to the NHL, so Hanowski signed in Germany, where he has ten points in twelve games. The team’s second-youngest player is playing for the US for the first time in his career.

Bobby Butler, Modo Hockey (SHL): This was a name I was surprised to see on the roster, since I had no idea Butler had left North America. A three-time AHL All-Star right winger from Marlborough, Mass., Butler has 133 games of NHL experience and won a bronze medal with the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. After a season in which Butler finished with 59 points in 68 games with the San Antonio Rampage (good for the top 20 in the AHL in points), the 28-year-old moved to Modo Hockey, a franchise well-known in the past for being entirely composed of Swedish players.

Auston Matthews, ZSC Lions (NLA): If you’re interested in this tournament at all, regardless of your nationality, this is the guy you want to see. I’m not going to go through his whole backstory, since I’ve done that in many other settings, but if you don’t know this name, you most certainly will. A center out of Scottsdale, Ariz., Matthews joined ZSC Lions after two dominant years with the US National Team Development Program, capping it off by being named USA Hockey’s Player of the Year. The transition to pro hockey has not been hard for Matthews, as he has seventeen points in fourteen NLA games. Did I mention that he’s 18? Swiss fans better enjoy Matthews while he lasts, since he is going straight to the NHL next season. UPDATE: Matthews suffered a back injury and will miss the tournament. He will be replaced by Steven Zalewski of Straubing Tigers (DEL).

Casey Wellman, HC Spartak Moscow (KHL): As you may have noticed, there are a number of players on this roster who were in North America last year and are trying to either make a return to the NHL or create a new identity for their careers. Wellman is one of those players. A 28-year-old center who calls Brentwood, Calif. home, Wellman joined HC Spartak Moscow, who just rejoined the KHL after taking the year off due to bankruptcy. He has 54 NHL games under his belt, and spent most of the last three years with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Wellman has never played for the United States before.

Travis Turnbull, Düsseldorfer EG (DEL): Although Turnbull’s NHL career ended after just three games, he has made a name for himself in Germany, entering his fourth year in the DEL. Turnbull has always been known as a grinder, but the switch to the larger ice surface has enabled Turnbull to take on a two-way role, with three consecutive seasons of 35 of more points (as well as spending less and less time in the sin bin). He is 29 and his NHL career is more than likely over, but he would make a good fourth-line center on this team. A dual US-Canadian citizen, Turnbull has never played in international competition.

Jim Slater, Genève-Servette HC (NLA): If not for that Matthews guy, Slater would be the most recognizable name on the roster. He played 592 games over ten years for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, and it’s kind of hard to imagine the organization without him as their third-line center. But Slater, a native of Lapeer, Mich., has never been the most offensively-gifted player, and the Jets want to contend in the West, so they didn’t re-sign him. Slater, 32, signed a two-year deal with Genève-Servette HC, and will probably retire soon after his contract expires. Until then, watch four Slater play for Team USA for the fourth time––he previously skated at the 2002 World Junior Championship and two IIHF World Championships.

Cole Gunner, EHC Klostersee (Oberliga): Gunner is the lone player on the team not playing in a top-tier league (Oberliga is actually Germany’s third division), but in no way does that mean he is a lesser player. Gunner is in his first year as a professional hockey player after four years at the United States Air Force Academy (isn’t Gunner a great name for the Air Force?), where he led the Falcons in scoring in his junior and senior seasons. I don’t know why Gunner wasn’t able to find a spot on at least an SPHL roster, but the 5’9″ 25-year-old from Richfield, Minn seems to have made the right decision by joining Oberliga, with ten points in nine games thus far. He has no previous national team experience. UPDATE: Gunner suffered an undisclosed injury and will miss the tournament. He will be replaced by Drew LeBlanc of Augsburger Panther (DEL).

Chad Kolarik, Kloten Flyers (NLA): While we’re still in the nascent era of fancy stats, size matters in the NHL, and you have to be a potential franchise player to even have a top-six role if you’re under six feet. Kolarik, a 5’11” right winger from Abington, Pa., impressed NHL general managers enough to get six games in with the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers, but he took his talents across the Atlantic when he realized he wouldn’t crack an NHL roster. The 2013-14 Swedish Hockey League goals leader joined NLA this year and has fifteen points in sixteen games. At 29, Kolarik is playing in his second Deutschland Cup, and also played for the US in 2004 at the IIHF Under-18 Championship. UPDATE: Kolarik suffered a shoulder injury and will miss the tournament. He will be replaced by Adam Burish of Växjö Lakers (SHL).

Terry Broadhurst, Skellefteå AIK (SHL): In the North American professional game, Broadhurst was a right-winger on a checking line, although he was probably too small for that type of role. Tired of AHL contracts, Broadhurst, 26, decided Sweden was a viable destination and signed with Skellefteå AIK over the summer. Broadhurst, out of Orland Park, Ill., earned a spot on the American roster (his first time playing for us) by being able to score in limited action on the fourth line. But in Augsburg, Broadhurst will more than likely be given strict defensive assignmets, and anything else is just a bonus.

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Tortorella named US head coach for the World Cup

World Cup of hockey is a new-old idea of ​​the International Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL. After a 12 year we will again see the best worlds teams at this tournament.

The tournament will be held next year in Toronto, and the participants of the World Cup will be eight teams. Apart from the hosts – Canadians are representations of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and of course the United States. In Canada will also play team of the United States under the age of 23 and … Team Europe – a team made up of the best hockey players from countries that are not participants in the event.

Although the World Cup is less than a year from today we know the name of the United States National Team. The coach of Americans will be  John Tortorrela.

It is an extremely colorful character in the history of the NHL. In 2004, he led a team of Tampa Bay Lighnting to win the Stanley Cup. Still he holds the best record of won games in the National Hockey League among all coaches born in the United States (446 wins). Tortorrela was also the coach of the United States at the World Championships in Quebec in 2008, and assistant Ron Wilson at the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010, where the US team won the silver medal.

Despite the huge experience, the choice that Tortorrela will lead the US team can be a big surprise for hockey fans. 57-year old American was without a job from 1 May 2014. The last team he led was a Vancouver Canucks team.

Known for specific post-match speech coach last season spent on … improving his coaching workshop. It was the first season  from 1998-1999 in which Tortorrela did not conduct any team. As he said in a radio interview he spent this year on an analysis of every (!!) goal scored in the NHL last season.

According to the official website of the American association of hockey the selection of 57-year-old was made by the managers of the NHL teams. He was chosen by Dean Lombardi (LA Kings manager), Brian Burke (president of the Calgary Flames) and the president of the Philadelphia Flyers, Paul Holmgren.

Another serious candidate to fight for victory in the World Cup is a Canada. Canadians, however, reveal the name of his trainer until early-October. The most frequently names in the race for this position are Mike Babcock (coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks coach).

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Y. Terao: – The Islanders are a top notch organisation.

Yuri_Terao_Islanders_USHL

One of the biggest Asian superstar ever Yuri Terao made a new step in the ladder of hockey world. Terao is one of the top young forwards in Japanese hockey. He was selected Best Forward at the 2013 IIHF U18 World Championship Division I Group B (11 points). After great U18 and U20 tournament he was noticed by New York Islanders scouts who invited Terao to attend in hockey development camp. He was one of three Asian players invited for this camp.

– I enjoyed participating in the camp a lot. It was my second year being invited to the camp. I didn’t have a chance to meet any really famous players, but had the opportunity to play with the Islanders high end draft picks. It was great playing with players of that caliber. The Islanders are a top notch organisation with a great coaching staff. I felt I really benefited from the experience. There were two other Asians at the camp. It was great getting to know them and I wish them the best in the future. Being from Asia, I hope all three of us can play at the top level – told Terao.NHL_New_York_Islanders_Japan_Yuri_Terao

Now Terao didn’t come back to Japan. He continues his American dream in a new world. After participating in hockey minicamp camp in New York he got an offer from USHL’ team Waterloo Blackhawks and he started to live his American dream with a hope to reach the National Hockey League.

This season I hope to play for Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL. We are in the middle of tryout camp right now with the season ready to start on the 25th. I hope to have success at this level and continue to grow toward my dream. I hope to play in the NHL someday. In order to get to that dream I will have to climb the ladder and have success along the way. I don’t know if the Islanders will invite my back next season, but it would be a great honor and would love to continue to develop under their guidance and leadership, if at all possible I would love to play for them in the NHL – he finished.Yuri_Terao_Islanders_USHL3

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J. Schleiss: I wanted to try to do it like Mikael Granlund

On Saturday training of HC Škoda Plzeň was great mood. Naturally – yesterday Plzeň won the first game of new season in Czech Extraliga against Karlovy Vary 5:1. Although Jan Schleiss didn’t score a goal, his experiment from 46th minute of the game will be remembered.

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