Is the NHL at Fault for the Downfall of the 2018 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team?

When the 1980 US men’s hockey team beat the Soviet Union and took gold, they did it with a roster full of unknown players. 38 years later, the US team will try to win its 1st gold since the “Miracle On Ice.”

Arcobello, a forward who last played with the Toronto Maple Leafs two seasons ago and now gets a paycheck from Bern SC where he is a scoring star. J. Blum, a 2007 first-round defenseman pick of the Nashville Predators who fought to stick in the NHL and has instead spent his last 3 seasons in Russia. Goalie D. Leggio, a 33-year old minor leaguer now plays for Germany. Players with likewise middling resumes complete the rest of the roster spots for the US who will open on Wednesday against Slovenia. Miles away, US star Auston Matthews will play the Columbus Blue Jackets in Toronto.

When the NHL decided last April that it won’t allow its players to be in the Olympics for the first time since 1994, it doomed the men’s hockey team to 2nd rate status. Or blessed it, how you want to look at it. NHL players are great, but there’s something fresh about the way it will be this time. Let’s take advantage of that. We see how good we are.

To achieve that, Granato may want to use the famous Herb Brooks quote from Miracle, when the renowned coach tells his underdog team: “You think you can win on talent alone? Men, you don’t possess sufficient talent to win on talent.” While there is a real nostalgic sense to men’s ice hockey this year, America isn’t alone in being made to play without its top talent. That might have been the issue with how it turned out. Oh, well, maybe next Olympics pro players might be back in.

US Women’s Hockey Team Wins 2018 Olympic Gold!

It’s incredible to measure exactly how much Team USA’s unbelievable solidarity last season led to its 1st gold medal in 20 years. However, any team that can back up its difficulties with that kind of show deserves all the kudos thrown its way.

As the US celebrated the conclusion of a stunning run of bad luck in the Olympics with their 3-2 shootout win over Canada in the gold medal game, it might have been simpler to forget that less than 12 months ago, the U.S. women’s program was in shambles. The team warned of boycotting the World Women’s Championship due to the huge discrimination between not only the men’s and women’s teams in the US, but a big gap between the benefits compared to their Canadian rivals.

And this isn’t just about money. What these extraordinarily brave women desired was equality. While the moguls were trashing their rooms, the women’s team was winning their 1st gold medal in women’s hockey, a feat that was overlooked when US Hockey put out its men’s’ and women’s’ sweaters for the 2014 Games.

Those sweaters, the women’s and men’s, paid tribute to the male winners in ‘60 and ‘80, while totally ignoring the women’s accomplishment in ‘98. The marketing chances weren’t there. The money was terrible. A program that had won 7 gold medals and 10 silvers in 17 World Championships to that point was always thriving forward. The men’s program that hadn’t won a World Championship since ‘33 or a silver medal since ‘56 was treated like royalty.

So if you’re a female who has desires of playing hockey for the US someday and Amanda Kessel or Hilary Knight come to your school, you might want to take a minute to thank them for the legacy they left off and on the ice.

When Ice Hockey was a Summer Sport

It’s difficult to visualize a group of hockey players grabbing their sticks and lacing up their skates to play in an international rivalry with glory and national pride on the line.

Even though hockey isn’t played in the summer, lots of fans would love some hockey to carry them through the long summer days.

And as enquiring as it would be to see how fast Usain Bolt and other track stars would be on skates, we will have to wait until the fall and winter time to get our ice hockey fix.

Though years ago, Olympic ice hockey wasn’t played during the winter. Rather it was a summer game. Even in the Olympics.

During this time, the Winter Olympics were absent, so ice hockey players and figure skaters were asked to compete in the Summer Olympics instead.

When the Olympic Games were cancelled because of World War I, the 1st ice hockey tournament was cancelled right along with the 1st World Championship too. Previously, the Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace in 1908 and now called the International Ice Hockey Federation hosted European championships beginning in 1910, but there was yet to be a world game with the US and Canada.

Both North American teams were officially accepted into the world federation in the 1920 Games which happened between April 23-29.

In 1920, 7 countries, the US, Canada, France, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Switzerland went to Antwerp seeking the 1st ever hockey gold medal. The other two countries in the LIHG, Austria and Germany, did not participate in the Olympics as a result of WWI.

Something similar is done today. During the beginning of the year, a NHL hockey game is played outdoors and it is a hit. The fans come sit outdoors.

Best Hockey Towns in the US

It’s a great time to be a hockey fan in America. Last year saw the total attendance in the NHL increase to more than 25 million. This is an all-time high that included what was closely the biggest crowd to ever watch a live hockey game. So where are the best towns to be a hockey?

Grand Forks, North Dakota (NCAA – University of North Dakota)

The University of North Dakota is one of college hockey’s real powerhouse programs. It has earned over 14 conference championships, made over 19 Frozen Four appearances and earned over six national championships, the 2nd highest championship total after Michigan.

Hanover, New Hampshire (NCAA – Dartmouth Big Green)

This college town is burrowed along the Connecticut River in wonderful central New Hampshire. While the main village’s population is just over 8,500, when the Dartmouth hockey team takes to the ice, there are, on average, more than 2,000 fans in attendance. That is more than a quarter more than the population of the town.

Lewiston, New York (NCAA – Niagara Purple Eagles)

One of many top hockey towns situated in close proximity to our hockey-loving neighbors up north, Lewiston is along the Niagara River in upstate New York, just a little ways from hockey haven, Canada. Though they have only been a varsity-level team since ‘96, the Niagara Purple Eagles hockey team has arose as a force not to be messed with in college hockey, winning their conference 4 times since 2000 and making an appearance at the NCAA tournaments repeatedly over that time.

Houghton, Michigan (NCAA – Michigan Tech Huskies)

For hockey fans who enjoy the winter time, Houghton is the town you want to be in. It averages more than 100 days every year in which the temperature doesn’t even reach freezing. Thanks to the closeness of Lake Superior, the town get more than 150 of snow every year. With that kind of weather, the only thing to do is to welcome the cold, as well as the sport that go with it.

 

Best-Looking NHL Players

Hockey season is here which means fans are getting ready to see some

outstanding ice action and experience some real hometown pride. The rest of us are just looking forward to seeing hot looking men play with sticks.

Tyler Seguin

Regardless your reason for viewing, you can’t disagree that there’s a lot of good looking, talented men to interest non-sports and sports fans alike. And fortunately for you, here’s a list of some of hottest players in the NHL. Hope you enjoy it!

Tyler Seguin
Team: Dallas Stars

This Texas hottie is originally from Brampton, Ontario. With the beard, full tattoo sleeves, and boyish good looks, Seguin no doubt about it makes fans swoon. An additional bonus is to go take a peek at his training photos which can be found online!

Henrik Lundqvist
Team: New York Rangers

Swedish hunk Henrik Lundqvist’s definitive good looks are indicative of a bygone time. Maybe he should have thought about leaving the New York Rangers for a part in Mad Men? Regardless, there’s no refuting that this cutie has some outstanding features.

Jonathan Bernier
Team: Colorado Avalanche

Ok, let’s keep it real, we all love a family man. And if you follow Bernier on social media, you’ll see how much he loves his family, making him even more attractive. Aside from his boy-next-door, groomed good looks, are of course, his tatts.

PK Subban
Team:  Nashville Predators

P.K. Subban

Likely the biggest heart in the NHL, PK Subban is famous for his endless charitable work in Montreal (which is where he used to be). The Torontonian is now doing his hockey thing down south, but we still adore him, his fly personality, his pretty smile, and just everything about him, really.

Erik Gudbranson
Team: Vancouver Canucks

Erik Gudbranson’s social media paints a portrait of a courageous spirit, since he seems to adore traveling. United that with his winning smile and tatts, and you have yourself a true hottie.

What is Street Hockey?

Street hockey is a sport consistent of teams and it is a variation of ice hockey. It is also known as road hockey and ball hockey. Not like ice hockey, which is played on an ice surface with ice skates, street hockey is played on a cement or asphalt surface, and players wear shoes or inline skates to play. The sport started in Canada and is now played in over 55 countries around the world.

Street hockey is played with similar sticks that are used for ice hockey. Theirs is variations of the sport: a puck or ball is used for the game. The pucks used are especially designed to move fine on hard surfaces.

Since street hockey comes from ice hockey, the goal of the sport is the same, which is to get plenty of goals. The team with the largest number of goals at the end of the game is the winner. Goals are made by striking the puck or ball through the net.

The International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF) is the largest governing body for the sport, which holds many international tournaments for various age groups for both women and men. ISBHF also holds a Men’s Masters Tournament for males over the age of 40. There are also many regional level tournaments held in Canada and the US.

Similar Sports

Ball Hockey — like ice hockey, but played on a non-ice surface and by foot.

Roller Hockey — explanation of the umbrella sport name which includes inline hockey and a rink

Rink Hockey — roller hockey with quad skates.

Floor Hockey — indoor (non-ice) hockey sports resulting from field and ice hockey.

Floorball — a variation of floor hockey.

Beikou Tarkbei (aka Daur Hockey) – a team sport distinctive to the Daur ethnic group in Mongolia that has plenty of likenesses to field hockey.

 

Men’s Hockey Team Favored to Win Gold at the 2018 Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics is just a few months away. While we know where the NHL and their players will be, that leaves a lot of rumors about how the other 12 countries going to the Olympics will do.

Russia’s last gold medal in men’s hockey was in 1988 and it was stilled referred to as the Soviet Union. They’ve been shut out of the medal podium for the last three years at the Olympics. Their last medal was in 2002 and it was a bronze.

It’s not a surprise to see Russia lead the medal odds this early before the Olympics. Russia is bound to get a boost from the KHL for the games, a professional asset the United States and Canada won’t get because of the absence of the NHL.

The great quantity of talent that goes along with being the 2nd biggest hockey league on earth is the reason Team Russia is the top favorite for the gold medal.

It is difficult not to feel a little sad for Alex Ovechkin. The forward is having an amazing start in the 2017-18 season, but he’s already left himself to toeing the NHL’s line of skipping the 2018 Olympics. Team Russia’s odds at winning the Olympic gold have never been this good and Ovechkin isn’t going to participate.

As for North America, the high odds are a testament to the continent’s talent pool even outside of professional leagues. Team Canada won’t have the help of Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby, but the it is the best on earth for a reason.

Team USA has given the names for the Deutschland Cup. It will have Brian Gionta and Ryan Malone.

As February comes up, the odds for the 2018 Olympics will probably change. Team Russia’s place as the favorite will certainly stay the same.

The NHL Teams that Love to Fight the Most

There are a couple of things in the NHL that can do to get any fan to jump out of their seats and scream: a goal and a fight. People have argued for years about the significance of fighting in the game and we know both sides of the argument. Th fact remains that fans love hockey fights. If you don’t think so, go to a hockey game and see what goes down when gloves are dropped.

You don’t see 20,000 folks hiding their eyes, you’ll see all 20,000 folks cheering on their feet. You’ll also see team players tapping their sticks on the boards or the ice in gratitude of the two fighters. We’re not here to argue that fighting does or doesn’t have a place in hockey. We’re just here to look at the NHL teams that are throwing plenty of fists.

When looking at which teams fight the most, you’ll find that they don’t typically have one player who’s just out there dropping gloves left and right. It’s a change from the old days when every team would have a designated enforcer who was ready to fight, any time anywhere. Today’s teams have skill players who, while they are not afraid to fight, don’t make it a top priority. So, which teams are fighting the most during NHL season?

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets may be at the bottom of the Central Division standings, but there’s one thing that they lead their division in, and that’s fighting majors.

Ottawa Senators

The presence of the Ottawa Senators on this list may shock some folks, but it shouldn’t. Over the last couple of years, the Senators haven’t been shy about dropping the gloves and letting the fists fly.

Philadelphia Flyers

If you’re a hockey fan, you kind of expect the Flyers to be on this list year after year. Flyers’ owner Ed Snider has put together a team that has been physical ever since the early days of the franchise (the late 60s).

The Top Paid Players in the NHL

The NHL is in a bit of a change when it comes to how much salary their top players are making.

Before the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), teams made the most of a loophole that let players to be paid more than they typically would under the salary cap. That loophole created some skewed salaries.

Montreal Canadiens® – Shea Weber

The new CBA put a restriction on that loophole. Nonetheless, there are numerous players today with a contract that pays a lot of up-front money. These gentlemen are typically the players who are still in the first years of their lucrative deal.

This list of the NHL’s highest-paid players has seven centers, eight wingers, two goaltenders, and three defensemen.

  • #1 Shea Weber — $14 million
    Team: Nashville Predators
    Position: Defenseman
  • #2t Patrick Kane — $13.8 million
    Team: Chicago Blackhawks
    Position: Right Wing
  • 2t Patrick Kane — $13.8 million
    Team: Chicago Blackhawks
    Position: Center
  • #4 Sidney Crosby — $12 million
    Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
    Position: Center
  • #5t Alex Ovechkin— $10 million
    Team: Washington Capitals
    Position: Left Wing
  • #5t Henry Lundqvist— $10 million
    Team: New York Rangers
    Position: Goaltender
  • #7t Evgeni Malkin— $9.5 million
    Team: Pittsburg Penguins
    Position: Center
  • #7t Eric Staal— $9.5 million
    Team: Carolina Hurricanes
    Position: Left Wing
  • #9 Ryan Getzlaf — $9.25 million
    Team: Anaheim Ducks
    Position: Center
  • #10t Zach Parise— $9 million
    Team: Minnesota Wild
    Position: Defenseman Left Wing
  • #10t Ryan Suter— $9 million
    Team: Minnesota Wild
    Position: Defenseman
  • #10t Corey Perry— $9 million
    Team: Anaheim Ducks
    Position: Right Wing
  • #10t Claude Giroux— $9 million
    Team: Philadelphia Flyers
    Position: Center
  • #14 Patrice Bergeron — $8.75 million
    Team: Boston Bruins
    Position: Center
  • #15 Sergei Bobrovsky — $8.5 million
    Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
    Position: Goaltender
  • #16t Derek Stepan — $8 million
    Team: New York Rangers
    Position: Center

Reasons NHL is Passing On the 2018 Olympics

The positives don’t outweigh the negatives and that’s the bottom line why the NHL is passing on the 2018 Olympics.

The NHL knows the arguments for being a part of the Olympics: endorsing the League, increasing the sport, giving players and fans an incredible experience. It knows why its players want to go to the 2018 Olympics. They are similar reasons the NHL went to the 1998 Olympics for the first time. Ironically, Gary Bettman was Commissioner then as well.

The NHL has been to the Olympics five times and has never seen any real evidence of a real impact on the business or sport. To tell the truth, it has seen a negative impact.

Negative attitude built among the Board of Governors over the years. The NHL wasn’t going to the 2014 Olympics but went anyway. Negative sentiment had reached the tipping point.

The NHL knew the players wanted to go to PyeongChang. The League held a meeting to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL Players’ Association, and the International Olympic Committee. But no one gave anything to sway the Board that going to PyeongChang would be in the best interest of the League and with the Stanley Cup Playoffs coming up, it’s was time to move on.

“A number of months have gone by and no pertinent dialogue has materialized,” the NHL said in a statement. “Instead, the IOC has now communicated that the NHL’s participation in 2022 is conditioned on its participation in 2018. The NHLPA has verified that it has no interest in having a discussion that might make the Olympics more appealing.

To create clarity among conflicting reports and speculation, this will confirm our plan to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 regular season schedule without any breaks for the 2018 Olympics. This matter is now officially closed.”