- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 mins ago
TORONTO – Canada vs. Team Europe isn’t your traditional international hockey tournament final, nor is it the matchup that nearly every hockey fan, writer and talking head thought we’d see before the World Cup of Hockey began earlier this month.
But here we are, one day away from the two teams squaring off at Air Canada Centre in a best-of-three series.
Canada is the expected heavy favorite (-2000 on Bovada), but Team Europe isn’t entering this final only looking to have a good time. They want to keep their run of good fortune going and end this tournament with two more wins, despite their underdog status.
“I’m sure the experience the guys have and also our coaching staff and everybody has been in this position of underdog for most of the time in international tournaments with their teams, so now these best players from these different federations, now they combine into one team and let’s see what they can do together,” said Team Europe general manager Miroslav Satan on Tuesday.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy42 mins ago
TORONTO – One of Team Europe’s top offensive weapons won’t be available for the World Cup of Hockey final against Canada.
Marian Gaborik will miss the best-of-three series with a foot injury, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. The injury could also have him out for the beginning of the regular season for the Los Angeles Kings.
Gaborik has two goals in four World Cup games for Europe, including the opening goal in their semifinal upset win against Sweden. He played 17:58 in the overtime victory on Sunday.
Gaborik was spotted leaving the Air Canada Centre after Team Europe’s practice on Monday on crutches, his foot in a cast. Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said Gaborik had “a lower body injury that we’re still managing” and said he couldn’t diagnose the injury after practice.
Team Europe had Gaborik with Frans Nielsen and Mats Zuccarello. Team Europe’s extra forward is Mikkel Boedker of the San Jose Sharks, who like Gaborik plays left wing.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
TORONTO – Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said he was nervous during the World Cup of Hockey that teammate Brad Marchand was almost playing too well with Sidney Crosby on Team Canada.
The question was whether this would sway Marchand, a pending unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2017, towards signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I was getting a little worried now, him playing with Sid,” Bergeron joked after it was announced Marchand was upped to a new long-term contract with Boston. “I guess it’s done and we can move forward and for himself and also for us as a team. Just can’t say enough about it. It’s well deserved and he’s an amazing player.”
The decision by the Bruins to sign Marchand to an eight-year $49 million contract Monday showed the organization’s faith in Marchand and how far he has come as a player – from “little ball of hate” to elite scorer.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
The Boston Bruins and winger Brad Marchand have agreed to an eight-year contract extension.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the new deal for Marchand comes in at eight years and $49 million overall. This averages out to $6.125 million per-year. Marchand was slated to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. His current contract is for four years at $18 million.
After Canada’s Saturday World Cup win over Team Russia, Marchand was asked about his contract, and the possibility of going to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The reason for the question had to do with how well Marchand has played in the World Cup on Sidney Crosby’s line. He’s Canada’s second-leading scorer with five points in four games.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
In this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:
– The World Cup of Hockey in all its glory.
– The mysteries of Team Europe.
– The epic fail from Team USA.
– What we can expect from Team Canada in Final.
– Legacy of Team North America.
– The Jacob Trouba controversy in Winnipeg.
– Reader mail
– News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn’t work, try here.]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
When an NHL team introduces a new mascot, it’s truly a glorious occasion.
While many go on to become beloved facets of the franchise – giving out free hugs at the arena and helping to sell thousands of plush effigies to young fans – others end up on the ever-growing pile of bad ideas this League has produced. Like, for example, the Columbus Blue Jackets attempt to phase out an adorable googly-eyed bug in favor of a Civil War cannon that looked like a penis.
So into which category will the Edmonton Oilers’ new mascot Hunter fall?
The Oilers introduced Hunter on Monday, with the following explanation:
The Edmonton Oilers revealed the newest member of the Oilers family, introducing their official mascot, “Hunter” the Canadian Lynx. The mascot is named Hunter as a tribute to “Wild Bill” Hunter, the original owner of the Edmonton Oilers who founded the team in 1972. As such, Hunter will also don #72 on his Oilers jersey.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
When Alex Steen signed his current contract in December 2013, he had never scored 25 goals in a season, nor had he cleared 52 points.
That’s not to say he wasn’t a good player, because he very much was one. But the idea that you would lock up a guy for three years when he would be 30, 31, and 32 — and give him $5.8 million AAV — halfway through his career year at 29 seemed dicey.
Steen still is a good player. Over the past five years he’s a strong relative possession player on a really good possession team. Two years into his three-year deal, maybe you say he’s been worth it for them.
But how much longer can that possibly be the case? And how does Doug Armstrong justify giving him four more years at nearly the same freight, which he did on Friday?
Because here’s some iffy news for the Blues: Steen seems to be dropping off in a hurry already, with a full year before his new deal even kicks in.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
TORONTO – Of all the potential storylines for the World Cup of Hockey’s best-of-three final round, revisiting the epic Jaroslav Halak vs. Carey Price goaltending controversy didn’t seem to be a likely one.
Not with Halak’s Team Europe starting at a 33-to-1 longshot before the tournament. And yet, here we are, with Canada and Europe set to battle for the Cup beginning on Tuesday, after Halak led his team to a semifinal win over Sweden and Price led his over Russia.
So let’s revisit it, shall we?
Before Price became an MVP, a Vezina winner and Team Canada’s gold-medal winning goaltender, he was embroiled in one of the NHL’s most contentious goaltending controversies in recent memory.
In Montreal, in 2010, you were either “Team Price” or “Team Halak.”
To reset the scene: Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak shared the crease in Montreal. Halak was a ninth-round pick from Slovakia in 2003, the 25th goalie taken in that draft. Price was selected fifth overall from British Columbia in 2005. Price was the golden boy, seen as the next heir to the throne previously occupied by the likes of Dryden and Roy. Halak got fewer starts but was effective in them.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
TORONTO – At various international tournaments playing with Team Denmark, Frans Nielsen never had a chance to win.
He had been to a quarterfinal of the World Championships, but his team just didn’t have the firepower of the big hockey playing countries.
With the Slovenian national team, Anze Kopitar’s biggest achievement was helping his country to the quarterfinals of the 2014 Olympics.
Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello never made it past the quarterfinals of the World Championships.
The list of Team Europe’s players who couldn’t compete for a championship on the international stage goes on and on. It’s why their win over Team Sweden in the World Cup semifinal was important to them and why this event has been such an enjoyable ride. This team finally gives some smaller hockey nations an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
TORONTO – Mindset has been a key factor in the World Cup of Hockey.
We’ve seen a Canadian team trail for less than three minutes in the tournament, with the confidence they’re better than seven other teams. We’ve seen an under-23 team dazzle the hockey world by putting the pedal down offensively without recourse or repercussions. We’ve seen an American team overlook a seemingly beatable opponent in Team Europe, and then exhibit a defeatist attitude when things went south against the Canadians (before losing a meaningless game to the Czechs).
Sweden entered its semifinal game against Europe on Sunday afternoon in Toronto with one thing on its mind: Don’t screw up.