Globetrotting: Ekman's stickwork, KHL to Italy?

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 13: Nick Leddy #8 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to pass against the Nashville Predators at the United Center on October 13 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Predators defeated the Blackhawks 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It's been a while since I did a roundup like this, I should get in the habit of doing it again.

Nasty Nils Ekman slash from Elitserien
Former NHL player Nils Ekman of Djurgarden is facing a lengthy suspension after slashing Ottawa Senators prospect Jakob Silfverberg (currently playing for Brynas) on the wrist. While international fans might be more familiar with Ekman, Silfverberg is the better player right now of the two, with seventeen points through 22 games. Sportbladet reporter Tomas Ros thinks Ekman will get less than 8 games, though, using an Andreas Pihl slash (to the face) as a comparison. The blog linked is in Swedish.

Danes qualify for Super Final
A real barnburner occured over the weekend in Asiago, Italy, as Danish champions SønderjyskE won after nine rounds of the shootout against the hosts in Group E Continental Cup action. The final score read 4-3, with each team recording over 40 shots on goal in regulation and five minutes of five on five overtime. It's the first time a Danish team has reached the IIHF Continental Cup Super Final.  Meanwhile, in Group D action, the host Rouen Dragons (France) advanced to the Super Final, edging out Cracovia Krakow (Poland) and Coventry Blaze (UK).  This means the Super Final, held January 14-16 in Minsk, Belarus, will feature SønderjyskE (DEN), Rouen (FRA), Yunost Minsk (BLR) and defending champions Red Bull Salzburg (AUT). 

King on WJHC: Few stars & stripes for USA - sportsnet.ca
Enough about Team Canada's roster, let's look at the Americans.  Well, the Americans who might not be there.  Cam Fowler definitely won't be on the team, but several AHL players could be, much like last year's OT hero John CarlsonNick Leddy, Jerry D'Amigo, Jeremy Morin, and Kyle Palmieri could all help the team, but their availability rests in the hands of their NHL teams.  For reference, the Chicago Blackhawks did make Brandon Pirri available for Team Canada, so one would expect they'll do the same for Leddy.  Neate Sager has more on this at Buzzing the Net

Finnish SM-Liiga Goal Locations, 2009-10 - Behind The Net
Gabe sifts through the SM-Liiga's data archives to give an illustration of the obvious: goalies cover the middle and low parts of the net pretty darn well... a vast majority of goals scored are of the 'high cheese' variety. Though low glove side is a good bet, too.

KHL to Italy?
So apparently Medvedev is now looking at putting a KHL team in Italy. It's a pretty crazy idea in some ways, but actually Italy fits the bill a bit for the kind of markets the KHL can target without running into too much resistance from the national federations. Italy's world ranking puts it ahead of both Kazakhstan and Ukraine, so the non-import talent level is comparable to many second-tier KHL teams, and it has arenas large enough to fit the KHL bill. Not to mention the fact that Italy is a Euro country, and their potential to generate revenue would be way better than say, Minsk. The article is in Russian, I'm trusting the good folks at International Hockey Forums that this is legit. No specifics on a market, though.

That being said, one wonders if the KHL's infamous Playboy fan swimsuit contest is just a way for Medvedev to get Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's wheels greased. 

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