"Our captain Emma Laaksonen retired from the national team for at least a season to focus on her job in the stock markets. Our leading defenceman, Saija Sirvio, is expecting her first child any day, and then we’ve had a couple of bad injuries. As well, we also wanted to bring some new talent to the World Championships."Finland Women's National Team Head Coach Arto Seppi presents some of the unique challenges associated with coaching the defending Olympic bronze medalists.
Hockey is emerging in the country. The number of players has grown to almost 600, who bring the three busy rinks to their limit even if other ice sports are almost inexistent. It’s maybe not a huge number, but more than China, Croatia, and South Africa. And consider the small population. For each 512 inhabitants you have one registered hockey player in Iceland. The "hockey density" is not as good as in Canada (67) or Finland (85), but still better than in Slovakia (630), the U.S. (659), Norway (730) and many other top-division countries. Iceland is the seventh-most hockey-crazy country in the world if you want to go according to players-per-capita figures. And the enthusiastic hockey family in Iceland gets more and more a feeling of growth.The IIHF takes a look at hockey's rapid growth in the small country of Iceland. Of course, I always think of the ludicrous plotline that saw Team Iceland take on the Mighty Ducks in D2 when I think of Icelandic hockey. I always thought it was funny, but I never even realized that there actually was no national teams in Iceland when that movie came out. I also picture those players singing the national anthem in the article as singing some post-modern, hauntingly epic Sigur Ros type song.
The challenges that I think we have in our game -- forget where it's played -- are to keep the game available, affordable and to make sure we're always looking at alternatives. My primary goal going in is to see how we're going to continue to grow this game.Team USA and Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, on the upcoming World Hockey Summit to be held in Toronto on August 23-26. Burke is joined by Team Canada and Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, Team Sweden forward and Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, and Team Canada captain Hayley Wickenheiser on the Summit's leadership group. The objective of this summit really fits this website's take on the game, so in advance of the summit we'll be discussing a lot of the issues that will be put forth at the Summit here during the summer. The summit itself is very 'Canadian' friendly, what with the Canadian Hockey League as the only non-NHL league listed as a partner (no College Hockey Inc. or KHL, for example), but since Canada is hosting the event and remains the dominant force in the sport today, it's hard to get too upset over that.
I don’t understand the reluctance to come over. The way I see it, you can’t develop into a really good prospect unless you go through the entire program from the very early days until the under-20, and this program wouldn’t be there for you if not for the national federation. Then when you are good enough to make the World Juniors, this is your graduation. Everything after that is payback time, Unfortunately, many players don’t see it that way.Anders Hedberg, IIHF Hall of Famer, in a scathing article put up on the IIHF's website criticizing the estimated 120 players that turned down the invite to play for their country at this year's IIHF Wolrd Championships.
That last goal made several more dents in the record book of the day: •It was Kurri's seventh playoff hat trick, tying him with Rocket Richard and Wayne Gretzky for the most ever. I still remember smirking to my wife when they announced it, "who are those guys?" •The five points tied a Stanley Cup Finals single game record, which had been done five times between 1942-44 including by Syl Apps, Sid Abel and Toe Blake. Kurri was the first - and remains the only - player since World War II to achieve this feat. •It was the 200th playoff point of Kurri's glorious career, just the second man to reach this mark.-Bruce McCurdy, in celebration of Jari Kurri's 50th birthday today, recalls the historic way in which Kurri celebrated his 30th birthday in 1990.