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Ilya Kovalchuk

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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

GROUP A

Team USA Olympic Roster

Goalies: Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick

Defensemen: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter

Forwards: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler

Team Russia Olympic Roster

Goaiies: Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Yeryomenko.

Defensemen: Anton Belov, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Evgeny Medvedev, Nikita Nikitin, Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Slava Voynov.

Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Pavel Datsyuk, Denis Kokarev, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolai Kulemin, Evgeni Malkin, Valeri Nichushkin, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Popov, Alexander Radulov, Alex Semin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexei Tereshenko, Viktor Tikhonov.

Team Slovakia Olympic Roster

Goalies: Peter Budaj, Jaroslav Halak, Jan Laco

Defensemen: Ivan Baranka, Dominik Granak, Zdeno Chara, Martin Marincin, Andrej Meszaros, Andrej Sekera, Michal Sersen, Lubomir Visnovsky (injured, will not play)

Forwards: Milan Bartovic, Marian Gaborik (injured, will not play), Branko Radivojevic, Michal Handzus, Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Kopecky, Tomas Marcinko, Michel Miklik, Peter Ölvecky, Richard Panik, Tomas Surovy, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Zaborsky

Team Slovenia Olympic Roster

Goalies: Luka Gracnar, Andrej Hocevar, Robert Kristan.

Defensemen: Blaz Gregorc, Sabahudin Kovacevic, Ales Kranjc, Ziga Pavlin, Klemen Pretnar, Mitja Robar, Matic Podlipnik, Andrej Tavzelj.

Forwards: Bostjan Golicic, Ziga Jeglic, Anze Kopitar, Anze Kuralt, Jan Mursak, Ales Music, Ziga Pance, Tomaz Razingar, David Rodman, Marcel Rodman, Robert Sabolic, Rok Ticar, Jan Urbas, Miha Verlic.

GROUP B

Team Canada Olympic Roster

Goalies: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith

Defensemen: Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber

Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos (injured, will not play), Martin St. Louis, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews

Team Finland Olympic Roster

Goalies: Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi, Tuukka Rask

Defensemen: Lasse Kukkonen, Juuso Hietanen, Sami Lepistö, Olli Maatta, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen, Ossi Väänänen, Sami Vatanen

Forwards: Juhamatti Aaltonen, Aleksander Barkov, Valtteri Filppula (injured, will not play), Mikael Granlund, Jarkko Immonen, Jussi Jokinen, Olli Jokinen, Mikko Koivu (injured, will not play), Leo Komarov, Petri Kontiola, Lauri Korpikoski, Jori Lehterä, Antti Pihlström, Tuomo Ruutu, Sakari Salminen, Teemu Selänne

Team Norway Olympic Roster

Goalies: Lars Haugen, Lars Volden, Steffen Soberg.

Defensemen: Alexander Bonsaksen, Jonas Holos, Henrik Solberg, Daniel Sorvik, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Mats Trygg, Henrik Odegaard.

Forwards: Morten Ask, Anders Bastiansen, Robin Dahlstrom, Kristian Forsberg, Mads Hansen, Marius Holtet, Sondre Olden, Ken Andre Olimb, Mathis Olimb, Mats Rosseli Olsen, Niklas Roest, Martin Roymark, Per-Age Skroder, Patrick Thoresen, Mats Zuccarello.

Team Austria Olympic Roster

Goalies: Bernhard Starkbaum, Rene Swette, Fabian Weinhandl.

Defensemen: Mario Altmann, Florian Iberer, Andre Lakos, Robert Lukas, Thomas Pock, Matthias Trattnig, Stefan Ulmer, Gerhard Unterluggauer.

Forwards: Michael Grabner, Raphael Herburger, Thomas Hundertpfund, Matthias Iberer, Thomas Koch, Andreas Kristler, Manuel Latusa, Brian Lebler, Daniel Oberkofler, Michael Raffl, Thomas Raffl, Oliver Setzinger, Thomas Vanek, Daniel Welser.

GROUP C

Team Sweden Olympic Roster

Goalies: Jhonas Enroth, Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Lundqvist.

Defensemen: Alexander Edler, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Johansson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Johnny Oduya, Henrik Sedin (Injured, will not play), Henrik Tallinder.

Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrik Berglund, Jimmie Ericsson, Loui Eriksson, Johan Franzen (Injured; will not play), Carl Hagelin, Marcus Kruger, Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jakob Silfverberg, Alexander Steen, Henrik Zetterberg.

Team Czech Republic Olympic Roster

Goalies: Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak, Jakub Kovar

Defensemen: Michal Barinka, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle, Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Ladislav Smid, Marek Zidlicky

Forwards: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat, Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek.

Team Switzerland Olympic Roster

Goalies: Reto Berra, Jonas Hiller, Tobias Stephan

Defensemen: Severin Blindenbacher, Rafael Diaz, Philippe Furrer, Roman Josi, Mathias Seger, Mark Streit, Julien Vauclair, Yannick Weber

Forwards: Andres Ambühl, Matthias Bieber, Simon Bodenmann, Damien Brunner, Luca Cunti, Ryan Gardner, Denis Hollenstein, Simon Moser, Nino Niederreiter, Martin Plüss , Kevin Romy, Reto Suri, Morris Trachsler, Roman Wick

Team Latvia Olympic Roster

Goalies: Kristers Gudlevskis, Edgars Masalskis, Ervins Mustukovs.

Defensemen: Oskars Bartulis, Ralfs Freibergs, Arturs Kulda, Sandis Ozolinsh, Georgijs Pujacs, Krisjanis Redlihs, Arvids Rekis, Kristaps Sotnieks.

Forwards: Armands Berzins, Martins Cipulis, Lauris Darzins, Kaspars Daugavins, Zemgus Girgensons, Miks Indrasis, Koba Jass, Martins Karsums, Ronalds Kenins, Vitalijs Pavlovs, Mikelis Redlihs, Janis Sprukts, Juris Stals, Herberts Vasiljevs.

Olympic Mens Hockey Schedule

OLYMPIC MEN'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT

Preliminary round:
Feb. 12, 12 PM ET: Czech Republic vs. Sweden (Group C)
Feb. 12, 12 PM ET: Latvia vs. Switzerland (Group C)
Feb. 13, 3 AM ET: Finland vs. Austria (Group B)
Feb. 13, 7:30 AM ET: Russia vs. Slovenia (Group A)
Feb. 13, 7:30 AM ET: Slovakia vs. USA (Group A)
Feb. 13, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. NORWAY (Group B)
Feb. 14, 3 AM ET: Czech Republic vs. Latvia (Group C)
Feb. 14, 7:30 AM ET: Sweden vs. Switzerland (Group C)
Feb. 14, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. AUSTRIA (Group B)
Feb. 14, 12 PM ET: Norway vs. Finland (Group B)
Feb. 15, 3 AM ET: Slovakia vs. Slovenia (Group A)
Feb. 15, 7:30 AM ET: USA vs. Russia (Group A)
Feb. 15, 12 PM ET: Switzerland vs. Czech Republic (Group C)
Feb. 15, 12 PM ET: Sweden vs. Latvia (Group C)
Feb. 16, 3 AM ET: Austria vs. Norway (Group B)
Feb. 16, 7:30 AM ET: Russia vs. Slovakia (Group A)
Feb. 16, 7:30 AM ET: Slovenia vs. USA (Group A)
Feb. 16, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. FINLAND (Group B)

Playoff round:

Feb. 18, 3 AM ET: PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION - Austria vs. Slovenia
Feb. 18, 7:30 AM ET: PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION - Norway vs. Russia
Feb. 18, 12 PM ET: PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION - Latvia vs. Switzerland
Feb. 18, 12 PM ET: PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION - Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
Feb. 19, 3 AM ET: QUARTERFINAL - Slovenia vs. Sweden
Feb. 19, 7:30 AM ET: QUARTERFINAL - Russia vs. Finland
Feb. 19, 12 PM ET: QUARTERFINAL - Czech Republic vs. USA
Feb. 19, 12 PM ET: QUARTERFINAL - Latvia vs. Canada
Feb. 21, 7 AM ET: SEMIFINAL - SWEDEN vs. FINLAND
Feb. 21, 12 PM ET: SEMIFINAL - USA vs. CANADA
Feb. 22, 10 AM ET: BRONZE MEDAL GAME -
TBD
Feb. 23, 7 AM ET: GOLD MEDAL GAME -
TBD
2014 Sochi Olympic's Mens Hockey Schedule

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The league’s fourth ranked team, the Toronto Maple Leafs (we beat Boston in something!), host the New Jersey tonight seeking to snuff out their dwindling playoff hopes by completing the season series sweep over the Devils.

Settling for a comfortable playoff position cannot be the approach if you’re Carlyle’s Leafs. The goal has to be to try to chase down home ice advantage for round one, or at the very least to finish strong headed into the playoffs. There is a definite advantage for teams who are playing at a playoff level with playoff intensity already by the time game 1 of the Quarterfinals rolls around. Winning games like this one against desperate teams will help keep the Leafs confident and battle ready for the big dance.

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After months of political manoeuvring and speculation… and pending ratification, Donald Fehr appears primed to formally take office as the Executive Director of the NHLPA with the Ilya Kovalchuk saga providing an appropriate backdrop. Despite having earlier dismissed himself as a candidate for the role, the former MLBPA hardliner is now expected to spearhead the players union through the next series of collective bargaining negotiations in 2012.

Either a spectre to be feared, or a challenge to be relished for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, one wonders if the league office wishes it had treated the ailing NHLPA with kid gloves following the late, late night coup that saw former figurehead Paul Kelly overthrown in August 2009.

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While there did turn out to be three signings from Burke and co. this off-season, it looks as though only one turned out predictable. The other two were a surprise signing in Brett Lebda (props to “Foliage,” the only user to see this one coming, albeit at a predicted 1 year, 0.75 million, hmmm) and the inking of Clarke MacArthur, who was at the time of the contest not a UFA as he didn’t enter the market until the ridiculous arbitration ruling in late July. Perhaps it was a poorly designed contest given the weak UFA crop. Or maybe too many of you wasted a guess on Ilya Kovalchuk.

Either way, outside of Foliage’s Lebda pick, the Colby Armstrong signing was the only correct prediction throughout the contest thread, with 76 participants getting the name right and 13 estimating the salary and term for the full 4 points. Here are those 13 again:

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Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke should have uttered one phrase to explain the situation, one simple little phrase to envelope the reasoning for the Phil Kessel trade;

“Our picks in our vision of where we ended up are overvalued in accordance to the available crop of prospects.”

But in Toronto, to admit that in what’s deemed as a ‘rebuild’ would have been a PR disaster.

Despite popular opinion, he wasn’t wrong.

The world is no longer flat, it’s round .. like a full-cirle

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*Warning:  More analysis and opinion concerning the Kovalchuk decision. For those who want to talk hockey, as opposed to the now perpetual indiscretions of the league office etc. Alex has a post beneath.

When Richard Bloch decided to rule in the favour of the NHL in the case of Ilya Kovalchuk and the ridiculous contract, he set in place a new precedent that the league hope will stem the flow of cap-circumventing front loaded contracts. In lieu of a concrete definition, the cover-all bases nature of Bloch’s ruling was expected to draw a line under the types of long, frontloaded contracts the NHL saw as detrimental to the spirit of equality the CBA and its salary cap was supposed to theoretically harbour.

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The NHLPA filed a grievance against the NHL for rejecting Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils' mammoth 17 year contract. After an arbitration hearing for both sides, today the ruling was in favor of the NHL, thus making Ilya Kovalchuk a free agent.

Excerpt from Michael Stephens Added

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- If the TSN reports that Frolov could sign a 1 year deal comparable to that of Afinogenov last season ($800,000) are true, then why weren’t the Maple Leafs heavily involved in discussions with Frolov’s agent? He’s a big guy who can win some pucks, plays a well-rounded game and would fit perfectly in the top line left wing role at a bargain basement price. Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about a deteriorating market? This potential signing may just be the beginning.

- The Toronto Sun reports that the Maple Leafs’ Rookie tournament will take place at the John Labatt Centre in London from September 11th-14th this year.

- The Hockey News makes the case for the Maple Leafs as a surprise playoff team this coming season.

- On to the FanPosts. Andrew Edwards (AKA Crazyaces) proposes a solution for these ridiculous long-term contracts, while Michael Cuttell continues his preseason synopsis by evaluating the Leafs’ current forward group.

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If leaked reports are to be believed the NHLPA is preparing to file a grievance pertaining to the NHL’s rejection of the unprecedented 17 year, $102 million contract filed last week by the New Jersey Devils for Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk. The report suggests that even if the Devils and Kovalchuk can agree on a restructured deal, the NHLPA may still decide to file a grievance in a preventative effort for future contracts.

The latter part is particularly significant for those who have been viewing the leagues rejection of the initial contract as an act of political posturing in the face of the PA’s on-going power struggle and an attempt at drawing a line in the sand.

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The book has (finally) closed on the Ilya Kovalchuk saga, as the Russian winger elected to remain with the New Jersey Devils.  This ends weeks of mind-numbing speculation and rumour-rehashing, including a recent explosion of news in the hockey world that had all signs pointing towards Los Angeles.  Thus, while there will be some surprise that Kovalchuk did not head down south, the overwhelming feeling amongst hockey fans today will be relief.  A side-effect of Kovalchuk’s prolonged decision-making has been the absolute cessation of any other hockey activity.  The dam should finally burst as the remaining free agents and possible trades will now be explored further by the league’s general managers.

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Even with news breaking this afternoon of Ilya Kovalchuk’s new $60 million contract extension (potentially) with the New Jersey Devils, this 2010 free agency period has been one of the most uneventful and slow-developing offseasons in recent memory. The reason being? Despite a mediocre at best free agent group, there simply isn’t enough money to pay these guys what they’re probably worth. As one unnamed NHL General Manager put it last week: “The teams with cap don’t have cash and the teams with cash don’t have cap”. The Maple Leafs however, are fortunate enough to have both, and have the opportunity to exploit the market to their advantage.

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Okay, so my math may be a little off.  It’s Canada Day weekend, there shouldn’t be any arithmetic.  Unless, of course, you are an NHL general manager, than you better hope you have your math hat on.  A quick note to say I hope our fellow Canadian readers, as well as our loyal readers situated the south had an enjoyable holiday weekend.

Now, let’s divulge into what has so far been a somewhat reserved free agency period, One timer style.

–The big news coming out of free agency this hour is this report out of the L.A. Times that indicate the Los Angeles Kings are quite far apart on signing Ilya Kovalchuk. While they may not be out of the running entirely, Helene Elliott suggests the prospects are quite dim.  So where does Kovalchuk go?  The Islanders reportedly seem to be the only team willing to offer him the term he is looking for (rumoured to be 10 million for at least 10 years) but are there other suitors?  What about New Jersey?  Toronto?  One would think that although Burke would love to pull off the major move of free agency, the reasons Kings GM Dean Lombardi is balking about bringing in Kovy (term) is likely the same reasons Burkie has reservations.

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Flyers officially kick off July 1st festivities by acquiring Andrej Mezaros from the Lightning in exchange for a 2nd round pick. Rumors of Boston centre Marc Savard potentially heading out west to Calgary as well.

As for the Maple Leafs, they will have $10.5 million in cap space to play with today, though that figure does not include the possible removal of Kaberle’s $4.25 million via trade or Finger’s $3.5 million as a potential waiver candidate.

The Leafs have been linked to defenseman Dan Hamhuis, forwards Raffi Torres and Colby Armstrong, and will also kick the tires on sniper Ilya Kovalchuk. Darren Dreger believes the club will look at adding a 3rd line forward along with a defenseman to “stockpile for later deals”. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on signings throughout the day.

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In 2005, the NHL was returning to work after a year long lockout, a bitter battle between players and owners over cost certainty.  The entry draft in June of 2005 was really the beginning of a new era in hockey, and a new era for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who drafted Sidney Crosby first overall, a move that would change their fortunes forever.

Drafted second that year was Bobby Ryan.  A big bodied power forward with tremendous skill, I had the chance to watch Ryan in person blaze up and down the ice for the Owen Sound Attack.  One look at Ryan moving swiftly between checkers, puck on a string as he bobbed and weaved his way into a prime scoring area, and it was clear.

This dude was one heck of a consolation prize.

And the GM who was afforded that consolation prize, as you are all aware, was one Brian Burke.

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    The Playoffs are about to start and what better time than now for the CFB predictions. We highlight every series with individual writers giving their own opinion on why or how a particular team can win the series. This is the Round 1 Predictions for the Eastern Conference.

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      It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day.

      For the 3rd time in a week, the Maple Leafs face the Devils. To be fair, the matchups have all been unique in that both teams have undergone significant overhaul between each game.

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        Setting up a goal for the Leafs in lieu of a playoff spot, making up seven points to get out of the NHL basement is a good start .. but just how difficult will it be?

        Let’s find out together.

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          Per Kevin Allen’s twitter.  Sources say that it is three players and a 1st round pick.  Oduya is in for sure.  Bergfors likely.  More details to be revealed soon. 

          EDIT: Allen says it is Bergfors, Oduya, Cormier and a 1st rounder for Ilya Kovalchuk.

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            The Carolina Hurricanes are closing in on a deal with the San Jose Sharks for Niclas Wallin, while Leafs fans were begging it was Rickard. Kovalchuk turns down $101M, while the Rangers pull out of the sweepstakes due to the asking price. Find out what the Thrashers wanted in return. Also, Dion Phaneuf has his own plan for the remainder of the Leafs regular season.