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Sidney Crosby

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Team Canada strutted to a 6-0 victory over Austria this afternoon in what was a more satiating scoreline for Canadian hockey fans.

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Shea Weber

What’s the acceptable scoreline against Norway? Is 3-1 too competitive? Should we panic?

All joking aside, it was consistent dominance throughout by Team Canada. There will be some complaints about too little conversion of possession into more goals, but that’s more of a testament to Norway goaltender Lars Haugen, who stopped 35/38 shots, as well as loads of blocked shots by the Norwegians.

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Team Canada Olympic Hockey Schedule

Team Canada Olympic Mens Hockey Schedule

OLYMPIC MEN'S TOURNAMENT - TEAM CANADA

Preliminary round:
Feb. 13, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. NORWAY (Group B)
Feb. 14, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. AUSTRIA (Group B)
Feb. 16, 12 PM ET: CANADA vs. FINLAND (Group B)
Playoff round:
Feb. 18, 3 AM ET: Men's playoff qualifications
Feb. 18, 7:30 AM ET: Men's playoff qualifications
Feb. 18, 12 PM ET: Men's playoff qualifications
Feb. 18, 12 PM ET: Men's playoff qualifications
Feb. 19, 3 AM ET: Men's quarter-finals
Feb. 19, 7:30 AM ET: Men's quarter-finals
Feb. 19, 12 PM ET: Men's quarter-finals
Feb. 19, 12 PM ET: Men's quarter-finals
Feb. 21, 7 AM ET: Men's semifinals
Feb. 21, 12 PM ET: Men's semifinals
Feb. 22, 10 AM ET: BRONZE MEDAL GAME
Feb. 23, 7 AM ET: GOLD MEDAL GAME
Team Canada Olympic Mens Hockey Schedule
Team Canada’s 2014 Sochi Olympic Hockey Schedule. All times are Eastern Standard Time.

Group B

Team Canada Roster

Team Canada Olympic Roster

Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

KunitzChris_1CrosbySidney_1CarterJeff_1
NashRick_1JohnathanToewsSharpPatrick_1
MarleauPatrick_2GetzlafRyan_1
PerryCorey_1
BennJamie_1BergeronPatrice_1TavaresJohn_1

Left Defence

Right Defence

KeithDuncanWeberShea_1
VlasicMarcEdouardDoughtyDrew
BouwmeesterJay_1PietrangeloAlex_1

Goalie

LuongoRoberto_1
PriceCarey_1
Team Canada Olympic Roster Line Combinations, Feb. 10th. 2014

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

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

Goalies:
Roberto Luongo
Carey Price
Mike Smith

 

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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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Carl Gunnarsson

The Toronto Maple Leafs have avoided arbitration with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, with the two sides agreeing to terms on a three-year contract. TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting it’s worth $9.45 million.  Salary is listed at : $2.85m, $3.15m & $3.45m.

The 26-year-old Gunnarsson had one goal and 15 points in 37 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs in 2012-13 and added an assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

A seventh-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Gunnarsson has 12 goals and 69 points in 224 games for the Maple Leafs.

Michael Stevens Stephens had a great year end write up on Gunnarsson. He has this to say about re-signing him.

But when looking at Carl Gunnarsson’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it isn’t a question of ‘if?’ It’s a question of ‘how much?’ The soon-to-be 27 year old is a restricted free agent this summer (on account of a late birthday) and you’ve got think he’s the third highest priority to re-sign after fellow RFAs Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson.

On the most recent Leaf Report podcast, both James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel agreed that Gunnarsson’s cap hit would likely fall between $2.5 and 2.9 million.  Given the number of tough-as-nails minutes he plays, his chemistry with Phaneuf and burgeoning offensive game, I’d reckon his money will be closer to 3.5 million come July 5.

Whatever the cost, I wouldn’t miss the money, as 30-point defensemen and shutdown defensemen are not usually contained within the body of one man, and to have one so cheaply is doubly rare.  The Leafs may need to improve their D corps, but Dave Nonis has real keeper in Carl Gunnarsson.

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% TOI ATOI
2009-10 23 TOR NHL 43 3 12 15 5 8 10 3 0 0 0 9 1 2 45 6.7 922 21:26
2010-11 24 TOR NHL 68 4 16 20 7 -2 14 3 1 0 1 13 0 3 69 5.8 1240 18:15
2011-12 25 TOR NHL 76 4 15 19 6 -9 20 4 0 0 0 9 0 6 89 4.5 1649 21:42
2012-13 26 TOR NHL 37 1 14 15 4 5 14 1 0 0 0 14 0 0 28 3.6 787 21:17
Career NHL 224 12 57 69 22 2 58 11 1 0 1 45 1 11 231 5.2 4599 20:32
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2013.

Here is a list of comparable cap hits among defencemen.

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6 Leafs invited to Olympic Camps

Per TSN:

Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews lead a list of 47 players invited to a summer orientation camp for the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team.

The newcomers on the list include young guns like defencemen Alex Pietrangelo and P.K. Subban and forwards Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Claude Giroux and Brad Marchand.

The others are goalie Roberto Luongo, defencemen Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Shea Weber, and forwards Patrice Bergeron, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Mike Richards, Eric Staal and Joe Thornton.

The goalies are Luongo, who was the starter in the 2010 gold-medal game, as well as Carey Price, Mike Smith, Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby.

The other defencemen are Karl Alzner, Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Green, Dan Hamhuis, Travis Hamonic, Kristopher Letang, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf, Marc Staal and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

The other forwards are Jeff Carter, Logan Couture, Matt Duchene, Chris Kunitz, Andrew Ladd, Milan Lucic, James Neal, Patrick Sharp, Jordan Staal and Martin St.Louis.

Wingers Nikolai Kulemin and Leo Komarov were invited to orientation camps for the Russian and Finnish Olympic squads.

USA Hockey had their roster announced Monday afternoon and Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner, wingers Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk were invited.

Leafs Links

 

 

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Corey Perry

With just over three weeks to go until the trade deadline, I feel as if I can get away with a rosterbation post without too much scrutiny. I’ll do my best to not go full HFBoards with my ideas, but certainly have a few players in mind that I’d like for the Leafs to target, and a few that I’d like Nonis to jettison. While I’m sure this won’t be the most intelligent post you’ll read this morning, hopefully it will at least spark some Monday morning conversation.

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Tyler Bozak

I took in what felt like a one-point win last night at the ACC. I of little faith was thinking “blow out” after the bang-bang goals in the first, but there seems to be something different about this team (visible in the Bruins game as well). They didn’t slip silently into the night, and by the end of it you had the feeling Crosby, Malkin and co. snuck away, or limped away, with the extra point.

I’ll ignore the awful first period from the Leafs – and how deeply underwater the first line was in its head to head with Crosby’s line, or how off Reimer was for the first 20 – because in many ways the fight back was just that good. Reimer played one of his poorer periods of the season in period 1, but his overall performance matched the trajectory of the rest of the team – started slow, but without him the Leafs don’t get the point.

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The Leafs welcomed the Penguins in what was their second meeting of the season. A win in the first game in Pittsburgh certainly felt good, but this was a Penguins team that has 7 wins in their last 10 games and has just now started to push for the top of the Conference standings. It was a different game entirely.

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins

In this shortened season it’s never too early to talk about playoff implications. The Leafs currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference while the Pens come into this game as the 2nd team in the East. In recent years, getting into the playoffs was virtually a lock for Pittsburgh. As we all know, the Leafs have struggled mightily. Given how things have played out so far, this season provides hope. This season can be different.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Consol Energy Arena. The Penguins have yet to win at home this season and get another opportunity to erase that stat tonight against a Leafs team that is hoping to remain undefeated. Jonas Gustavsson will get his first start between the pipes according to Sportsnet.

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In part six of his 12 burning questions series, Derek Harmsworth takes a look at Leafs sniper Phil Kessel, and whether he can hit the 40 goal plateau.

While January 31st 2010 will go down as a day Leafs fans will never forget as the Leafs acquired Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie, Fredrik Sjostrom, and J.S. Giguere in the span of about two hours, the date of September 18th, 2009 will also be remembered, yet highly debated, and much scrutinized.

It was on that day in September, following a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke got his man.  After lots of rumours throughout the year, including one that involved Tomas Kaberle going the other way, Burke signed off on a deal with the Boston Bruins that landed him American born sniper Phil Kessel.

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In case you haven’t already heard, the Maple Leafs have broken off negotiations with prospect Bill Sweatt, acquired in the Versteeg trade from the Blackhawks. In a statement to the Toronto Sun, Burke explained that the club would rather keep a spot on the 50 contract limit open than continue discussions with Sweatt. As the talks continued to stall, the Leafs likely turned and upped their offer to Marcel Mueller, whose ELC contract value sits at $1.12 million. Sweatt is likely looking for a figure close to Blake Wheeler’s $2.825 cap hit as a 4-year college free agent, which is a steep price to pay for a player with speed but limited offensive upside.

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As we head into the draft weekend, Burke’s shown the fans and media that a) he’s not afraid to swing a huge deal and b) no one’s going to see it coming. You can bet he’s going to be be mulling over and considering all sorts of huge blockbuster type scenarios over the next few days, and there could be the teeniest, tiniest, slightest, smaller than Wallin’s point totals chance that he’ll have an interesting decision to make: whether to trade Schenn or Kadri. Yes, I know the popular opinion is to never trade either of them and I’m fully on board with that, but this is purely hypothetical. Imagine Sidney Crosby or whatever player of your choice is coming back the other way.

Now… the other team has given you the choice of giving up either defenseman Luke Schenn, the former 5th overall pick and future defensive anchor on the blueline, or Nazem Kadri, the former 7th overall pick and talented potential 1st line center. Which one would you be more inclined to trade away, and which one would you be more inclined to keep?

No copping out!

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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 year was 2005.  George W. Bush was still in office (yes, somehow Americans voted for him, twice), Hurricane Katrina was doing catastrophic damage to New Orleans, and the vatican was naming a new pope after the passing of John Paul II.

    In the sports world, the New England Patrios would win yet another Super Bowl, this time against the Eagles, the Washington Nationals would begin operation as Major League Baseball’s newest team, Danica Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap at the Indy 500, and the Chicago White Sox ended a lengthy championship drought, winning the world series in four straight over the Houston Astros.

    Oh, and there was this one other thing too.  NO HOCKEY.

    Embattled in a bitter labour dispute, the NHL shut down operations for an entire year in search of cost certainty, something they would eventually get, although the opinion on whether the design is flawed or not is still out to be deliberated.

    For fans of the NHL, the June 2005 entry draft was more than just a weekend in June in which young players would be drafted, making their way into the beginning of their National Hockey League careers.  It was a new beginning for the world of the NHL.  A new season was about to kick off in earnest.

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    Boy the playoffs have been pretty good this year huh? News is slow in Leafland nowadays so let’s talk some hockey.

    On Tuesday night, I witnessed Sidney Crosby light up the Senators to the tune of a 4 point night, bringing his series totals up to 11 points in 4 games played. And that Malkin kid who also scored, ain’t too shabby either. Last night, I was privy to a a pair of lasers launched by Ovechkin which basically choked the life out of the Bell Centre. To cap off the evening, I was wowed by a 20 year old Drew Doughty, who has 6 points through his first 4 career playoff games, and thought to myself that this kid might already be the best defenseman in the NHL. So then I started thinking: If you could pluck a single player off any roster to build a franchise around who would it be?

    Do you go with the second year co-winner of the Rocket Richard trophy in Steven Stamkos? Do you go with the Golden boy Sidney Crosby? Maybe one of the Russian snipers in Malkin or Ovechkin? Honestly, I’d have a helluva time turning down Doughty… the kid is a fricking monster… and defense wins championships. So there you go.

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    So the curtain comes down on the 2009-2010 Maple Leafs season. I know many readers are upset because we as Leaf fans must once again adopt and follow an entirely different team as a sort of playoff hockey avatar in order to fully enjoy the postseason (I find the only way to really get in to it is to pick a surrogate rooting interest). The angst is ramped up in Leaf land as well because the team finished so low in the standings, yet come draft day the guys clustered around our table won’t be studying anything more intently than the lunch menu, because we won’t likely have a pick for the first day and a half (unless Burkie has a miracle relating to a certain Czech defenceman tucked up inside those French cuffs).

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      The gold medal game is upon us, and fittingly, Canada will face off against their US rivals in a battle of hockey’s elite. The US team, led by Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, and of course Ryan Miller, will look to grind out another victory over Team Canada, while the Canadians will seek to avenge a tough 5-3 loss to the Americans in the round-robin phase of the tournament.

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        Canada’s Men’s Hockey team has met its first challenge in the 2010 Olympics. Team Switzerland came in to upset Canada the same way they did 4 years ago with a 2-0 victory in Turin. Martin Brodeur’s 21 saves in the 3-2 win were not as impressive as his clutch saves in the shootout.