Feb 112010
 

Richard and I had the privilege of attending a media preview of the Molson Canadian Hockey House yesterday. The Cathedral of Hockey, as Molson has dubbed it, came as advertised.

On one side of the MCHH, there were big bars, lounge-style seating, a concert stage, a few bubble hockey tables and plenty of big, HD TVs. A more private side – reserved for VIPs, players and their families – featured the same (minus the concert stage and bubble hockey).

As you can see from the photos, they spared no expense in putting the place together. Those fortunate enough to get tickets during the Games should be in for a treat.

Feb 092010
 

Tracy and I took Mia to Holland Park in Surrey last night to watch the torch relay and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

Tracy, J.J. and Mia

As we took in the festivities, the community spirit was hard to ignore. There were 15,000 people in the park and about just as many Canadian and BC flags waving in the air (Surrey Leader). There were multiple numbers, including a heartfelt welcome by a council member from the Semiahmoo First Nation, dance performances choreographed by Princess Margaret alum Kelly Konno, and a musical number written by Doug Johnson from Loverboy and sung by the Surrey Youth Choir. But no doubt the highlight of the evening was when Daniel Igali walked into the park with the torch in hand. At this point the crowd erupted and you can see Igali himself soak in the moment.

And so did we.

Dec 302009
 

In only a couple of hours, Steve Yzerman and Hockey Canada are set to announce Team Canada’s roster for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Starting at 8:30 AM, join us in an open chat about the roster announcement.

Dec 272009
 

The Canucks had 4 players considered potential Olympian members of Team Sweden’s national hockey team when the world comes to Vancouver for in 2010. Henrik and Daniel Sedin were locks for the team, Edler has emerged as a top defenceman in the NHL and was considered to be one of the blue liners for the yellow and blue, and Samuelsson who already has an Olympic Gold medal to his name was the fourth Canuck who was likely to represent Sweden in the Olympics.

After Sweden announced their roster this morning Canuck nation was a little riled up that blonde haired, blue eyed, Alexander Edler wasn’t named to the Swedish roster when names like San Jose’s Douglas Murray (this has to be the least Swedish name ever) and New Jersey’s Johnny Oduya beat Edler out for a roster spot. Samuelsson was also missing from the Swedish roster which looks to have stocked up on veteran players including surprise pick Forsberg who’s returned to the Swedish Elite League playing alongside former Canucks star Markus Naslund as both attempt comebacks to the sport.

As far as Samuelsson’s missing the team, I’m not surprised. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Mr. October has been quiet as of late. He’s certainly cooled since his hot start and his play has been average at best this year. Edler who’s struggled this season was also missing from Sweden’s roster but with curious picks like Murray and Oduya you have to wonder why Edler wasn’t on the team.

But without looking at who should make the team and who shouldn’t, there is a silver lining to all of this. The Canucks had 9 potential Olympians, and those are 9 of the Canucks top players that aren’t going to get a 2 week break before the stretch drive. The fact that two of those nine players are going to get the extra two weeks rest is something I’m okay with. Edler with the shaky season he’s had could use the time off. The Canucks are going to need a lot of help from their supporting cast when the fatigue factor catches up to those Canucks that make the Olympics, down the stretch. The fact that Edler didn’t make the team is a curious one, but in the long run I think it’s going to benefit this team that’s ultimate goal is a long playoff run.

Dec 272009
 

[update: 12/30/2009, 11:44 AM]

Congratulations to A-Roc for guessing ALL 23 Team Canada players! Pretty damn impressive. We’ll send him the signed Ryan Kesler photo and the 2010 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team Guide.

*****

Hockey Canada 2010

Photo credit: Zimbio

Team Sweden released their 2010 Olympic roster today, and to no one’s surprise, Henrik and Daniel Sedin were named to the team Former Canuck Mattias Ohlund is on the roster as well; current Canuck Mikael Samuelsson isn’t. Other Canucks still being considered to represent their respective countries include: Roberto Luongo (Canada), Ryan Kesler (USA), Christian Ehrhoff (Germany) and Sami Salo (Finland). (I’m not sure if Pavol Demitra is still in the running for Team Slovakia considering he has still yet to play a game this season.)

Team Belarus and Team Russia already released their rosters earlier.

Team Canada is scheduled to name their roster on Wednesday, December 30. That silence you hear is every Canadian dropping what they’re doing at 9:00 AM to see who Hockey Canada has named to carry the weight of an entire nation.

Anyway, because we’re all excited about this, Richard came up with this brilliant idea to hold a contest on this blog as to who can most accurately predict Team Canada’s roster. Here’s the deal:

  • In the comments section of this post, name the 23 players you think Steve Yzerman and company will name to Team Canada’s Olympic roster on December 30th. Whoever guesses the most number of players correctly wins.
  • If there’s a tie, we’ll randomly draw a name among those who had guessed the most number of correct players.
  • We’ll give out a signed Ryan Kesler photo (courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks and Canucks Fan Zone) and a copy of the 2010 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team Guide.
  • We’ll cut off responses at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, December 29.

And go!

PS. Just for fun, we here at CHB will share our picks as well, but don’t worry… we’ll declare ourselves ineligible to win the swag.

Dec 012009
 

The Canucks head out on an Eastern road trip and their first stop is going to be in the Devils’ den against Martin Brodeur. A lot of people think, myself included, that that game is going to be a really good indicator of where both goalies are at, and also which is the better goalie. The debate over who is starter is starting to heat up, in part because of the Olympics nearing but also because this game is going to showcase two of the best goaltenders in the league auditioning for the starting role at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

When looking at the two goaltenders it’s hard to say who I would choose. My heart lies with Luongo, but the numbers don’t lie and unfortunately Luongo’s haunted by the fact that he isn’t able to win the big games. Case and point that painful series against Chicago. The fact that Brodeur has broken records that were at one point untouchable speaks volumes about his play. He’s the all time wins leader, he’s about to be the all time career shutout leader, and just the other night he broke the record for most minutes played by a goaltender in his career. He’s one of the most decorated goaltenders of all time accomplishing everything from Stanley Cups to Olympic Gold Medals. He’s been there before and he knows what it takes.

The question of age comes to mind next. While Luongo is 7 years younger than Brodeur, Brodeur has played in 3 Olympic games already and with the pressure on this Canadian National team to win it all, the question then becomes one of whether Luongo can handle the pressure or not. In the few big pressure games Luongo’s faced, he’s come up on the short side and the Olympic games isn’t a time to take a gut check. There’s so much more that factors into this debate, but for now let’s let the goalies do the talking and see what happens come puck drop tomorrow.

The Canucks game against the Devils is going to be an excellent indicator of where both goalies are at. You can be sure that those in charge of picking the Olympic team are going to pay close attention to the game, I for one just hope that the game doesn’t turn out to be a 0-0 affair.

Aug 122009
 

With 6 months left until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Icethetics has what is apparently a leaked preview of Team Canada’s new jersey.

Here’s the red (dark) jersey:

2010 Team Canada red jersey

And the white one:

2010 Team Canada white jersey

Personally, I like the classic retro look. For those wondering about the Maple Leaf crest, there’s First Nations art in the middle of it.

For those unfamiliar with why Team Canada had to come up with a new jersey logo for the Games, the background is here.

Jul 022009
 

Not surprisingly, Roberto Luongo was named today to Team Canada’s 2010 Orientation Camp.

Here is the complete camp roster (via Hockey Canada):

Goaltenders

Martin Brodeur (Montreal, Que./New Jersey, NHL)
Marc-André Fleury (Sorel, Que./Pittsburgh, NHL)
Roberto Luongo (Montreal, Que./Vancouver, NHL)
Steve Mason (Oakville, Ont./Columbus, NHL)
Cam Ward (Sherwood Park, Alta./Carolina, NHL)

Defensemen

François Beauchemin (Sorel, Que./Anaheim, NHL)
Jay Bouwmeester (Edmonton, Alta./Calgary, NHL)
Dan Boyle (Ottawa, Ont./San Jose, NHL)
Brent Burns (Ajax, Ont./Minnesota, NHL)
Drew Doughty (London, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL)
Mike Green (Calgary, Alta./Washington, NHL)
Dan Hamhuis (Smithers, B.C./Nashville, NHL)
Duncan Keith (Penticton, B.C./Chicago, NHL)
Scott Niedermayer (Cranbrook, B.C./Anaheim, NHL)
Dion Phaneuf (Edmonton, Alta./Calgary, NHL)
Chris Pronger (Dryden, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL)
Robyn Regehr (Rosthern, Sask./Calgary, NHL)
Stéphane Robidas (Sherbrooke, Que./Dallas, NHL)
Brent Seabrook (Tsawwassen, B.C./Chicago, NHL)
Marc Staal (Thunder Bay, Ont./N.Y. Rangers, NHL)
Shea Weber (Sicamous, B.C./Nashville, NHL)

Forwards

Jeff Carter (London, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL)
Dan Cleary (Carbonear, N.L./Detroit, NHL)
Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL)
Shane Doan (Halkirk, Alta./Phoenix, NHL)
Simon Gagné (Ste-Foy, Que./Philadelphia, NHL)
Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, Sask./Anaheim, NHL)
Dany Heatley (Calgary, Alta./Ottawa, NHL)
Jarome Iginla (St. Albert, Alta./Calgary, NHL)
Vincent Lecavalier (Île-Bizard, Que./Tampa Bay, NHL)
Milan Lucic (Vancouver, B.C./Boston, NHL)
Patrick Marleau (Aneroid, Sask./San Jose, NHL)
Andy McDonald (Strathroy, Ont./St. Louis, NHL)
Brenden Morrow (Carlyle, Sask./Dallas, NHL)
Rick Nash (Brampton, Ont./Columbus, NHL)
Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ont./Anaheim, NHL)
Michael Richards (Kenora, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL)
Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Buffalo, NHL)
Joe Sakic (Burnaby, B.C./Colorado, NHL)
Patrick Sharp (Thunder Bay, Ont./Chicago, NHL)
Ryan Smyth (Banff, Alta./Colorado, NHL)
Martin St-Louis (Laval, Que./Tampa Bay, NHL)
Eric Staal (Thunder Bay, Ont./Carolina, NHL)
Jordan Staal (Thunder Bay, Ont./Pittsburgh, NHL)
Joe Thornton (St. Thomas, Ont./San Jose, NHL)
Jonathan Toews (Winnipeg, Man./Chicago, NHL

Jun 302009
 

Ryan Kesler continues to get recognition for his breakout season. Fresh from his first Selke nomination as the NHL’s best defensive forward, he was named today to Team USA’s orientation camp roster.

Among the forwards, Kesler joins guys like Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel – not a bad group to be associated with. The rest of the roster is here.

Incidentally, David Backes was named to the roster as well. Maybe Kes will get a chance to say “hi” to Kelly in person.

%d bloggers like this: