Could Detroit's loss be a win for 2010 IIHF World Championships?

datswc.jpgWhile our main focus at PHT is pro hockey (it is in the title, right?), we still have our eye on other puck-related events. One of the world’s best hockey tournaments is the Hockey World Championships held every summer. The added wrinkle is that the contest takes place during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means that an NHL playoff team’s loss could be a participating country’s gain.

Our own Joe Yerdon is providing some great stuff on the tournament, including a recent article regarding how much a Red Wings playoff loss could potentially help various countries

First, there’s the most obvious nation to benefit: Sweden.

Obviously, the main country that could benefit from the Wings elimination is Sweden. Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are all players that could be ready to play in worlds. There’s one other big name Swede from Detroit, but captain Nicklas Lidstrom hasn’t participated in the World Championships since 2004. It’s unlikely that the 40 year-old future Hall of Famer would participate this year, especially since retirement could be next on his list.

Yerdon mentions that while Russia is loaded with talent (perhaps they should thank the Montreal Canadiens for freeing up the schedule of so many Russian Capitals?), Pavel Datsyuk is a player whose puck patriotism could be a boon. Finally, here’s a few other individuals who could really help their respective WC rosters.

Two players from the Wings roster could provide a big boost to two different Group D teams if they should be asked to sign up. Finland’s Valtteri Filppula and the United States’ Jimmy Howard are eligible to join their countries but the question remains to be answered if they will. For Finland, Filppula would give their offense another skilled player to help improve an offense that was stonewalled against Denmark. For the United States, Howard could provide some stability in goal as well as giving Howard a taste of international competition he hasn’t seen since World Juniors in 2002-2003.

Personally, I think that Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Zetterberg and other long-time Wings deserve a Free Patriotism Pass because they’ve played an unbelievable amount of hockey during the last three years. Younger/lower-minute players such as Howard, Filppula and Ericsson might want to at least consider going overseas, though.

Want more coverage of the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championships? Here’s a few more links.

The Hockey Worlds Blog

A Photo Gallery for Day 2 of the WC

Team USA upset by Germany

Germany-USA draws record crowd

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    WATCH LIVE: Game 1 for Penguins – Capitals, Rangers – Senators

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    It’s really happening.

    For all the griping about having the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round (again), it’s easy to forget the bright side: upsets didn’t dislodge this juicy matchup from taking place.

    The West’s duo of Game 1 matchups kicked into gear last night, and now the East provides that battle between Sidney Crosby‘s squad and Alex Ovechkin‘s loaded team. Don’t sleep on Rangers – Senators, either, though; there should be plenty of intrigue in seeing superhuman Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson try to one-up each other.

    Here’s what you need to know to follow the action:

    New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

    Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

    Network: CNBC (Stream online here)

    Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

    Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

    Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

    Sutter won’t retire from coaching, willing to join a rebuild

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    Given he turns 59 this summer, has won a pair of Stanley Cups and coached over 1,000 NHL games, Darryl Sutter probably could’ve called it a career after getting fired by the Kings earlier this month, and done so comfortably.

    But that’s not happening.

    In speaking with TSN’s Gary Lawless, Sutter said he has no plans to retire from coaching. What’s more — and, perhaps more interesting — is that Sutter said he wouldn’t limit his next job solely to a contending team.

    Currently, there are just two vacant coaching gigs in Buffalo and Florida. We wrote about the Panthers’ search earlier today (more on that here). The situation in Buffalo is more complex, as the Sabres need to hire a new general manager and coach. Logic suggests the GM will be hired first, then spearhead the new bench boss hire.

    In that regard, Buffalo is pretty intriguing.

    Though the Kings have yet to be contacted for an interview request, ex-GM Dean Lombardi has been tied to the Sabres gig. And Lombardi, of course, is forever tied to Sutter — he was the one that hired Sutter after a five-year coaching exodus to join the Kings, and the pair went on to achieve great success together.

    That five-year coaching exodus does need to be mentioned, though.

    History suggests that Sutter isn’t joking when he says he’ll be picky about the situation and won’t rush to find the right fit. After being dismissed in Calgary in 2006, he returned to work on the family farm in Viking, Alberta and seemed fairly content doing so.

    That said, hockey always seems to draw him back.

    “The game has given us everything,” Sutter told Lawless. “We still have lots to give.”

    Coyotes fire assistant coach Newell Brown

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    The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with some personnel.

    Assistant coach Newell Brown has been fired, along with Doug Soetaert, who was the general manager of their AHL affiliate in Tuscon.

    Pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque won’t be back either. Their contracts will not be renewed.

    “I’d like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club,” said GM John Chayka. “They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.”

    A longtime NHL assistant coach, Brown is perhaps the most prominent of the four men. He joined the Coyotes in the summer of 2013 and received high praise for his work with their power play.

    But Arizona’s power play slipped to 26th this past season, converting at a rate of just 16.2 percent.

    As for Soetaert, he was only named GM of the Roadrunners last summer. The former NHL goalie had previously been a scout.

    Plenty of seats available for tonight’s game in Ottawa

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    The Ottawa Senators say they’re still expecting a full house, but Ticketmaster’s website shows plenty of available seats for tonight’s second-round opener with the New York Rangers.

    From the Ottawa Citizen:

    Many of the available tickets for Thursday’s game were in the corners of the upper bowl, seats that carry a $96 price tag.

    The Senators sold out all three games in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston. Game 1 drew a crowd of 18,702, while 18,629 showed up for Game 2 and 19,209 were in the seats for Game 5.

    Attendance has been an issue in Ottawa — or, more specifically, suburban Kanata — all season, to the point owner Eugene Melnyk expressed great frustration with the lack of sellouts at Canadian Tire Centre.

    Poor attendance also led to friction behind the scenes. At least, it sure sounded that way in the lawsuit that was filed against the team by its former chief marketing officer.

    Poor attendance is why the Sens are trying to get a new downtown arena built. They believe that a more central location is the key to bigger crowds.

    But regardless of the arena’s location, it won’t be a good look if there are empty seats tonight. This is the playoffs, and the Senators are one of eight remaining teams in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. The building should be full.

    Related: Melnyk thinks Sens can make deep playoff run