Jaromir Jagr troubled by lack of Czech participation

Kids these days; they just don’t have any respect. What with their loud music, lack of patriotism … and disinterest in growing mullets (unless it’s just for laughs).

Those are the words I envision going through Jaromir Jagr’s head as he critiques the Czech players who declined invitations to play for their 2010 IIHF World Championships team. TSN shared his criticisms.

Jagr grew up dreaming of playing for his country and cautions that the Czech Republic could be relegated to a lower tier in the future if more players don’t start showing up at the world championship.

“The game has changed, there’s no question about it,” said Jagr. “We’re not a country like Canada or Russia — if the top 20 guys say no, they can still put together a great team. We just don’t have those kind of players. And the players should realize it — you never know, because the level of hockey is getting better.

“You can see Denmark beat Finland (on Saturday). If your top guys don’t go to world championship, it might happen that your team next year might play in B group.”

The Czech teams haven’t had much success since 2006, when they managed to land an Olympic bronze medal and a silver at that year’s world championship tournament.

It’s understandable that Jagr is frustrated, but as I’ve said before, the competition is a lot like how the N.I.T. is to March Madness in college basketball. Particularly in a year in which the Vancouver Olympics took place; it’s not like these guys threw out their national allegiances altogether. He does have a good point, however, in saying that the Czech Republic could run the risk of declining on a world hockey scale. 

Ultimately, though, national teams will just have to deal with players passing on more hockey in favor of rehabilitation … or margaritas.

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    Max Talbot signs in KHL

    Calgary Flames v Boston Bruins
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    Earlier this week, we passed along word that veteran NHLer Max Talbot was contemplating a move to Europe.

    On Friday, that move was made official.

    KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl announced that Talbot has agreed to a one-year contract. The deal comes after the 32-year-old split last season between Boston and its AHL affiliate in Providence, scoring seven points in 38 games at the NHL level.

    Over the course of his 10-year NHL career, Talbot appeared in over 700 games and established himself as a gritty, hardworking forward with decent touch around the net.

    He scored double-digit goals four times — including a career-high 19 in ’11-12 — and will always be remembered in Pittsburgh for scoring both goals in a 2-1 Game 7 win over Detroit at the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.

     

     

    Jets assistant Vincent named AHL Manitoba head coach

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  (L-R) Assistant coach Pascal Vincent, head coach Paul Maurice and assistant coach Charlie Huddy and the Winnipeg Jets look from the bench against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on April 9, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Jets 1-0 in an overtime shootout.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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    Winnipeg didn’t have to look far to find Keith McCambridge’s replacement for its AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

    Pascal Vincent, who’s served as an assistant coach with the Jets for the last five years, will become the eighth head coach in Moose history, the club announced on Friday.

    Vincent, 44, was one of the original hires when the franchise moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011. He’s worked under two different head coaches — Claude Noel and Paul Maurice — and is held in high regard by the organization.

    That said, he did face some critiques this year. Jets fans were displeased with the Vincent-led power play, which posted a league-worst 14.8 percent success rate, tying Ottawa for the fewest power play goals in the NHL (38).

    With today’s reshuffling, there appears to be a spot now open on Maurice’s staff. The Winnipeg Sun reports that Jeff Daniels — former head coach of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers — could be one to keep an eye on.

    Daniels played for Maurice in Carolina, and the pair went to the Stanley Cup Final together in 2002.

    Sweden gets Pittsburgh flair as Hagelin, Hornqvist make World Cup roster

    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 22:  Patric Hornqvist #72 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Sidney Crosby #87 and Carl Hagelin #62 after scoring a goal on Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)
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    Pretty good 24 hours for Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist.

    Last night, the pair helped Pittsburgh advance to its first Stanley Cup Final in seven years.

    This morning, both made Team Sweden’s roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

    Hagelin and Hornqvist joined Buffalo’s Robin Lehner, Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm, Chicago’s Marcus Kruger, Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg and Colorado’s Carl Soderberg as the final seven players named to the Swedish roster on Friday.

    The updated 23-man list, in full:

    G Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres *
    G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
    G Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks

    D Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators *
    D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
    D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
    D Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
    D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
    D Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
    D Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning

    F Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
    F Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
    F Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
    F Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins *
    F Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins *
    F Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks *
    F Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
    F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
    F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
    F Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks *
    F Carl Soderberg, Colorado Avalanche *
    F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
    F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

    * named to roster today

    As far as “snubs” go, the biggest is probably Dallas blueliner John Klingberg. Klingberg, second only to Karlsson among Swedish d-men scorers this year, was passed over in favor of Ekholm.

    Other notable omissions include Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Washington’s Marcus Johansson, Carolina’s Victor Rask, Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm, Vancouver’s Alex Edler and Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom.

    In goal, Lehner beat out a host of competitors for the No. 3 gig behind Lundqvist and Markstrom. Jonas Gustavsson, Anders Nilsson, Jhonas Enroth and Eddie Lack — who used to play with Markstrom in Vancouver — were likely challengers for the spot.

    PHT Morning Skate: What superstition? Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz grab the Prince of Wales Trophy

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    Sidney Crosby decided to buck the trend and touch the Prince of Wales Trophy. (Top)

    –Former NHLers look back at their Game 7 battles. (Sports Illustrated)

    –A Q&A with the newest Panther Jared McCann. (NHL)

    –Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Penguins and Lightning:

    Joe Pavelski went from not being able to skate and not being big enough to becoming a Conn Smythe Trophy favorite. (TSN)

    Bryan Rust accomplished something pretty rare this postseason:

    –Some teams still need to sign some of their prospects or risk losing them.