What you might have missed: Hawks sweep, Czechs gold, Spitfires win Memorial Cup

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Thumbnail image for oviesilver.jpgOne could make a strong argument that yesterday was the biggest day of hockey – beyond just the NHL – in all of 2010. Seriously, there were some huge games played on a world scale Sunday. In case you missed the three biggest outcomes, here’s a summary of the action, including PHT takes on each event.

Chicago sweeps San Jose with 4-2 win; Blackhawks make the Stanley Cup finals

(Chicago’s perspective, plus the fallout for San Jose)

Duncan Keith gave up seven of his teeth. Dustin Byfuglien scored his second game winning goal in a row (more on that later). Antti Niemi didn’t need to be quite as dominant (2 goals allowed on 18 shots) but nonetheless had a great series. Overall, the Chicago Blackhawks were downright amazing in their sweep of the Sharks. Really, the only thing the team needs to worry about at this point is their Eastern Conference foes and – maybe more than that – the myriad writers and fans who might jinx them by appointing the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup winners before they play a single finals match.

Czechs stun Russians for World Championships gold

(PHT’s story on the gold medal upset.)

Jaromir Jagr was vocal about his displeasure regarding Czech stars passing on the tournament. Well, now he must be happy they never showed up. The scrappy Czechs managed to beat the angry, star-packed Russian team 2-1 to claim an unexpected gold medal. Meanwhile, the Russians took the silver medal while Sweden managed to snag a bronze.

Taylor Hall and the Windsor Spitfires dominate the Brandon Wheat Kings to win the Memorial Cup

(Last night’s report on the 9-1 drubbing.)

I can’t help but wonder if the Taylor Hall-Tyler Seguin debate is already over, although the Combine hasn’t taken place yet. Still, Hall became the first player in Memorial Cup history to win the tournament’s MVP in back-to-back years. The Spitfires are drawing “one of the best junior teams ever” praise as they, too, won the Memorial Cup for consecutive seasons. They did so by embarrassing the host team Brandon Wheat Kings 9-1. Are Edmonton Oilers fans already getting excited about Hall?

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.