Brian Burke explains why NHL has its doubts about going to 2014 Olympics during Summit

Thumbnail image for brianburke1.jpgThe World Hockey Summit might not be heavy in actual, tangible news but it has provided some puck-based emotional outbursts. Take, for instance, IIHF president’s stance that he would “fight like hell” to stop the NHL from expanding in Europe, even though that idea is probably not on the horizon any time soon.

When you’re looking for passionate hockey banter, turn to Toronto Maple Leafs (USA Olympic hockey team) GM Brian Burke. After hearing opening remarks that spoke glowingly about the NHL’s involvement in the once-every-four-years event, Burke passionately addressed the league’s own concerns.

The Leafs’ GM, an unabashed fan of Olympic hockey and the GM of Team USA in Vancouver, couldn’t hide his displeasure at what he considered the uninformed minimization of the NHL’s concerns with shutting down its season.

“It’s just not that simple,” Burke declared. “And we’re letting it become an emotional issue in this room.

“I do believe, and the Toronto Maple Leafs believe, that NHL players should go to the Olympics. But there’s a big IF — if and only if some of our concerns are addressed.”


But Burke and Healy joined forces in arguing forcefully that NHL general managers and medical personnel must have more access to NHL players during international events such as Olympic Games and the annual IIHF World Championships.

For fans and hockey writers, Olympic participation is a no-brainer. The issue is a little more complicated for the league, though, so I think it’s important that Burke and others have the chance to argue their side of the story.

Much like the feared could-be lockout, NHL executives have some time to decide whether or not they want to send their players to the Olympics again in 2014. It will be an interesting story to watch, even if we’ll only receive nuggets of information since Bettman and Co. are playing it pretty close to the vest so far.

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    Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

    Peter Chiarelli
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    It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

    Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

    You can see and hear his full comments below:

    If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

    Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

    Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

    Is he right to take that Netflix-and-chill approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

    Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


    It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

    The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

    It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

    Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

    Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

    Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

    The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

    The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

    Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

    The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

    The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.

    Video: Flyers lose Schultz after big hit from McIlrath


    It looks like the injury bug has taken another chunk out of the Philadelphia Flyers.

    The Flyers, who are already without Mark Streit, Ryan White and R.J. Umberger, have now lost Nick Schultz to injury.

    Schultz left Saturday’s game against the Rangers in the first period after taking a hit from Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

    Luke Schenn went after McIlrath right after he delivered the hit and both players dropped the gloves.

    Schultz did not return.

    You can watch the entire sequence by clicking on the video at the top of the page.

    The 33-year-old has just one assist in 23 games, but he leads the Flyers in blocked shots with 54.

    Goalie nods: Bernier has a ‘huge’ opportunity to prove himself vs. Caps

    Jonathan Bernier
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    Jonathan Bernier hasn’t been very good in ’15-16, but he’ll have a great opportunity to right the ship on Saturday night.

    Facing the Washington Capitals is never an easy task if you’re a goaltender, of course, but Bernier can’t afford to be picky with his chances.

    The 27-year-old is still looking for his first win of the season, as he has an overall record of 0-7-1. His 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage are just as bad as his record.

    Starter James Reimer is out tonight after suffering an injury in practice and although Bernier probably can’t win the starting job with just one good game, a solid performance would go a long way.

    He’ll go head-to-head with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.


    Cory Schneider will face the Habs for the second time in two nights. The Canadiens will do the same with Mike Condon. Montreal beat New Jersey, 3-2, in a shootout on Friday.

    -The Islanders have yet to confirm a starter, but they’ll likely go up against Ben Bishop on Saturday night.

    -Expect Linus Ullmark to go up against Pekka Rinne when the Sabres and Predators clash in Nashville. Rinne is on a season-high four-game losing streak.

    -The Oilers may turn to Anders Nilsson against the Penguins. Pittsburgh will decide between giving Marc-Andre Fleury two starts in two nights or going with Jeff Zatkoff.

    -The Stars, like Pittsburgh, will have to decide if they want to give Antti Niemi a second game in two nights. They will be going up against Darcy Kuemper, who will be making just his second start of the season.

    Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. He was solid in a 2-1 OT win over the Penguins on Friday night. The Blues will counter with starter Jake Allen.

    -The Jets have yet to confirm a starter in Denver. They’ll be going up against Semyon Varlamov, who was pulled in Wednesday’s game against Ottawa after he allowed three goals on 15 shots.

    Craig Anderson will look to win his fifth straight game when the Senators take on Arizona. The ‘Yotes still haven’t named a starter.

    Jonas Hiller is likely to get the start against San Jose, while the Sharks will definitely be countering with starter Martin Jones. The Sharks goaltender is coming off a loss to the ‘Hawks, but previously won five in a row.

    Scott Darling will put his 2-2-1 record on the line against the Kings. Jonathan Quick will probably be between the pipes for the Kings. Quick has a 7-15-1 record against the ‘Hawks in his career.