Team USA’s seventh-place finish at the 2012 World Hockey Championships left one former Chicago Blackhawk upset that a current Blackhawk decided to pass up the opportunity to help his country.
The former? Eddie Olczyk.
The current? Patrick Kane.
“These World Championships were really important for the seedings going into the Olympics,” Olczyk said this afternoon on WSCR’s McNeil and Spiegel Show.
“I was very disappointed that he didn’t go and represent our country and try to help us get a better seed come Olympic time, but maybe there (are) some things that I don’t know behind the scenes.”
Maybe, maybe not.
Kane decided to pass on the international tournament after the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think I’m just going to take the summer to rest and get excited about next season,” he said. “I’m healthy right now, I don’t want to risk that.”
A plausible concern given Kane had wrist surgery last summer, a procedure he maintains didn’t allow him to get fully prepared for the season.
Plus, there was a Cinco de Mayo party in Wisconsin he really wanted to attend.
By way of its seventh-place finish at the worlds, Team USA was placed in a tough group with Russia, Slovakia and an undetermined qualifier for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Making it past the group stage is still extremely likely for Team USA, but a low seed could mean a tougher opponent in the quarterfinals.
Then again, you never know how things will shake out. In 2010, Russia won its group and got stuck with Canada in the quarterfinals after the eventual gold medal-winner struggled in the group stage.
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
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.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.