One tournament that could get a huge lift from the lockout is the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
Worlds always occurs during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but if there’s no season and no Stanley Cup to be awarded thanks to the lockout, the tournament that’s usually second banana turns into hockey’s featured event of the season.
As Pierre LeBrun from ESPN.com found out, Hockey Canada is already preparing to load up for this year’s event in Sweden and Finland.
“Hockey Canada wants NHL hockey to start ASAP, but if there is no season, Canada will start preparation early to send the best players to Sweden for the men’s world championships,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson told ESPN.com via email Thursday.
This same situation happened back in 2005 and saw Jaromir Jagr and Dominik Hasek’s Czech Republic take out Martin Brodeur and Canada for gold.
Think about it though: Instead of players whose teams either missed the playoffs or got bounced in the first round, you get a load of well-rested and eager to compete superstars. Sign us up right now if we’re going to be boned out of an NHL season.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.