This summer’s U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp will have a decidedly NHL feel.
On Thursday, USA Hockey announced that Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will be one of four coaches for August’s NJEC, along with Kurt Kleindorst (head coach of Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa), Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State) and Greg Brown (Boston College).
The evaluation camp will take place Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y. and feature teams from the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden. It’ll be the biggest showcase of junior-level talent prior to the 2014 Worlds, which will be held in Malmo, Sweden beginning on Dec. 26.
Cooper, 45, took over the Tampa Bay job after Guy Boucher was fired in late March.
Prior to his gig with the Lightning, Cooper enjoyed major success with AHL Norfolk/Syracuse, winning the Calder Cup and Louis A. R. Pieri award as the league’s top coach in 2012.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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