One of the NHL’s two Koivu brothers — Minnesota’s Mikko or Anaheim’s Saku — will captain Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to head coach Erkka Westerlund.
“It’s a question between the Koivu brothers as to who will be the captain,” Westerlund told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “I’ve known Mikko since he was this high … [holding his left hand four feet off the ground]. He’s a strong leader on our team.
“He knows what he wants. He can help the teammates play better.”
The Koivu brothers have essentially held the “C” for Finland internationally over the last 15 years. Saku’s worn it for the majority of tournaments — since the ’98 Olympics in Nagano — but Mikko has nudged his way in over recent tourneys, including captaining the Finns to gold at the 2011 World Championships.
It might come as a surprise that veteran Teemu Selanne isn’t in the mix. The 43-year-old is arguably the greatest Finnish player of all time and looking to cap off a glorious international career that began at the ’92 games in Albertville.
While it doesn’t appear Selanne will be in the mix for the captaincy, Westerlund did say he’d consult with Selanne and Finland GM Jari Kurri before formally announcing who’ll get the “C.”
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.