Jarome Iginla

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Olympic hopes in doubt for Jarome Iginla

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On Thursday, Hockey Canada announced its 25-man roster for this month’s Channel One Cup tournament in Moscow. There are plenty of names on the list that will stick out to you like Derek Roy, Rene Bourque, Gilbert Brule, P.A. Parenteau, Simon Despres and Ben Scrivens.

One name that’s been bandied about for months but wasn’t included is Jarome Iginla.

The 40-year-old Iginla failed to latch on with an NHL team this off-season, which opened up the door to play for Canada at the PyeongChang Olympics in February. He recently underwent a minor hip procedure and was planning to begin skating again this week.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Canada had an open invite for Iginla to play in the Spengler Cup later this month but it looks like he won’t be ready by Dec. 26 and now his Olympic chances are in danger.

“As good a player as Jarome has been, as good a man as he is, if he’s not playing, it’s hard to give yourself opportunity for a fair evaluation, quite honestly, of what he might be able to do in the Olympic Games,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney said last month. “It’s tough to go from zero to 60 as a 40-year-old.”

Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported last month that Iginla hasn’t given up hope of returning to the NHL. If the Olympics are now out of the equation he can fully focus on finding a team to give him at least a tryout for one last shot at The Show. But time is running out.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Jarome Iginla could suit up for Canada again (Video)

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Unrestricted free agent Jarome Iginla could once again don a Team Canada jersey.

The Hockey Night panel discussed Iginla’s return to the ice on Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada. Iginla recently had a minor operation on his hip. He played 80 games last season split between the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings.

“He had conversations with Team Canada this week,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during Saturday’s broadcast. “He’s going to begin skating in about a week or two and I think Team Canada has re-extended the invitation (to play in the Spengler Cup). If he wants to play in the Spengler Cup before the Olympics, there will be a spot for him.”

The Spengler Cup runs from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 in Davos, Switzerland.

Hockey Canada’s president and CEO Tom Renny told Sportsnet at the beginning of November that Iginla needs to play hockey to be considered for the Olympic team that will head to South Korea early next year.

It was reported in September that Iginla was being ‘selective’ with where he wanted to sign as a free agent, but teams were being just as selective when it came to Iginla, who had 14 goals and 27 points in 80 games last season.

Earlier this month, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said the Flames kicked the tires regarding bringing Iginla. 40, back to the town where played for 17 years.

If Iginla signed with an NHL team between now and the start of the Olympics, he would be ineligible to play for Canada.

Iginla is a future NHL Hall of Famer, with 625 goals and 1,300 points in 1,554 career games. He has won gold twice with Canada at the Olympics, in 2002 in Salt Lake City and again in Vancouver in 2010, but has never hoisted the Stanley Cup.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Colorado Avalanche ’15-16 Outlook

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The Colorado Avalanche can be a tough nut to crack.

If you bounce around “Hockey Twitter” at all, the team very much stands as a guinea pig in the “stats vs. tradition” debate (or whatever you’d like to call it). That debate often gets a little weird and then overshadows the team itself.

When you look at the Avalanche, it’s an odd mix of old and new.

You have old ideas and old faces in management with Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic running the ship. They seemingly lean toward signing old veterans from Jarome Iginla to Francois Beauchemin.

The fresh faces make this squad awfully interesting, however. Gabriel Landeskog is still one of the NHL’s youngest captains at 22. With all the pressure on Nathan MacKinnon to make the next step, one might forget that he’s just 19. Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie remain in the meat of their primes at 24.

What if all four of those promising young players make significant strides that often come at such ages, particularly MacKinnon, who may just be scratching the surface of his skill set as people move onto to the next big thing in Connor McDavid? Could the Avalanche see earlier-than-expected results from still-blooming prospects like Nikita Zadorov and Mikhail Grigorenko?

Ryan O’Reilly is a tough player to let go – and he’s also just 24 – but when you look at that group, it’s quite a bit easier to stomach, isn’t it?

Yes, that defense looks pretty shaky beyond a handful of solid players such as Barrie and Erik Johnson, meaning the Avalanche will again lean heavily on Semyon Varlamov.

Still, with the abundance of talent at the forward position in particular, even the most ardent number-crunchers would shudder to dismiss the Avalanche outright.

The Price is Right: Habs’ goaltender wins Hart Memorial Trophy

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Carey Price is the 2015 winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Price becomes the first goaltender since 2002 to win both Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy.

The 27-year-old is also the first goaltender since Dominik Hasek in 1997 and 1998 to win the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.

Price is first goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay and Jennings.

It’s the first MVP award for Price who helped the Canadiens earn the top seed in the Atlantic Division despite Montreal finishing 20th overall in goals for per game during the regular season.

“It’s coming together,” Price told NHL.com on Tuesday. “It’s always been a process. A lot of goaltenders my age have already had a lot of success. I feel like my career is progressing in the right direction, but I’m still looking for what I ultimately want.”

Price led the league in wins (44), G.A.A. (1.96) and save percentage (.933) during the 2014-15 season.

“I think the biggest thing is I was trying to focus more on being successful as opposed to focusing on what I needed to do to be successful. That basic mindset was a big difference,” Price said of his MVP season. “[Stephane Waite] has definitely helped with that, my dad’s helped with that, but ultimately it takes the individual to accept that. Over the last couple of years, I think I’ve really done that.”

Price beat out New York Islanders’ captain John Tavares and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Here are the full voting results:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Carey Price, MTL 1498 (139-14-2-0-0)
2. Alex Ovechkin, WSH 888 (8-75-45-18-4)
3. John Tavares, NYI 739 (4-41-63-27-16)
4. Devan Dubnyk, MIN 410 (6-16-25-30-23)
5. Sidney Crosby, PIT 138 (0-2-3-25-34)
6. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA 124 (0-2-6-20-20)
7. Rick Nash, NYR 70 (0-1-4-9-16)
8. Pekka Rinne, NSH 49 (0-2-4-4-3)
9. Erik Karlsson, OTT 32 (0-1-1-5-5)
10. Jonathan Toews, CHI 31 (0-1-3-2-3)
11. Steven Stamkos, TBL 29 (0-1-0-5-7)
12. Jamie Benn, DAL 23 (0-0-0-5-8)
13. Jiri Hudler, CGY 16 (0-1-0-3-0)
14. Vladimir Tarasenko, STL 14 (0-0-0-3-5)
15. Andrew Hammond, OTT 9 (0-0-0-1-6)
16. P.K. Subban, MTL 5 (0-0-1-0-0)
17. Drew Doughty, LAK 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
18. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Braden Holtby, WSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Zach Parise, MIN 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Shea Weber, NSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)

Here are the MVP-winners and the second-place guys since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2015 Carey Price, Mtl. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh.
2014 Sidney Crosby, Pit. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana.
2013 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Sidney Crosby, Pit.
2012 Evgeni Malkin, Pit. Steven Stamkos, T.B.
2011 Corey Perry, Ana. Daniel Sedin, Van.
2010 Henrik Sedin, Van. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh.
2009 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Evgeni Malkin, Pit.
2008 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Evgeni Malkin, Pit.
2007 Sidney Crosby, Pit. Roberto Luongo, Van.
2006 Joe Thornton, S.J. Jaromir Jagr, NYR
2004 Martin St. Louis, T.B. Jarome Iginla, Cgy.
2003 Peter Forsberg, Col. Markus Naslund, Van.
2002 Jose Theodore, Mtl. Jarome Iginla, Cgy.
2001 Joe Sakic, Col. Mario Lemieux, Pit.
2000 Chris Pronger, St.L Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1999 Jaromir Jagr, Pit. Alexei Yashin, Ott.
1998 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1997 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Paul Kariya, Ana.
1996 Mario Lemieux, Pit. Mark Messier, NYR
1995 Eric Lindros, Phi. Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1994 Sergei Fedorov, Det. Dominik Hasek, Buf.
1993 Mario Lemieux, Pit. Doug Gilmour, Tor.
1992 Mark Messier, NYR Patrick Roy, Mtl.
1991 Brett Hull, St.L Wayne Gretzky, L.A.
1990 Mark Messier, Edm. Ray Bourque, Bos.

Julien agrees with Sweeney, says ‘adjustments’ required for Bruins’ ‘transition game’

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Claude Julien is on the same page with his general manager.

Julien spoke to reporters today for the first time since new GM Don Sweeney confirmed the Bruins’ coach would be back next season. And like Sweeney, Julien believes there are things the B’s can do to get the puck moving a bit quicker out of their end.

“Teams’ forechecking has changed a lot, so there are things we feel we can do with our transition game that we feel we can do a lot better with creating some speed,” said Julien, per the Boston Herald. “We had already kind of addressed that and we’re going to introduce that into camp like we do every year. To me, those aren’t changes. Those are adjustments like we do every year.”

The Bruins finished 2014-15 with the 22nd-ranked offense, their lack of goal-scoring a big reason they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Of course, it should be noted that, in 2013-14, the B’s had the third-ranked offense. So some of the drop-off in scoring has to be attributed to personnel. Boston lost both Jarome Iginla (to free agency) and Johnny Boychuk (via trade), while David Krejci missed almost half the season due to injury.

Julien also said today that he understands why Sweeney’s decision to retain his services took a bit longer than some felt was necessary.

“He’s got to feel comfortable, too,” said Julien.

Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins