Tag: Sochi

Pavel Bure

Pavel Bure to consider running Sochi KHL expansion team


One of the upsides for Sochi getting the Olympic Games was what it would do for them after the events are over. One thing that’s seemingly going to happen is they’ll be getting a KHL expansion team and they may have a superstar to run it.

According to agent Darryl Wolski, Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure is considering being the man to run the new franchise. The new team would begin play in 2014-2015.

Bure has been the face of the potential Sochi franchise since it was announced they would be getting a team. A story from Ria Novosti in September got his thoughts on being an executive of the franchise.

“I have experience and understanding of what needs to be done,” said Bure. “I saw what was done in Los Angeles, California, where it was hard to make the Kings popular, because they had Lakers [NBA team] that were winning everything. But look at them now: the team already took the Stanley Cup and their arena is always full.”

Being a former superstar player has helped out others in landing jobs in the KHL. Sergei Fedorov is the GM of CSKA and Alexander Mogilny is the GM of the team in Vladivostok. Seeing Bure land in Sochi would give that team an immediate boost of credibility.

Larionov on Olympics: ‘Hockey is the main event’

Igor Larionov

We’re focused on hockey here, but the Winter Olympics have more than just that going on for it. With the number of other big sports and events, sometimes we get a little caught up in our own thing, but Hockey Hall of Famer and Russian legend Igor Larionov says it begins and ends with hockey in Sochi.

In an interview with SophieCo in Russia, Larionov says the rest of the events in the Olympics can’t hold a candle to ice hockey.

“I mean, the hockey is the main event – I don’t care what anybody says about figure skating and all in that respect, and other sports, but hockey – because you got so many superstars coming to play and they play against each other, so it’s not every time you can see top teams from around the world playing. It’s like a World Cup of soccer. But this is NHL players coming and playing especially at Olympics, and for the players to come and play and to be proud for their country, so I think it’s kind of historic event for the players because of that.”

The Olympics always create stars in other sports. Such is the case in figure skating, bobsled, and skiing, but the superstars come into hockey prepackaged.

Fans of other sports might call Larionov biased since he comes from, and is a player agent in, hockey but it’s not unlike NBA talent in basketball in the Summer Olympics.

That said, having NHL players in Olympic hockey in Russia turns the players into rock stars of sorts given how hockey-mad the country is. That kind of status causes those involved in some of those other sports, as Puck Daddy shares, to sound off in a fit of jealousy.

Who will coach Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

Dan Bylsma

Yesterday’s announcement that Steve Yzerman will again GM Team Canada at the Winter Olympics got people thinking about the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia — that meant projecting rosters, lineups, management teams and of course, head coaches.

Over at ESPN, Craig Custance has compiled a list of potential American bench bosses.

[Note: Sounds like Brian Burke is likely to retain his role as GM. The architect of the silver medal-winning team in Vancouver, Burke was called “the front-runner,” by advisory committee member Dale Tallon.]

[Note 2: Of course, all 2014 Olympic posts should come with a disclaimer that NHL involvement is not guaranteed at this time.]

Currently, there are six American NHL head coaches: Joe Sacco (Colorado), Todd Richards (Columbus), Jack Capuano (New York Islanders), John Tortorella (New York Rangers), Peter Laviolette (Philadelphia) and Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh). Custance lists Bylsma and Tortorella as two of the favorites — in the last three years Bylsma has won a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams while Tortorella has the Rangers atop the East and was an assistant coach in 2010.

Custance also counts recently-fired Leafs coach Ron Wilson as a legit contender as well. Yes, even though things could be incredibly awkward with Burke as the GM.

As for the others…Laviolette gets mentioned in “the field” of candidates. He’s coached the Americans twice at the World Championships but, unfortunately, was at the helm of the disappointing U.S. team at the 2006 games in Torino (one win in six games.)

Sacco, Gordon and Richards seem like longshots, though all three have international experience. Sacco played on eight different national teams and Gordon has coached the last two World Championship squads. Richards assisted Gordon at the 2011 WHC.

As for other names to keep an eye on? If Bylsma gets the nod, Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato could be joining him — Granato has head coach experience from his time in Colorado, making the playoffs in two of his three seasons. (Of note: Granato’s brother, Don, was named head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Aug. 2011.)

Doug Weight could be one to watch as well. He’s currently assisting Caupano with the Islanders and represented his country on numerous occasions during his career, including a silver medal-winning performance at the 2002 Salt Lake games. He could bridge the gap between the new generation of American players, given he’s recently removed from his playing days.

Yzerman returns to GM Team Canada at 2014 Olympics

Yzerman Canada

He’s baaaack!

That was the message from Hockey Canada on Monday as they announced Steve Yzerman would once again lead Canada at the Winter Olympics. Yzerman was tabbed to reprise his GM role for the 2014 Sochi Games after leading Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

“The opportunity to work with Hockey Canada again is something I’m really excited about,” Yzerman said. “I really, really enjoyed the experience in the past, and really look forward to the next few years. And hopefully all goes well and the National Hockey League players will be participating in Sochi as well.”

Joining Yzerman in managerial roles are his same assistants from 2010 — St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe.

Yzerman was a borderline Demigod following the gold medal win in Vancouver, but it will be interesting to see how he performs in a follow-up role. Wayne Gretzky, also familiar with being a Canadian icon, returned to GM the national team after winning gold at the 2002 Salt Lake games…only to fall flat in 2006 (Canada finished third in its group, then lost to Russia in the quarterfinals.)

The difficulty of following-up a gold medal performance is something Yzerman alluded to.

“While winning in Vancouver was something unique and extraordinary, I am as excited about taking on another great challenge,” he said. “I look forward to working with Doug, Ken, Kevin, Peter and Dave and the Hockey Canada staff to put a plan in place to bring Canada success internationally.”