Report: IOC agrees to cover NHL player insurance costs

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The NHL and International Olympic Committee haven’t finalized an agreement to bring NHL players to the 2014 Olympic Games, but a huge hurdle to that is about to be cleared.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported on last night’s Hotstove that the IOC has agreed to cover the cost of insurance for NHL players to play next year in Sochi. There are other issues left to be taken care of, but CBC’s Glenn Healy says the IIHF has the league’s proposal and now it’s up to both sides to figure out the rest of the issues.

Healy and P.J. Stock say issues like family tickets and accommodations are still being haggled over and the costs are five times what they normally would be thanks to the out-of-the-way location. That said, the cost of making sure the players and NHL teams were protected from injury abroad was the biggest sticking point. With that out of the way, it appears we’ll see pros in the Olympics yet again.

Report: Tortorella to be named Canucks coach this week


It might be the league’s worst kept secret, but it appears John Tortorella is set to become the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Hotstove last night that Tortorella would be announced sometime this week he’ll be the new Canucks coach.

Friedman also said the Canucks and GM Mike Gillis have done their due diligence in making sure he’s the right fit.

Assistant GM Laurence Gilman, who worked with Tortorella in Phoenix, was consulted as were former Rangers players Markus Naslund and Chris Higgins. The Canucks’ window for winning a Stanley Cup with this lineup is closing soon and, as Friedman notes, the feeling is that Tortorella will be the guy that will help make Vancouver’s dreams come true rather than someone like L.A. Kings assistant John Stevens.

Related: Report: Canucks offer head-coaching job to Tortorella

Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’

Tortorella arrives in Vancouver, gets swamped by eager media

No suspension coming for Boychuk on Toews hit


Johnny Boychuk can stop holding his breath.

TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie both report this morning that the Bruins defenseman will not see further discipline for his hit on Chicago captain Jonathan Toews.

Midway through the second period, Boychuk caught Toews cutting across the middle of the attack zone with a hard hit up high. The hit appeared to initially catch Toews in his shoulder and ride up into his head. Toews sat on the bench for most of the third period but did not play following the hit leading many to believe he suffered a head injury.

As it is, Toews is listed as having an upper body injury and coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful he’ll play in Monday’s Game 6.

Bergeron released from hospital, flying home with team


There’s good news for the Bruins this morning.

The team announced forward Patrice Bergeron was released from a Chicago hospital last night and will be flying home with the team back to Boston today.

Bergeron left last night’s game against Chicago with an unknown injury and was taken to a hospital for observation. Coach Claude Julien last night said he was hopeful everything was fine with him and that he’d be able to play in Game 6 on Monday.

As for what his injury is, good luck figuring that out because the Bruins aren’t talking. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos mentioned it could be his spleen, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie said no one has accurately reported what is wrong.

Soderberg keeps playoff debut in grounded perspective

Carl Soderberg played in his first playoff game last night in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. You’d think for a player who was new to the NHL he might be a bit overwhelmed. You’d be wrong though.

Soderberg took a very grounded approach when asked what it was like to play last night.

“It’s just hockey and I know that game,” he said. “I felt comfortable before the game too.”

For what it’s worth, coach Claude Julien liked what he saw from the Swedish rookie.

“He showed me enough to be able to move into (Bergeron’s) spot,” he said. “I thought he played well, and although there wasn’t maybe the chemistry that you see with that line usually because it’s his first time, certainly not disappointed in the way he played tonight.”

With Patrice Bergeron’s status up in the air for Game 6 on Monday, perhaps Soderberg gets another chance to show what he’s got.