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Posted On Wednesday, 08.28.2013 / 2:56 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Nabokov aims for third trip to Olympics with Russia

Evgeni Nabokov struggled while playing goal for Russia in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, so he is glad to have been one of five netminders invited to Russia Olympic orientation camp.

But Nabokov, who re-signed with the New York Islanders this summer, said the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February aren't the only thing on his mind as he prepares for the season.

"Everyone understands that this is the year of the Olympics, and the Games are very important for the country," the 38-year-old said this week in an interview with R-Sport. "However, you should understand that playing for our own club is no less important. Moreover, one supplements the other here: If you play badly for the club, you will not get to the Olympics.

"Therefore, each of us thinks about playing the first club game and later we will think about the second game, and then, in February, we will think about the Olympics. Now we have to prove to the coaches that we deserve to play on the national team, and I can only do this with the help of [playing well] with the Islanders. Believe me, I will not be thinking 24/7 about the Olympics."


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 9:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Eric Staal 'good now' after offseason knee injury

CALGARY -- Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said he wasn't sure how his right knee would react to running around on the fiberglass ball hockey floor at Canada Olympic orientation camp this week, but he came away from his second day of walk-throughs no worse for wear.

"I feel better than I thought I would, so that's good," Staal told NHL.com Tuesday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 5:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Perry anxious to hear Selanne's decision

CALGARY -- Even though Corey Perry has played with Teemu Selanne for the past eight seasons, the Anaheim Ducks forward wants to be counted among the hockey fans dying to know if his teammate is going to return to the NHL in 2013-14.

Selanne reportedly is going to make a decision whether he will return for a 21st season or retire at the age of 43 sometime soon.

"When everybody asks you or talks to you about hockey, it's always, 'Is Teemu coming back?'" Perry told NHL.com Tuesday at Canada Olympic orientation camp. "I don't have an answer for them, but I'm curious as well to know what's going on, what's going through his mind, what does he want to do? This is probably the third, fourth, fifth maybe sixth time he's gone through this, but it's Teemu and he's a legend. If you talk about hockey his name is probably going to come up."

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 5:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Yzerman hints at Canada leadership group

CALGARY -- Steve Yzerman hasn't officially named a leadership group for the Canadian Olympic Team in the way his counterpart to the south, David Poile, did for the United States in Arlington, Va., earlier this week. However, during a sit-down interview with NHL Network on Tuesday, Canada's executive director hinted at five players who could be part of such a group should he officially name one.

Yzerman mentioned Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Rick Nash, each of whom were part of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 4:30 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Chicago trio discusses Stanley Cup vs. Olympic gold

CALGARY -- Few players can boast that they've hoisted the Stanley Cup over their head and had an Olympic gold medal placed around their neck.

But for three members of the Chicago Blackhawks who have won both, the accomplishments generate totally different emotions.


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 4:06 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Ryan receives offseason assist from ex-NHLer Holik

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan found a new way to train this summer, and it came from a familiar hockey face.

Ryan used the natural beauty of the rugged terrain around his summer home near Jackson Hole, Wyo., to work on his cardio base. He was shown the way by Bobby Holik, the former NHL player who won a pair of Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils during an 18-year career.

Holik, who retired in 2009, settled in the area after his playing days. According to Ryan, Holik reached out to him -- through Twitter -- with the idea of doing some offseason training.

Ryan agreed and signed on for some dry-land training like none he had ever experienced before.


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 3:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada ready for Sochi challenge

CALGARY -- Four years ago, home-ice advantage in Vancouver helped play a role in Canada's Olympic gold. The Canadians won't have that luxury when they try to defend their gold medal in Sochi, Russia, in February.

Though the rivalry between the two countries may not be quite as intense as it once was, Canadian center Jonathan Toews is aware that a trip to Sochi will be a journey into hostile and relatively unfamiliar territory.


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 1:46 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Kesler healthy, eager to play for Tortorella

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Training camp is going to be a little different for the Vancouver Canucks this season with new coach John Tortorella in charge.

It is also going to be different than recent ones for center Ryan Kesler, mostly because he will be participating in it. Kesler missed camp for the 2011-12 season because of hip surgery. He wasn't able to take part last season because he was still rehabbing after shoulder surgery.

"Put the past couple of years behind me is the key phrase," Kesler said. "It was a tough, tough two years. This summer was amazing. Being able to work out fully again and train and skate with the guys and really to have my first training camp in two years is exciting. I'm excited to get back at it."


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 1:01 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Memorable meeting for U.S. Olympic hopefuls

ARLINGTON, Va. -- When Brian Burke spoke of his favorite memory from the 2010 Winter Olympics, it wasn't watching the team he constructed beating Canada in the preliminary round or winning a silver medal.

His favorite memory is when members of the Wounded Warriors program spoke to the United States team. Members of the military who take part in the Wounded Warriors program were able to spend lots of time with the U.S. squad in the lead-up to the 2010 Games and in Vancouver, and it was a memorable part of the experience for players on the team as well.

"The last camp and Olympics they were around with us and it was really special," Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said. "It was great to hear their stories, and they would get us pretty jacked up before the games. When we think we're making sacrifices, it is not even close. It's not even the same stratosphere. We have a great deal of respect for them and what they do.

"It makes it personal. You get to hang out with them and ask so many questions, sit and eat with them, have them come to practice. We are just as interested in what they have done as they are in what we've done. It makes it really cool, and you can make legitimate friendships instead of just saying, 'Hey, thanks for the talk.' It is a great experience and a thrill that USA Hockey does it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Star-studded unveiling as U.S. shows Olympic jerseys

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The 2013 U.S. Men's National Team Camp concluded Tuesday with the introduction of all 48 players who participated and the unveiling of the United States jersey for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The new logo is a shield with "USA" written in white with a blue background above red and white vertical stripes. There are also matte stars on the blue shoulders that are more noticeable when the sweaters move in the light.

"I think it is classy and humble and something we can stand behind -- that shield," St. Louis Blues captain David Backes said.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 8:47 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Stastny eager to rebound to Olympic form

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Colorado Avalanche will be hoping to rebound in 2013-14 after a three-season absence from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A return to form by Paul Stastny would be a big help.

Stastny had 79 points in 81 games in 2009-10, when he represented the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as a 24-year-old center. But Stastny's offensive production has slipped in each of the past three seasons. He had 24 points in 40 games in 2012-13 as the Avalanche finished last in the Western Conference.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 7:39 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Pietrangelo optimistic on new contract with Blues

CALGARY -- The cost of insuring the roughly $1.5 billion in contracts among the players attending Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week is the reason why they're not on the ice. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo doesn't have a contract to insure just yet.

Pietrangelo is still a restricted free agent for the St. Louis Blues, who are set to open training camp in less than three weeks. He's coming off his three-year entry-level contract and said Monday that he's been operating under the assumption that he and his agent, Don Meehan of Newport Sports, will strike a deal with the Blues so he can be in training camp on time.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 7:33 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Stepan not worried about contract status

ARLINGTON, Va. -- There are 48 players at the 2013 U.S. Men's National Team Camp, but Derek Stepan is unique.

He is the only one who doesn't have a contract for the 2013-14 season. Stepan is a restricted free agent, and he has not come to terms on a new deal with the New York Rangers.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 7:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Phaneuf determined to stay free of distractions

CALGARY -- There's only one thing that has the attention of Dion Phaneuf -- the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Entering the final season of a six-year, $39 million contract and in the middle of Canada's national men's team orientation camp, the Maple Leafs captain has plenty of distractions but he insists his sole focus is the start to the season in Toronto.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 6:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Alzner hopes underdog role leads to Olympic berth

CALGARY -- Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner isn't sure what his chances are of making the Canadian Olympic team, but he gave NHL.com some insight into his thought process for how he may convince executive director Steve Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock to pick him.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 6:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Thornton remains home rather than at Canada's camp

CALGARY -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton was invited but decided not to come to Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week because of a family matter.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 3:50 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Miller reflects on play that led to Crosby golden goal

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Ryan Miller was one of the biggest reasons the United States came within one goal of claiming the gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Buffalo Sabres goaltender was the named the most valuable player in the tournament for his stellar play, but the final, indelible moment of the overtime loss to Canada in Vancouver remains.

"I haven't come to terms [with it]," Miller said. "We went there to win."

Miller joined 47 other American hopefuls at the United States Olympic orientation camp Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and while much of the media focus was on the forthcoming competition for the three goaltending spots on the U.S. roster that will travel to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, it was also a time for Miller to reflect on the experience in 2010.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Laviolette still stunned by Giroux's injury

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Time has done little to dull the abject fear Peter Laviolette felt when he answered Paul Holmgren's call two weeks ago.

Holmgren, the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, was calling Laviolette, the team's coach, to inform him that Claude Giroux, the team's captain and best player, had injured his hand playing golf and required corrective surgery on his right index finger.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Ball hockey drills give Canada hopefuls a workout

CALGARY -- The cost of insuring the roughly $1.5 billion worth of NHL player contracts here at Canada's Olympic orientation camp was prohibitive, so the players are not allowed to go on the ice. That didn't stop them from getting in a workout complete with drills Monday morning at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

The coaching staff broke up the 45 players in camp (Joe Thornton and Claude Giroux were invited but could not attend) into two groups and had them doing ball hockey drills on the Olympic-sized rink, which was covered in boards that resemble an international ice sheet.

The purpose of the workouts was to show the players how Canada plans to play on the big rink in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics and to go over some of the terminology coach Mike Babcock and his assistants will use.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 1:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Family matter keeps Thornton from Canada's camp

CALGARY -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton was invited but decided not to come to Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week because of a family matter.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported on his Twitter account Monday that Thornton remained home because his two-month old boy was in the hospital. LeBrun added that Thornton's baby is now out of the hospital, but Hockey Canada fully understands his reason for not attending the orientation camp.

Thornton joins Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux as the two players not in attendance despite being invited. Giroux is not here because he is rehabbing his surgically repaired finger.


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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 9:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada would prefer to skate, but can't

CALGARY -- The one thing missing from Canada's three-day Olympic orientation camp is actual hockey. The players will not be taking the ice as they have in previous camps because of the prohibitive cost of insuring their NHL contracts.

It's actually a bummer to some of them even though it's August and NHL training camps won't open for another 2 1/2 weeks.

"Unfortunately we're not going to be going on the ice, which is a shame a little bit," goalie Roberto Luongo said, "but the fact that we're getting together just gets us excited for what's down the road here."

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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 8:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada adds Krueger to help with bigger ice

CALGARY -- Ralph Krueger's extensive experience coaching teams on the larger international ice surface helped the former Edmonton Oilers coach land a job on Mike Babcock's staff for the 2014 Canada Men's Olympic team.

Krueger, who coached the Oilers last season, has been hired by Hockey Canada to serve as an adviser to the coaching staff that will represent Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when the tournament will be played on rinks that are 15-feet wider than they are in North America. Krueger is from Manitoba but played and coached in Europe for three decades before joining the Oilers staff as an associate coach in 2010.

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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 8:05 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Bruins forward Bergeron '95 percent' after injuries

CALGARY -- After suffering multiple injuries on the road to the Stanley Cup Final, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said Sunday he is closing in on a complete recovery.

"I feel pretty good," Bergeron said at an introductory press conference for Canada national men's team orientation camp. "I'm pretty much 95 percent to where I'd like to be. [It] took a little time to get back to feeling good and normal, but workouts, and I've been on the ice this week and it's been feeling well, so I've felt pretty good."

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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 7:35 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

No advantage given to Blackhawks' Olympic hopefuls

CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks participating in Canada's national men's team orientation camp this week will have no competitive advantage when it comes to cracking the Olympic roster, coach Mike Babcock said Sunday.

The chemistry between Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews alongside goaltender Corey Crawford will gain the reigning Stanley Cup Champions no special consideration.

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