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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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Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday