World Cup of Hockey
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World Cup of Hockey 2016

Team USA's Tortorella, Lombardi find quick chemistry

Tuesday, 09.22.2015 / 4:51 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

In all their years working in the NHL, Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and John Tortorella never crossed paths. But when Lombardi, the GM for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, approached Tortorella about being his coach, it didn't take long for a connection to form.

Tortorella was announced as coach for Team USA on Monday. He said Tuesday that after being asked to interview with Lombardi and his management staff, he put together notes for the initial meeting. Then he heard Lombardi speak at his introduction as Team USA GM in August and something clicked.

"I listened to him speak … and I looked at my notes and the bullet points I had, and I said I think we're thinking pretty similar," Tortorella said. "It's pretty neat for me. I just thought it was a good connection. In the time and process I've gone through with him, I think I've connected with him. It doesn't always happen that way."

Tortorella to coach Team USA at World Cup

Tuesday, 09.22.2015 / 12:25 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

USA Hockey named John Tortorella coach of Team USA for the 2016 World Cup on Monday.

The announcement was made on ESPN following the NFL game between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

"There’s no greater honor than to represent your country, and I’m humbled to have this opportunity," Tortorella said. "We’ll have one objective and that will be to bring the World Cup championship back to the United States."

Tortorella, 57, leads American-born coaches with 446 wins and coached the Tampa Bay Lightning to their only Stanley Cup championship in 2004. He has also coached the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.

Team Europe roster projection for World Cup

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 5:25 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

David Satriano - Fantasy Staff Writer

Team Europe, coached by Ralph Krueger, will have plenty of NHL and international experience but figures to be at a disadvantage in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey because its players haven't played together before as a group.

The roster will be comprised of players from European nations, excluding Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Russia. It's likely to prominently feature players from Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany and Denmark, although players from other countries are eligible.

Former NHL forward Miroslav Satan, who played for Slovakia's national team, is general manager. It's his task to assemble a group of players from multiple countries who can quickly come together as a cohesive unit for the tournament, which will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto.

Here's what Team Europe's roster could look like (alphabetically by position):

Team North America roster projection for World Cup

Monday, 09.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Dan Rosen and Arpon Basu - Staff Writers

It will be the team no one wants to face, the scariest opponent because of their talent and skill but also because losing to a group of the best young players in the NHL won't sit well with the veterans who will make up most of the other rosters at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Team North America -- the top Canadian and American players who will be 23 years old or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016 -- will not be a pushover at the best-on-best tournament in Toronto next September.

The roster, which will be put together by general managers Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers and Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks, could feature four of the past five No. 1 draft picks, as many as four Calder Trophy winners, and a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

"There is no way you want to lose to the young bucks," Canadian defenseman Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) said. "The League is all about being a veteran and having experience, so there is no way we'd want to lose to them."

Team Russia roster projection for World Cup

Sunday, 09.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Vassili Ossipov - Staff Writer

Heading into the 2014 Sochi Olympics, there was one main priority for the entire host nation of Russia: Win a gold medal in hockey.

The Russians won three of five games in the group stage but were eliminated before the medal round, losing 3-1 to Finland in the quarterfinals. It was the most disappointing loss for Russia since it was upset by the United States in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

In Sochi, Russia seemed to be a team of individuals rather than a unit.

Now Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and the rest of Russia's talent will be more than eager to redeem themselves against other hockey powers at the 2016 World Cup.

Team Czech Republic roster projection for World Cup

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Michael Langr - Correspondent

After winning gold at the 2010 IIHF World Championship and bronze the following two years, the Czech Republic hasn't been successful in any of the big international events since.

Heading into the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, almost all of the leaders from the "Golden Generation" that won gold medals at the World Championship six times and at the 1998 Nagano Olympics between 1996 and 2010 are gone, and powerhouses Canada, the United States and Sweden have gotten stronger.

The most intriguing question for the Team Czech Republic roster for the World Cup involves forward Jaromir Jagr, who will turn 44 in February. He is heading into the final year of his contract with the Florida Panthers and he may not be playing in the NHL by the time the tournament starts in Toronto in September 2016.

But it's been that way a few times in recent years, and Jagr always came back and performed beyond expectations. At the 2015 World Championship in Prague he was voted tournament MVP when he had nine points in 10 games. Afterward he said his international career was over.

Because of that statement and his age, it seems more likely he won't be on the roster and Czech hockey has to start a new, post-Jagr era.

Team Finland roster projection for World Cup

Friday, 09.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Marko Leppanen - Correspondent

The 1988 Calgary Olympics marked a big step for Finland, which defeated the Soviet Union 2-1 in its last game of the final round to win the silver medal.

Finland has been successful on the international stage ever since, but it's missing a gold medal in a best-on-best tournament. Finland hockey fans, of course, have bittersweet memories of the 2006 Turin Olympics, when Finland lost 3-2 to rival Sweden in the gold-medal game.

Finland is ranked fourth in the International Ice Hockey Federation 2015 men's rankings, but it will be missing a wealth of experience at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey compared to recent tournaments. Forwards Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu and defensemen Sami Salo and Kimmo Timonen have retired since winning bronze at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Perennial Vezina Trophy contenders Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne should provide elite goaltending, though.

Here is what Team Finland's roster could look like for the tournament, which will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto (alphabetically by position):

Team Sweden roster projection for World Cup

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Janne Bengtsson - Correspondent

Team Sweden will enter the World Cup of Hockey with a new coach, Rikard Gronborg. But with 10 years of experience as a national junior team coach on different levels, Gronborg has a relationship with many of the young Swedes playing in the NHL.

Some of them won't make the 2016 team; Jonas Brodin (Minnesota Wild), Elias Lindholm (Carolina Hurricanes), Hampus Lindholm (Anaheim Ducks) and Jakob Silfverberg (Anaheim Ducks), to name a few. Veterans Johnny Oduya (Dallas Stars) and Mikael Backlund (Calgary Flames) also likely are on the outside.

Gronborg will be helped by an advisory board that includes three of the best Swedish players of all time: Nicklas Lidstrom, Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson, who combined to play 4,102 NHL games.

Kings' Doughty likes Team Canada, Ducks' Perry

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 8:40 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty thinks Team Canada is going to win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Seeing as he's Canadian, that's hardly a surprise.

But what might be a bit more surprising is that American forward James van Riemsdyk agrees with Doughty.

Speaking at a light-hearted Q&A session over the lunch hour in Maple Leaf Square just prior to the press conference Wednesday at Air Canada Centre to announce the details of the World Cup of Hockey to be held next year, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward lacked some ammunition to counter Doughty's prediction.

"Well, they won the last Olympics and the last World Championships," van Riemsdyk told moderator Daren Millard of Sportsnet, "so I can't really disagree too much with that one."

Team North America could use youth to advantage

Wednesday, 09.09.2015 / 5:54 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- The scariest team in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is the one that is probably the least likely to win the tournament.

Team North America is a new concept in international hockey, grouping the best players 23 years old and younger from Canada and the United States against the best hockey nations in the world.

Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers and Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks were named general managers of Team North America on Wednesday, and Chiarelli immediately labeled it as the underdog, putting its hopes of winning the tournament at less than 50 percent.

But if there is one team no player wants to lose to, it is Team North America.

"As the older guys in the League, there's no way you want to lose to the young bucks," 25-year-old Canadian defenseman Drew Doughty said Wednesday. "The League's all about being a veteran and having experience. So there's no way you'd want to lose to them."

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