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2010 World Hockey Summit

McDonough says Blackhawks will be ready to repeat

Thursday, 08.26.2010 / 5:16 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Don't worry about a Stanley Cup hangover in Chicago.

That was the message Blackhawks President John McDonough delivered after serving as a panelist during Thursday's afternoon session at the Molson World Hockey Summit.

"I don't think anybody within our franchise is going to get a herniated disc from taking bows," McDonough said. "There is no Stanley Cup-itis going on in Chicago within the Blackhawks organization."

While the Windy City might still be whooping over the city's first hockey championship in 49 years, the organization that delivered that historic moment is looking forward instead of resting on its most recent -- and very shiny -- laurels.
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Women's hockey looks to seize opportunity

Thursday, 08.26.2010 / 1:13 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

"Women's hockey is here to stay, but we are all shareholders in its future and must take action to ensure its growth."
-- Haley Wickenheiser, Team Canada captain at Vancouver 2010

TORONTO -- In the aftermath of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge put women's hockey on notice.

Dismayed by several of the lopsided scores in the tournament, including an 18-1 thrashing of Slovakia by Canada on the opening day of the Vancouver tournament, Rogge threatened the expulsion of women's hockey from the Games if the gap between the have- and have-not countries in women's hockey was not closed quickly.

"There is a discrepancy there, everyone agrees with that. This is maybe the investment period in women's ice hockey," Rogge said in February. "I would personally give them more time to grow, but there must be a period of improvement. We cannot continue without improvement."
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Wickenheiser to call it quits after Sochi

Thursday, 08.26.2010 / 12:11 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Canadian women's hockey superstar Hayley Wickenheiser, 32, announced Thursday at the Molson World Hockey Summit that the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be her final appearance on the national team.

Wickenheiser, 32, has played for Team Canada for the past 17 years and has been an integral part of the team's run of three-straight gold medals in Olympic competition, including a championship-game victory over the United States this past February in Vancouver. Wickenheiser captained the Canadians in that tournament.
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Bettman says NHL aiming for better things in 2010-11

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 5:30 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the Molson World Hockey Summit Wednesday afternoon, painting a picture of a league enjoying robust good health.

"More people are playing (the game) than ever before," Bettman said during a 30-minute question-and-answer session moderated by TSN and NBC analyst Pierre McGuire. "We have come off an absolutely outstanding season, starting with the game on the ice and all of the various measurements that come with that -- be it online usage, television ratings, attendance or the like. This was a really strong season for us."

The 2009-2010 season was, indeed, one of the League's most memorable. It started with the Chicago Blackhawks playing a pair of regular-season games in Finland against Florida and ended with the Original Six team celebrating the winning of the Stanley Cup. In February, the Olympics -- fueled by the talents of NHL players -- took hockey's center stage for a two-week period of unforgettable accomplishments in Vancouver that culminated with Sidney Crosby willing the host Canadians to a gold medal with his overtime winner against the United States. A wild sprint to the regular-season finish followed the Olympics, one that saw eventual the Stanley Cup finalist Philadelphia Flyers qualify for the tournament on the season's final day.
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Emotions run high at World Hockey Summit

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 5:16 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

John Dellapina - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The topic sounded benign enough: Developing a Global Hockey Agenda. But given the composition of the panel and the predisposition of much of the audience, it shouldn't have been surprising that, Wednesday afternoon, the passion that is so central to our game bubbled up to provide this 2010 World Hockey Summit with its most rollicking moments.

Following a scene-setting presentation from longtime Swiss coach Ralph Kreuger, who recently was hired as an associate coach by the Edmonton Oilers, the fireworks began.

The gist of the conflict: The understandable emotion in the room that NHL players participate in the 2014 Olympics -- stoked by heartfelt pleas from KHL president Alexander Medvedev, Russian legend Slava Fetisov and Swedish icon Anders Hedberg -- prompting an attempt at a reasoned explanation by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for the League's need to evaluate the benefits and then a characteristically passionate response from Brian Burke.
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Bettman: Olympic questions require answers

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 4:23 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- There is little question the 2010 Vancouver Olympics were a success on every level.

"People saw the purest form of sport you can see," John Furlong, the head of the Vancouver Olympic Committee, said Wednesday as he opened the third day of the Molson World Hockey Summit. "It was magic."

The hockey tournament, which ended with the host nation winning the gold medal in overtime against the United States, provided enough dramatics and memories to last a lifetime.

The gold-medal game alone was watched by 114 million people around the globe and 86 percent of the Canadian population watched some part of that championship game, which ended on an overtime goal off the stick of Sidney Crosby, Canada's most iconic player.
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Summit panel analyzes Europe to CHL pipeline

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 6:21 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Slovomir Lener has coached for more than 20 years and is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of hockey in the Czech Republic. He was on the country's coaching staff when the Czech Republic won Olympic gold in 1998, a pinnacle moment.

So Lener's keynote speech on junior development was widely anticipated Tuesday afternoon during the Molson World Hockey Summit at the Air Canada Centre.

"The entire development system in Czech and Slovakia is getting weaker ever year, and there is a decline in the quality of players every year," Lener said. "The number of Czech and Slovak players drafted by the NHL every year has declined since 2000, and there is an all-time low this year when only one homegrown player from these two countries was drafted by the NHL."
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Keeping game fun for kids a major concern

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 1:12 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- The development of skilled hockey players at the youth level is the lifeblood of the pro game.

Tuesday morning, the best-practices method to develop such players was the topic under the microscope at the Molson World Hockey Summit at the Air Canada Center.

While many esoteric and cutting-edge topics were discussed, the undeniable theme that the game must remain fun for today's youth players quickly and clearly took center stage.

All of the skill development schemes in the world will fall on deaf ears if the players those schemes target aren't having fun playing the game.

In a sobering stat, USA Hockey's Bob Mancini, a regional manager of its American Development Model, said that 44 percent of USA Hockey's youth players stop playing the game before they reach the age of nine.
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KHL taking initial steps to long-term relationship

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 12:23 AM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly believes that the 2010 Molson World Hockey Summit can create the dialogue that will foster long-term gains for the sport.

"I think the dialogue is good," Daly said as the four-day summit opened Monday with a series of hot-stove discussions at the Hockey Hall of Fame. "You are talking about all the people, all the real decision makers in the sport of hockey; not just in North America, but from around the world. I think anytime you can share a stage and have a dialogue on the issues facing the game, only good can come from that. And, I expect that dialogue will lead to good results on a long-term
basis as opposed to a short-term basis here."

One of those long-term results may be a better working relationship between the NHL and the Kontinental Hockey League, Russia's professional hockey league.

While serious issues remain as the two sides try to find common ground, Monday's discussions showed that movement is being made by both sides to find a working relationship that furthers the growth of the game on a global level.
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In rink debate, Alfredsson is happy with NHL ice

Monday, 08.23.2010 / 10:30 PM / 2010 World Hockey Summit

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- How do you like your ice? Not surprisingly, there was a definitive school of thought on the matter at the Molson World Hockey Summit Monday, where one of the hot stove sessions compared and contrasted both the North American and European games.

The panel, which featured Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, retired goalie turned broadcaster Glen Healy and Toronto-based radio host Bob McCown, discussed the big-ice, small-ice conundrum, the role of fighting and the possibility of forming a Champions' League setup that would pit the best North American club teams against the best club teams from Europe.

The size of the ice surface and the pro and cons for each option dominated the session's discussion, however.

Alfredsson, who grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden, encapsulates the argument about whether the game is more suited for the NHL ice surface, which is 200 feet by 85 feet, or the European surface, which is 15 feet wider.
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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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