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2014 Olympics

Stamkos takes contact in practice, not game-ready yet

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 4:38 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Steven Stamkos absorbed the most contact he's taken during his recovery from a broken right tibia at Tampa Bay Lightning practice on Friday.

The Canadian Olympic team member said after the hour-long skate that he's not quite ready to proclaim his return to NHL game action, but he's getting closer.

"I feel good. It was a good practice [Friday]," Stamkos said after the Lightning skated at Bell Centre. "I got to participate in all the drills, do a little light contact. It's still not where I want it to feel but it's definitely getting better and it's progressing. I don't feel I'm where I need to be in order to play in a game yet but it's getting there."

Bylsma deliberate figuring out U.S. Olympic goalie

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 3:14 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was having a great January after returning from a groin injury before an inopportune hiccup Thursday.

He was pulled from a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after yielding three goals on seven shots in the first period. This performance stung even more than it otherwise would because Quick's future Olympic coach, Dan Bylsma, was in charge of his opponent.

"We got him [Thursday], which wasn't the best game for Jonathan," said Bylsma, the coach for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "When I talked to him after the game he was hoping I wouldn't remember that game too closely."

Parise named captain of U.S. Olympic team

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 2:40 PM / 2014 Olympics

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise on Friday was named captain of the United States team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Parise helped the U.S. win the silver medal four years ago in Vancouver, tying for the team lead with four goals and eight points. His goal in the final minute of the third period against Canada in the gold-medal game forced overtime.

"It's a special thing to be named captain of any team," Parise said during a conference call. "When it's a national team, when it's an Olympic team, it's extra special."

U.S. women aiming to end Olympic frustration

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 3:55 PM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The United States women's Olympic Team has one goal in mind entering the 2014 Sochi Games.

"You don't train this hard for second place; gold has been on our minds since Day 1," U.S. women's Olympic captain Meghan Duggan said Wednesday during a USA Hockey conference call.

As successful as the U.S. women's team has been on the international stage in various competitions during the past decade, the one glaring omission has been an Olympic gold medal; the last U.S. Olympic title was at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Suter hopes to join father as Olympic gold medalist

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Growing up in Wisconsin, there were a few basic rules that Minnesota Wild and U.S. Olympian Ryan Suter had to abide by. Among the most basic: Don't lose Dad's Olympic gold medal.

Of course, Suter couldn't help but forget the medal in his locker when he was asked to bring it to school for show-and-tell. At that age, he didn't yet understand exactly what that gold medal represented. By the time he became the third member of his family to play on the U.S. Olympic team, he finally figured it out.

'Safe' Chicago D-men could give Sweden edge

Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville doesn't need many words to describe what makes Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson such an effective defense pairing for the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Safe," the Blackhawks coach said this past weekend. "Safe, reliable, simple."

Quenneville likes simplicity in players, particularly defensemen. He also likes reliability quite a bit. Yet, if there's one thing the coach with the third-most wins in NHL history might value even more, it's safety.

Nash finding game, rewarding Hockey Canada's faith

Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash is playing like a guy determined to make Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock look smart for selecting him to play for Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

After initially slumping in his return to the lineup after a near six-week absence because of a concussion, Nash has scored two goals in each of the past two games, five in the past three and nine over the past nine to give himself a team-leading 16 goals despite the fact he missed 17 games with his injury.

"They called me and said based off my past performances that I'm a big part to the team," Nash said of the Canadian Olympic team. "It was definitely reassuring and an honor. They stuck their head out there to put me on the team, to put my name out there, and now I have to prove that I belong there."

Nash has rediscovered his old form because he's using the power part of his game to generate quality scoring chances, but that's not necessarily why he was picked to play in his third Olympics.

Armstrong expects Sochi to positively impact Blues

Wednesday, 01.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong believes representing your country on an international scale is one thing, but being able to share the spotlight with other tremendously talented athletes will also provide lasting memories of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Armstrong, associate director of player personnel for Canada at this year's Olympics, said that's something he really took away from the 2010 Vancouver Games.

"You get to see what type of commitment these people have made and what type of sacrifices they had to make to be there," Armstrong told NHL.com. "I think it humbles you on the Olympic experience because some of the people competing had families that mortgaged homes just to be able to participate."

Diaz confident in Switzerland's Olympic chances

Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Things have changed quite a bit for Switzerland's ice hockey program and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz since he played for his native country at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, his first Olympic experience.

Since that time Diaz has become a full-time player in the NHL and Switzerland is not looked at as an easy win in international hockey tournaments.

"Yes, things have changed quite a bit," Diaz said after a recent Canadiens practice. "I'm in the NHL and my country has more NHLers now, and I really think Switzerland is recognized as a better team."

The 2010 Swiss Olympic team had four NHL players on its roster; at that time Diaz played for Swiss club EV Zug. But he, along with goalie Jonas Hiller and defensemen Mark Streit, Yannick Weber and Luca Sbisa helped put Switzerland on the hockey map in the round-robin portion of the Olympic tournament.

Ovechkin talks Olympics on NBC's Today Show

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 11:13 AM / 2014 Olympics


Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was a guest on NBC's Today Show live from Rockefeller Center in New York City on Monday to discuss his selection to represent Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I'm very excited," Ovechkin told NBC's Carson Daly."It's a big honor for me, for my country."

Ovechkin will be making his third Olympic appearance and was the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece on Sept. 29, 2013. In the 2006 Turin Olympics, Russia lost the bronze medal game to the Czech Republic. Four years later in Vancouver, Russia fell in the quarterfinals to Canada, the eventual gold-medal winner.

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