Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | July 7, 2011

News of all sorts

Yesterday, Pyeongchang, South Korea was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pyeongchang beat out Munich, Germany and Annecy, France in the first round of voting. This continues a trend of firsts for the Olympics: Sochi 2014 is the first Russian foray into hosting the Winter Olympics and the first time Russia’s hosted since it stopped being the Soviet Union; Rio de Janeiro 2016 is the first time a South American city will host a Summer Olympics. The Winter Olympics haven’t been in Asia since Nagano, Japan in 1998.

Pyeongchang’s bid benefited from persistence (this was their third application) and from the support of pretty much all of South Korea, united around stars like figure skater Yu-na Kim (who was outstanding at last year’s games). Good for them! It should be a fun show.

Now, the NHL hasn’t yet extended their Olympic-play agreement for either the 2014 or 2018 games. Sochi is still three years off and I have a feeling the agreement will be refreshed, especially since you have a stable of superstar Russian NHL players who are probably itching to try and get some hardware in their home country. Honestly, it’d be much less fun to watch if the NHL doesn’t extend the agreement; seeing the big guys put team affiliations aside and compete for their home country’s pride is so fun.

Chicago right-winger Troy Brouwer is off to the Washington Capitals. Interestingly, the Blackhawks fans I know were rather more subdued about this trade; I have seen no “RIP Brouwer” and “we miss you” posts. Compare that to the epic melodrama spilled over trades like Tomas Kopecky’s and even Kris Versteeg’s (even though he was most recently of Philadelphia). Is that indicative of fans not liking him as much? I am still learning about the team.

Meanwhile, Washington center Jason Arnott is going from the Caps to St. Louis. Arnott has an NHL history as long as my arm: Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas, Nashville (where he was captain for a time), New Jersey again, Washington, now St. Louis. Perhaps St. Louis feels they can benefit from his immense experience. Reportedly Washington is also very close to the salary cap limit, so we may be seeing a few more surprises out of DC before all is said and done.

The Columbus Blue Jackets made what seems to be an interesting trade: they sent forward Mike Blunden to Montreal for the rights to forward Ryan Russell. Russell’s never played in the NHL, only the AHL for the Hamilton Bulldogs; Blunden only played in one NHL game this past season, spending the rest of the season with the Springfield Falcons. The interesting thing about this is on the Blue Jackets’ end: Ryan is the twin brother of Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell. Part of me wants the Jackets to activate Ryan to the team so he and his brother can be on the ice together – not quite like the Sedin twins, but at least they’ll smile.

Presh presh goalie Semyon Varlamov made his official debut as a member of the Colorado Avalanche roster today. It was actually his first full press conference in English, so good for him! He’ll be the Avs’ starting goalie, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere as his backup and mentor. He spoke highly of his new team, saying that as a child he loved watching goaltending legend Patrick Roy in net for them and that he dreamed of playing for them. Now, it’s a dream fulfilled.

Finally, in the continuing saga of Winnipeg-related schadenfreude, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay has decided to take an assistant coaching job with the Florida Panthers. (He clearly was a big fan of the Southern climate, then!) This just adds to my growing belief that the Panthers are going to be a team to watch this year.


  1. […] Craig Ramsay to the Panthers […]

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