NHL Hockey News
It’s still unclear if the NHL will allow players to participate in the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea 2018 in. However, in the meantime, the top players in the world will be taking part in the World Cup of Hockey next year. The NHL recently announced the format of the tournament as well as its schedule. There will be two groups of four teams taking part in the preliminary round, which will take place from September 17th to 22nd.
Each of the teams will play the other group members once in a round-robin style competition. The top two squads from each of the groups will then advance to the semifinal stage, which will be held on September 24th and 25th. The first-place team in Group A will play the second-place team in Group B while the Group B winner will take on the second-place side from Group A. The two semifinal winners will then play off in a best-of-three series between September 27th and October 1st to determine the winner of the World Cup of Hockey.
Some NHL fans might consider it to be a bit disrespectful to the other teams they faced in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Chicago Blackhawks have come out and said the Anaheim Ducks were their toughest opposition in the 2014/15 postseason. The Stanley Cup winners also faced the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild in the playoffs before beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games to clinch the Cup at home at the United Center. They beat Nashville in six games and swept Minnesota in four straight.
The Blackhawks faced the Ducks in the Western Conference Final and needed to score 24 goals to eliminate them as the series went all seven games with three of them going into overtime. Chicago finally put the Ducks away in the deciding game on the road in Anaheim. So, perhaps it’s not that surprising at all that the Hawks named Anaheim as their toughest test. Blackhawks forward Andre Desjardins recently told the media that the series against the Ducks was the hardest hockey he’s ever been involved in.
Most hockey fans and experts figured the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings were going to buy out the contract of forward Mike Richards or trade him and still pay part of his salary. He’s still under contract with the team for five more years and the club owes him $22 million. Loa Angeles’ general manager Dean Lombardi placed Richards on waivers last season and then sent him down to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (AHL) when nobody claimed the 30-year-old Canadian. This was partly due to the length and cost of his contract, his lack of production and his off-ice reputation for being a bit of a partier.
Andong ‘Misha’ Song of Oakville, Ontario made NHL history on June 27 when he became the first-ever Chinese born player drafted into the league. The New York Islanders chose the 18-year-old defenceman in the sixth round with the 172nd overall pick. The 6-foot, 161-pounder was drafted out of Lawrenceville School in the state of New Jersey, USA, where he scored 10 points on three goals and seven assists last season in 26 games.
The school’s head coach Etienne Bilodeau told the media said Song has been a key player since arriving at the school a couple of years ago and was named the squad’s captain this year. Song was born in Beijing and learned English there while starting his hockey career in China. However, at the time there weren’t many teams in the nation and Song’s parents had to buy equipment for him from Russia. They also had to take two and three hour road trips just to take him to practice.
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