Friday, April 22, 2005


Worldly Wrap, Yo!

Checking out the latest news from the world of hockey...

1. Just days after declining a World Championships invitation, Pavol Demitra has changed his mind and will play for Slovakia after all (YAY!). His wife, Maja, is due to give birth to twins. After consulting with doctors, Pavol decided tht he could make the tournament after all.

2. It will be Canada vs the USA again, this time at the World Under-18 Championships. Canada edged the host Czechs 3-2 in OT, but the Czechs think the Canucks got a little outside help.

According to Czech coach Bretislav Kopriva, referee Frank Awizus of Germany was incompetant simply because he comes from a 'non-traditional' hockey country.

"One thing, that surprised me, were the referees. An important game like this should be ruled by the best referees. Not by referees from a country, that hasn´t got hockey tradition."
C'mon Bretislav, that's a pretty weak excuse.

3. There were reports earlier this morning that Roman Turek was to terminate his contact with the Flames to remain with Ceske Budejovice next season.
Roman's North American agent, Rich Winter, denied this story. (TSN LINK)

"His contract expires at the end of this year, he has an option to extend it," Winter said. "I think the Czech team is perhaps announcing their intention aware of this fact. But Roman has not entered into an agreement with them, he has not negotiated an agreement with them so his future is as yet undetermined like about 690 of his teammates and opponents.

"They're jumping the gun, but we'll see what the end result is once we know what the landscape is."
Look, if there is a lockout next season, Turek was obviously going to stay in his hometown and help his club maintain their Extealeague spot. Would he really cancel a $5mil contract just to stay home and drink real Budweiser beer? Probably not.

4. My pal Joeri Loonen has been covering the 1st Division World Hockey Championships in Eindhoven. He has an excellent look at Lithanian forward Dainius Zubrus. Like countryman Darius Kasparaitis, Zubrus took a strange route to the NHL and was about to be drafted by the evil Russian empire.

We all remember when Zubrus first came into the NHL with the Flyers as an 18 year-old in 1996-97. Zubrus was a good skating tall forward and he was great in the playoffs with 9 points in 19 games.

Big things were expected for the big Lithuanian, but he's never been able to make the 'leap' and produce the numbers expected of him. Playing alongside Jaromir Jagr in Washington never seemed to get him going and certain nagging injuries helped keep him out of the starlight.

While Zubrus is a pretty solid 2-way player, it seems he peaked rather early and as he is 26 years old now, the next NHL season should pretty much show if he'll ever be more than a above-average 2nd line winger.

5. The bloody yanks beat Canada 5-4 in the last pre-tournament exhibition game thanks to a Mark "The Streaker" Parrish goal.

I was just watching the highlights and lowlights. The national anthem singer certainly had a night she'll want to forget...

The pre-game national anthems were not sung after the singer, Caroline Marcil of Montreal, tried twice to complete the Star Spangled Banner but forgot the words each time. Finally, she decided to go back toward the dressing room, presumably to get the words, but when she returned to the ice the carpet slipped out from underneath her and she fell on her rear end. It was then decided to proceed with the opening faceoff without the singing of either anthem

It was almost as painful for me to watch as it was for her ass to collide with the ice.

Hey Jes, hands off Bretislav! :) As you may seen, even on the discussion on fans are very unhappy with the officiating of that game. Ive seen it and he was awful. There is no need to excuse, as coach Camp said, only luckier team won, not the better one. This was great game and the ref was the weakest part of it, although I usually dont complain about refs.

What about the goal Canada scored that should have counted?
I respect that Canada won. But it wasnt because they were better, but they had better luck, thats all. Both teams deserved to win.
Frank Awizus isn't that bad...

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