Having two world championships, back-to-back, has taken up a lot of the digital ink on this blog for the last several weeks. So in order to catch you up on the important news you might occasionally stop for on this blog, here are some links.
The Future of College Hockey:
As I mentioned in my Big Ten hockey post, the CCHA was going to need a strong leader as it heads into an uncertain future without Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Earlier this week, the conference announced that interim commissioner Fred Pletsch will be that leader. Pletsch has a good knowledge and understanding of the conference, having served as its associate commissioner and director of communications for many years. The road ahead will be a tough one. So he’s got a job to do.
Getting back to some prospect news and notes:
The NHL announced it’s 102-player invite list for the 2011 Scouting Combine. The importance of the combine is up for debate in how much the testing factors into selections on Draft day. Regardless, it gives us a little more info about prospects that isn’t readily available. Many NHL teams also take the opportunity to interview prospects, particularly the ones they have a heightened interest in. This may be one of the more important aspects of the combine.
John Gibson more than likely separated himself further from his competition heading into the NHL Draft. NHL.com’s Mike Morreale featured the big goaltender who, like many young hockey players, started as a skater first. Morreale also talked to Gibson’s goaltending coach, Joe Exter, who also helped groom 2010 first-rounder Jack Campbell. It’s a great read and provides great insight to Gibson as a player.
I’ve long touted Ryan Kennedy’s Hot List as a must-read for prospect junkies. This week’s List features Rocco Grimaldi.
This is a little older, but Kennedy also profiled Keegan Lowe for his Prospect Watch feature. Lowe is the son of former NHL star Kevin Lowe and, while he holds dual citizenship, has represented the U.S. in international play (Ivan Hlinka). The Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman’s draft stock has steadily risen all season long.
IIHF World Men’s Championship news:
If you were hoping to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team take on Sweden today at 2:15 p.m. EDT, like me, you were probably surprised when it didn’t appear on VERSUS. For reasons that remain unclear, VERSUS instead aired some outdoors shows and classic horse racing. I’m told by Sean Leahy, of Puck Daddy, the VERSUS release regarding the broadcast of the 2011 IIHF World Men’s Championship never included the USA-SWE game as a live broadcast. The game will air on VERSUS on tape-delay at 11 p.m. EDT, or after NHL Playoffs coverage is completed. Disappointing, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
I’ll have some brief reaction to the USA-Sweden game tomorrow on USofH as well as a preview for the qualification round.
Hockey and Patriotism
As you know, the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death led to many celebrations across the country. If you didn’t notice, there were actually more than a few USA Hockey jerseys among the celebrations at both the White House and Ground Zero. The 1960 retro jersey was a popular choice among revelers.
The venerable Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski, had a great piece about hockey’s part in the national celebrations and photographic evidence of a USA jersey at the White House.
Craig Custance, of Sporting News and one of the finest journalists covering the NHL, also had a fantastic piece on his experience during the celebrations at the White House.
We’ll start expanding our coverage once again beyond the World Championships next week. The American Prospect Update will return next Thursday and we’ll be jumping back into the Pee Wee Checking debate. Stay tuned.