Monday, September 19, 2016
Goodbye NHL offseason, hello World Cup of Hockey
Jonathan Toews with a No. 16 on the back of his sweater, Patrick Kane with an 'A' sewn on the front of her and Corey Crawford with a maple leaf painted on his mask are things for which double takes are made.
Always steeped in history Blackhawks Jersey as key components of several Stanley Cup championship teams, the trio - with seven other Hawks - is to direct his attention to play for the pride of the country rather than pride in Indian head at the hockey world Cup which runs Saturday to October 1 in Toronto.
The tournament, concocted by the NHL and its Players' Association to meet the challenges of the international game, will feature eight teams - Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, North America (consisting of top 23- and- NHL young players of the continent) and a European team All-Star.
Crawford Toews and Kane represent Canada and the US Artem Anisimov Hawks teammates and Artemi Panarin Jersey will play for Russia, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger for Sweden, Marian Hossa for Europe Michal Kempny for the Czech Republic and for Ville Pokka Finland.
"With all the history and just be part of your country, it is a special feeling to be able to put that jersey on," said Crawford, a native of Montreal, who never before had represented Canada in international play . "I always wanted to be part of this team. for the name is pretty cool."
Said Olympic gold medalist Toews two occasions to play for his country: "It's always special in its own way, we are all excited for another opportunity to play for Team Canada in Toronto (to be) on the floor of the house, I think adds .. so that we will be excited about it. "
Held before and during the opening of training camps NHL World Cup shortened offseason, but the best players in the league have adopted the more than 150 participating.
"It is a great way to start the season," said Kane. "It's a great way to say you had the training camp or preseason to prepare. Then, once the (NHL ) early in the season, so you change your focus. for me right now, it's just focus here and have a good tournament and hopefully lead this team to a championship. "
Kane said of playing for his country is "a little different" than to help the Hawks win another Stanley Cup.
"With the Cup, you are obviously with the team all year and it is much longer way to actually win," said the winger. "With this, there is a two week tournament and you have to take your opportunities right away. (You must) ensure that you do not have errors because you can find yourself going home with nothing to show for it. each game means something, every shift means something.
"Everybody pretty much be in the form of mid-season, when they finished with the tournament. It is such a high level of hockey. Playing against this competition will be good for everyone and I think (it is ) will help to raise our game. "
Toews said: "You have to really look at you because every team has a chance to win every game This is part of the exciting thing It'll be the closest thing you can get to the hockey playoffs in September ..."
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