Pic by @MonikaPlatek

Pic by @MonikaPlatek. More on this below.

With the meteoric rise of social media over the past four years, the lead-up to the 2014 Olympic Games is going to be torturous for hockey fans. There’s the potshots at the other nations’ players, there’s the sometimes fun/sometimes not factor of trolling (mood dependent), and there’s just the ever-present build-up that never takes a day off. And of course, the winners will be decided in single-elimination games, so getting lucky or unlucky can affect your experience with other sports fans for the next four years.

In conclusion, this should be an all-around painful exercise.

Buuut, that’s the reality we’ve signed up for as sports fans, so we might as well embrace it. I’ll let Slava Malamud, one of my top five favourite follows on Twitter, lead the way.

Ahhh, nice. Nice start to the day.

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Top 5 Tidbits

The Canadian Olympic team played ball hockey yesterday, as evidenced by the picture above

Because of insurance reasons – those being that it would cost a ridiculous amount to insure the contracts of those particular 47 players attending Canada’s Olympic orientation camp – the team wasn’t able to get on the ice. As one does when that happens, they turned to ball hockey.

A little part of me feels like this:

But on the other hand, I kinda get it. My understanding is that Babcock wanted to give the players a walk-through of the breakout (and possibly forecheck) Team Canada will be employing at the Olympics, and sometimes it’s nice just to walk-through the plans to get a better idea of exactly how it’ll all go down. Obviously, this camp isn’t about competing for jobs, but rather filling in those who will end up on the team as best as possible. No harm in early education.

I’ve played for two coaches who employed “hotel walk-throughs,” not that dissimilar to what football teams apparently do. Not everyone learns visually, so this appeals to the kinetic learners of the group. Put them through the paces, and they figure it out.

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Jamie Benn made some interesting comments about not being invited to Olympic camp

Specifically what he said:

I do believe that his heart, or mind, or whatever – his innards – were in the right place here. He’s trying to show he’s motivated to make the squad, and wants to show Team Canada the error of their ways in not selecting him. …But come on, man.

I understand “I want to prove them wrong,” and “Show them they made a mistake,” and “Get their attention with my play early.” But “shove it in their face?” Isn’t that a bit abrasive? It’s not like the guy got traded. Maybe he intends to get American citizenship, make that team and score on Canada in Sochi??

I believe he is on the team’s radar, and while they’re always going to take the best players available to them, when it’s this close between Players A and B, I question the logic of doing anything to the faces of the people you’re trying to impress outside kissing them.

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Every summer we decide a hockey player is fat, and this year it’s Milan Lucic

I’m not sure where the picture originated this morning (hit me up if you know and I’ll be happy to credit the right person), but here you go: someone snapped a shot of Milan Lucic, I dunno, exhaling, and he’s getting the “Lucic is fat” treatment on the interwebz today.

milan lucic

Hey, not every person can have “the best summer training of their lives,” as often as we hear that phrase. Maybe he did put on a few. But likely…likely that’s not the case at all.

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The Devils re-signed Adam Henrique

ADAM HENRIQUE

The deal is for six years and $24 million, an annual average cap hit of four million buckeroonies. He’s coming off a rough season of 16 points in 42 games, but that’s all the more reason for the Devils to lock him up to a longer deal now.

You’ll recall that Henrique put up 51 points in 74 games as a rookie during the previous season, and was a part of the Calder Trophy talk. He also had a good playoff run that year.

He’s a legit NHLer and the Devils had the chance to get him for a while for fair value, especially if he becomes the 60-point guy I’m sure they believe he can. And with the cap going up in the next year or two (we’re all assuming), that ain’t much to spend for the prime years of a top-six guy.

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Dan Girardi is going to sport a visor next year

The only reason I would wear a visor if I were an NHLer is because it’s completely braindead and bullheaded not too. Other than that, I can’t really see any benefits.

Tune in later today, I’ll be revealing my Team USA roster. Will Trevor Lewis be on the first line? Stay tuned.