Pic from Icethetics, originally Getty

Leaked Team Canada jerseys. Pic from Icethetics, originally Getty

If you missed the start of our NHL team-by-team previews, you can check those out here (the Bruins, Capitals, Jets and Ducks, so far). The format this year is to tell you why your favourite team is awesome, then to tell you why they suck, and let you happily dwell on whichever part you want!

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Top 5 Tidbits

Canada’s hockey sweaters for the 2014 Olympics have leaked

I’ve been told that the picture you see below is legit. Here is what Team Canada will wear at the Olympics:

team canada sweater

And boom goes the dynamite.

My initial take was that of displeasure, but I’m warming to them just a day later. It’s by no means a masterpiece, especially when you consider it still has melt-on shiny plastic fake stupid laces on the front, and appear to have something of the same composition on the shoulders (maple leaves? Beavers? Tim Horton’s logos?), but those affronts to humanity aren’t that visible from a distance.

I don’t care for the white stripe only being on one arm, as asymmetrical jerseys should be reserved for roller hockey and ECHL promotions, but I’ll give the jersey points for leaving black out of the equation (I assume the pants will be black, which is fine). I even kind of like the leaf being outlined in gold, even though that’s a touch of hubris that will undoubtedly come back to bite my homeland in the ass.

I guess it is what it is. Your thoughts?

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The fuss about there being KHL interest in Alex Ovechkin needs to stop

I’m not exactly sure why this is in the news so much lately, but everyday there’s a new quote from the Great 8 on the reality: The KHL would like to lure world-beating talent Alex Ovechkin to Russia.

No s**t. You don’t say.

This is the same league that is giving NHL knockoffs millions to play there because it helps the league’s quality and notoriety. This is the league that’s paying Ilya Kovalchuk some 20 million dollars a season to play there. You don’t think Alex Ovechkin has been aware for his entire life that it’s an option? That they want him to play there? This news is as fresh as Jeff Foxworthy stand-up. Or Jeff Foxworthy references.

I do believe, truly, that he will go play in the KHL down the road. The Russian NHLers had their fun during the lockout, and that’s his home, and he’ll get paid a lot to play a slightly easier brand of hockey and be famous and it will be wonderful. He will, at some point, go.

But for now, he’s trying to win a Stanley Cup, he’s honoring his contract, and he’s playing in the best league in the world. Can’t we just enjoy that, instead of being the person in the relationship constantly worrying if their partner still likes them? Desperation is a real turn off.

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It’s official: Brian Burke is the president of the Calgary Flames

You can watch the press conference below:

I adore this man and his committment to “no half measures,” a phrase Breaking Bad and Drew Fairservice have taught me to use as frequently as possible. He says he loves the city of Calgary, and no management team in sports can come close to – not equal, come close to – the one assembled in Calgary.

I kinda like his strategy. Take over teams that are in the absolute basement, and any improvement over the years makes you look like a genius. It didn’t quite pan out in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean he won’t do better with another crack at it. Especially when he’s just being “a good teammate” and not “driving the bus.”

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Here’s how many points the gamblers think your team is going to get

Alphabetical, cause for some reason organizing them by points would’ve been too logical:

Anaheim Ducks                         90.5
Boston Bruins                           102.5
Buffalo Sabres                          83.5
Calgary Flames                         74.5
Carolina Hurricanes                    84.5
Chicago Blackhawks                 105.5
Colorado Avalance                    86.5
Columbus Blue Jackets             85.5
Dallas Stars                              86.5
Detroit Red Wings                     97.5
Edmonton Oilers                       89.5
Florida Panthers                        75.5
Los Angeles Kings                    98.5
Minnesota Wild                         94.5
Montreal Canadiens                   94.5
Nashville Predators                   84½
New Jersey Devils                     79½
New York Islanders                    89½
New York Rangers                     98½
Ottawa Senators                        93½
Philadelphia Flyers                    92½
Phoenix Coyotes                       85½
Pittsburgh Penguins                  108½
San Jose Sharks                       94½
St. Louis Blues                          99½
Tampa Bay Lightning                 88½
Toronto Maple Leafs                 96½
Vancouver Canucks                   95½
Washington Capitals                  93½
Winnipeg Jets                           82½

Now, keep in mind I phrased that wrong above: here’s what the line-makers believe will get you to bet. You have to remember that. People were discussing these numbers yesterday like they’re predictions. They aren’t, even though they’re slightly reflective of the ballpark area line-makers expect to see teams (they’re always going to go high on a team like Toronto, knowing so many people will bet positively on them regardless).

That said, the Toronto Maple Leafs line is so off that people wrote about it and shared it, meaning people went Ricky Martin (she bangs! she bangs!) on the under so hard Bodog actually changed the line. Specifically, it was this bet they changed:

Toronto Maple Leafs to make the playoffs?     

Yes                  -220     (5/11)
No                    +175     (7/4)

It now only pays out +155 on the no. The line, she shifts! she shifts!

Update: huge movement in one day on this line:

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.33.07 AM

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Prospects camps are under way!

Step one in the 12 steps towards bringing back hockey is September. Step two is prospects camps. We’re now officially past the first step.

This is the annual time of year where one or two players get a run of great luck, and since the tournaments are so heavily scouted, their stock goes through the roof.

There’s a solid CBC article here about how team’s are aching for one of their young prospects to really impress them, because having entry-level players (who actually play) in your lineup is huge for managing the salary cap, especially this year since it’s been reduced. (Well, it’s not exactly about that, but that’s the implication.)

I could see some teams taking the bread out of the over before it’s baked this year to save on salary and hurting the development of their kids.

“It’s ready right?” “Oh I think so, especially if you do. Golden brown on top. Well, golden-ish.” “Good enough by me, take it out.” *Some 19 year old kid gets Kronwall’d in his third NHL game*

For his part, in that article, Lowe claims the cap doesn’t affect kids time frames today. I disagree.