You might think hockey's over
Till some could-be lockout's through
But if football's got your number
We've got one more tourney too
And sure it's rather amateur
But can beggars hardly choose?
Yes, it's not a huge deal, but it's televised (in Canada) and it could be a sight for hockey-starved August eyes: All a hockey fan wants is
you some action, so this weekend the annual Canada-Russia Challenge gets underway. It's a four-game amateur set, a theoretical tribute to the famous 1972 Summit Series (a series that's worth your watch on DVD if you're into the history and the hockey Cold War).
As luck would have it, four Islanders prospects are on the rosters. As drafts would have it, three of them are defensemen: Top 2012 pick Griffin Reinhart is joined by 2012 3rd-rounder Adam Pelech and 2011 1st-round forward Ryan Strome for Canada. Defenseman Andrey Pedan pulls duty for Russia.
The rosters are huge, so don't look for all the Baby Isles in each game. Morning games (by North American time zones) are in Russia Aug. 9-10 on TSN2, while the series shifts to Canada for prime time games on TSN Aug. 13-14. I don't know how much is to be learned about prospects from this series, but it's better than nothing.
Other This and That and Such
On Rob Schremp Hockey's European adventures, and his prospects for returning to the NHL.
You may remember John Tavares was to meet season ticket holders at the draft party. You may remember he got stuck on the tarmac in Toronto. (Nice try, Burkie. Ain't happening.) You may not be surprised to hear Johnny T. made sure to make amends. Also: I like that he's eager to
own play Rick Nash six times a year.
Scott Cullen's off-season game plans for each team are always a good read, and I know we discussed his Islanders look back when it came out in May. Now that free agency is largely done, it's fun to revisit and observe where they fell short according to his plan.
CBA talk from the silly to the serious:
Another look at negotiating tactics and terms at Arctic Ice Hockey.
And the silly (and similar to PGI's Cliff Ronning's Notes post on the same topic): Secrets Revealed! An In Depth Breakdown of the NHL's 76,000 Page Financial Report - Jewels From The Crown