It has been so damn hot lately, the thought of sharp blades carving a pristine ice sheet has only been coming to mind as a way of dealing with the heat via visualization. But Young Stars will be here soon, as will the World Cup of Hockey. Simultaneously. Let's hope Team Sweden goes on a run, and Olli Joulevi pulls a Virtanen and blows up the first Oiler he sees.
To the former, one Captain Henrik Sedin was on The Sekeres and Price show today. ( here ) . They opened talking about the nice weather there in O'vik, and then got into the WCOH. It was interesting to hear Hank be honest about not being "up" for this tourney a this minute, though he did say that ramps up pretty quick. He did say that they have been skating and working out earlier than usual already. And he sounded excited about the Tre Kronor Line with Louis Eriksson.
Once he gets here, and feels that change in the air, and in the city as after Labour Day, Canuck talk and actual hockey begins in earnest. ( the weather has shifted, no ? It poured at times today, and there is more rain in the forecast for a couple days ) The rest of the country, it is easier and quicker to feel the change. Ice and snow around you is a pretty strong hint to get your "hockey" on. The rain that came today, that is snow in a few weeks elsewhere. Here, we just get snow on the mountains, mostly, but it usually stays in it's liquid form in the city. For now, it was a welcome change after a long run of hot weather. Get back to me in early November, after several grey days of rain though. Although, if the team is doing well, I might not notice...
The interview was a good one, as they also touched on Anton Rodin ( sounds like we got a keeper, if his confidence is as high as Hank thinks it is ). He is coming in as the MVP of the SEL. If he can do it this time around in the NHL, he would slide in nicely in the Top Six, or with Sven and Bo on a fast and productive "third" line. There was that, and some interesting talk on the "leadership" of the team.
That stuff has always intrigued me. You have to interpret what he was saying, of course. ( In the typically reserved style our classy Swede has. ) He doesn't speak much about things "in the room", but he did mention that , when asked about who gets an "A" now that Community Dan is plying his trade in Dallas, it might be a thought to have some youth in there.
I don't think I am the only one who would read those comments as to mean Bo Horvat might be in line for a letter. Of course that is just wild speculation, but that IS what we do here at times. Not to think he is the only young guy ( Christopher Tanev strikes me as a quiet leader ) or that it should just be a young guy. Personally, I think it would fall to Jannik Hansen, who actually is a leader in the room, or maybe Alexander Edler if he wants it.
Thinking a little outside the box however, how about Ben Hutton ? Can you imagine him talking to the refs when it gets rowdy on the ice? That quick infectious smile, he might even get a few refs to actually like this team on the Wet Coast. Work the refs with a smile instead of the usual ? Sure, why not ?
Young Stars goes September 16 - 19th in Penticton, and the World Cup of Hockey early rounds go at the same time ( from Sept 17 to 22nd ), with the playoffs going as long far as Oct 1st ( see sked here ), but the camps and pre tourney games will get going right after Labour Day.
So, you are not going to have to wait long. As the tourney gets going, so will camps across the league. All the Young Stars tournaments will get going around the NHL, and roster moves will of course follow. Sorry, sounds of summer. Hockey is coming a little earlier this year. The sounds of skates on ice and boards rumbling as bodies are flung into them are going to return a little earlier. We'll get excited about the Blue Jays run ( hopefuly ) to the World Series, but after that ? Hockey, hockey, hockey.