Finland as a nation has produced several young defensemen in recent years. With many of those players now beginning to make their way in North America, including Dallas Stars‘ rookie Jyrki Jokipakka and St. Louis Blues prospect Petteri Lindbohm, the number of those players still plying their trade in the domestic Liiga has dwindled. Read more»
The 2014-15 season in Finland‘s Liiga will be an interesting one if only for the absence of long-time Helsinki club Jokerit, which bolted the league to compete in the KHL. Vaasa Sport, which finished second in Mestis last year but won back-to-back championships in 2010-11 and 2011-12, moves up to fill Jokerit’s spot in the 14-team league. Read more»
After two years in the relegation round, the Czech Republic is looking for a return to the quarterfinals. Playing four games in five days in a tough group, they have their work cut out for them.
For the third year in a row, the Czech Republic will play in what is often called a "group of death". In 2010 and 2011, they played in groups that included at least three of hockey’s traditional powers and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals. In 2012, they play in a group in Edmonton that includes Canada, the United States, and Finland. Czech hockey fans might wonder if history will repeat itself and they will once again find themselves in the relegation round, or if they will buck the trend and play for a medal after the new year.