Photo: Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko might be on the cusp of a NHL career, but he and other young players may find themselves back in the development leagues if the NHL lockout proceeds (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Lockout. It's on the tip of the tongue of every person involved with hockey right now.
As the Collective Bargaining Agreement's expiration date of September 15th approaches, a work stoppage between the NHL and the NHL Player's Association (the third such interruption over the last 18 years) is seemingly inevitable at this point. Not only will a lockout affect the individual teams and their staff and personnel, as well as the players, but a work stoppage in hockey's top league will have a trickle down effect for many prospects at various levels around the world.
Photo: Soo Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse brought home a gold medal from Canada's win at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Team Canada did a great job at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament that was held in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Pieštany, Slovakia. En route to their gold medal, the team won all of their games, expectedly beating Switzerland, defeating Sweden, the country with so much hockey potential, getting a tight win over Slovakia, eliminating the Czech Republic in the semifinals and crushing Finland in the final game.
This year's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, arguably the most prestigeous hockey competition in the under-18 category, was a disappointment for Team USA. Even though the Americans have an elite national team development program, they were able to produce just one, one-goal victory over Slovakia and three defeats in the group stage. Whatever the cause was, the offense still worked pretty well, which we could see in the game with Finland that ended 8-6 for Suomi.
Photo: Belleville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban was one of the top performers for Canada's gold medal team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, considered by some to be the most prestigeous international hockey competition of players under eighteen years of age, was held last week in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. And as is usually the case in the world of hockey, some results and statistics were simply surprising.
Photo: Goaltender Mark Visentin was the #1 goaltender for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada's Ron Tugnutt is working on finding this year's goaltenders for that tournament (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Among the players on the ice, the goaltender stands out as a unique presence. Not only does he wear different equipment, play the entire game and often has peculiar mannerisms, but as the last line of defense, a goaltender can find himself singled out for both praise and blame.