As is always the case, the new QMJHL season approaches with a clear shift in the balance of power across the league. The 2011-12 season featured an extremely strong TELUS East Division which eventually led to the Memorial Cup champion Shawinigan Cataractes.
The Canadians won the gold medal at this year's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They truly deserved it because they played with passion, pride and will. Even their team motto says "I'm willing“ so there must have been a lot of willingness to obtain that golden piece of metal. And it wouldn't happen if it wasn't for their widespread qualities; Canada just dominated the tournament – in net, in their own zone and in the offensive zone.
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.
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.