It's been a while since I focused on national news for hockey fans, so today will be a quick glimpse inside the national hockey programs that are going on in Canada and across the world. There have been some news stories that I have admittedly been holding onto instead of publishing, so we'll get all these out of the way with today's "National News". This will include Canadian stories as well as stories from other countries on the international hockey scene. Sit back, take in a few stories, and enjoy the ride as we tour the international hockey scene in search of these stories.
- Hockey Canada has to be happy with the latest results from the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic. The international Under-18 tournament, named for the late former Czech national coach Ivan Hlinka, saw Canada win the gold medal for the fifth time in the last six tournaments as the Canadian lads defeated Russia 9-2 in the final on Saturday. Tyler Seguin of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers had a pair of goals in the final. Head coach Bob Boughner credited the team's aggressive forecheck as the reason for the Canadian win as his players wore down the Russians. Congratulations to Canada on their gold medal win!
- Canada officially unveils their 2010 Olympic jerseys tomorrow. There has been a lot of speculation as to what they will look like, and a lot of people have voiced their opinions as to what Hockey Canada should do since the IOC banned their previous logo due to it representing a local sports federations. The Icethetics blog, on Wednesday, August 12, posted three images of the potential new jerseys on their site, and Hockey Canada's spokeman Andre Brin would neither confirm nor deny the images. If these are to be believed, here is the home jersey and road jersey for the 2010 Olympics that Canada's hockey teams will wear. Note that the logo in the middle has aboriginal artwork superimposed into it. I'll hold on from making comments until the official unveiling tomorrow.
- Team USA will also unveil their new 2010 Olympic jerseys tomorrow at a press conference. I haven't seen any leaks about these jerseys yet, but it is assumed that they will continue to look like the Nike Swift jerseys as USA Hockey has already confirmed that Nike is the manufacturer. How cool would it be if USA came back with these jerseys, though?
- Jason Spezza's inivitation to the Canadian orientation camp comes as no surprise as the Senators star's name always seems to be associated with international teams. However, with Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf recovering from off-season surgery, Spezza will get a chance to make an inpact after not being named on the first list. If the Senators have any hope of making the playoffs this year, Spezza will have to play at an extremely high level. If Spezza wants any chance of making this team over any of the players named to the camp, he'll need to play at an extremely high level. See how it all relates?
- Some incredible news comes out of South Korea where the Under-18 South Korean men's team earned a promotion to Division I after winning the World U-18 Division II Championship in Slovenia. They went undefeated through the tournament, knocking off Spain, Croatia, Romania, and Mexico before defeating the host Slovenian team 4-2 in the D-II Final. The South Korean senior men's team also earned a promotion to Division I as they won the championship in the 2009 Division II World Championships. They defeated Spain, Bulgaria, Mexico, and South Africa in blowout scores before defeating Belgium by a 5-2 score in the final to earn the promotion. Congratulations to South Korea on their successes!
- In news closer to home, for all you Montreal Canadiens fans who are looking to get your jersey customized with your favorite new players signed or acquired in the off-season, here are the numbers worn by five of those new men in the dressing room. Oh, and that monsterous defenceman you signed? Hal Gill will be wearing this number, apparently.
Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!