Top Eight Countries That Comprise the Best Hockey Talents (part 2)

4. Finland

Finland has finished multiple times with the silver and bronze medals in the Olympics competition but never won the gold. However, the country has produced some NHL talent over the past four decades with the best player to come from the country being Teemu Selanne, arguably.

Tthe other players that come from Finland include Olli Jokinen, Tomas Sandstrom, Jari Kurri, and Saku Koivu. Finland has also developed some fine goaltenders, such as Miikka Kiprusoff, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, and Antti Niemi.

5. The United States

Even though the NHL is based out of the United States, there are tons of American players in the league with some very talented players having come out of the last quarter century.

Some of the best American players of all time include Phil Housley, Keith Tkachuk, Mike Modano, Chris Chelios, and Jeremy Roenick. The US also has many current talents such as Jonathan Quick, Patrick Kane, Zack Parise, Max Pacioretty, Ryan Suter, Joe Pavelski, and Phil Kessel.

In Olympics competition, the US has won two gold medals and one bronze medal and have had to settle for silver up to eight times.

6. Slovakia

Originally a part of the Czech Republic, Slovakia has produced some hockey stars including Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa. Gaborik is on high pace with 751 points in his first 14 seasons. Meanwhile, the Senators has seen Hossa, whose career that started in 1997, score 1,056 points, as well as five All Star Games and two Stanley Cups. Former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara also comes to mind.

There are some legends from Slovakia as well, with Blackhawks’s Stan Mikita, who scored nine times All Star, two times Lady Byng Trophy winner, and four times Art Ross Trophy winner, and Peter Stastny are much favorite by their home country, while players like Peter Bondra and Pavol Demitra were no slouches.

Top Eight Countries That Comprise the Best Hockey Talents (part 1)

Hockey is one of the most favorite sports in some countries such as the United Stated or Canada. But which countries have been producing the best NHL players. Now let’s count down on the list of top eight countries that comprises the best hockey talents.

8. Switzerland

The last decade has propelled the Swiss into this list. For a long period of time, Mark Hardy was the only notable Swiss player but that was until 2006 when Mark Streit appeared. Having got into the league a little late at the age of 28, Streit has been a solid defenseman at each stop. He has played with the Islanders, Canadians, and Flyers in his career with three All Star Game appearances.

Now, there are only a few Swiss solid players in the NHL, including Jonas Hiller (one time All-Star), Yannick Weber, Roman Josi, and Nino Niederreiter. It seems that the Swiss has been far from done in making history. They haven’t reached the podium at the Olympic Games since they won bronze in 1948, although they have made so much noise recently.

7. Czech Republic

It is no doubt that the best cricket player from the Czech Republic is Jaromir Jagr. It’s not easy to believe that Jagr has been in the NHL since he debuted in 1991 as a mulleted teenager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr has been named to nine All Star Games with more than 1,800 points in his career and has led the league in points five times.

Meanwhile, for Devils fans, Patrik Elias may be the best player from the Czech Republic. His 19 year career has accounted for four All Star Games and 1,017 points. Some other greats from the Czech Republic include Milan Hejduk, Peter Sykora, Bobby Holik, Martin Straka, and goaltender Dominik Hasek.

Hockey Equipment List (part 2)

Hockey Pants

Whether you are youth or pro hockey players, hockey matches involve aggressive maneuvering of shafts, skates, blades, and bodies. You will need to protect your legs and your midsection from these dangers with rugged and comfortable hockey pants.

Hockey pants should be loose-fitting enough so that they won’t impair flexibility or movement. They should also cling close to the body to provide maximum protection.

Hockey Shin Guards

Like hockey pants, shin guards help to protect your knees and shins from contact with the puck and stick. No skin should be shown between your shin guards and your skates, so find a pair of shin guards that fits you best.

Hockey Shoulder Pads

Some experienced players in Chicago choose not to wear hockey shoulder pads because some adult cricket leagues are non-contact. However, we strongly advise wearing shoulder pads as it only takes one blow to break a rib or your collarbone. Make sure to choose the shoulder pads that allow for maximum arm and shoulder flexibility.

Hockey Skates

Your skates are the point where the rubber meets the road – the metal to the ice. Adult players should buy high-end, top-notch, long-lasting skates since their feet don’t grow anymore. Meanwhile, young players can consider choosing different skate designs and fittings because they are still growing.

However, don’t choose cheap skates. You get what you pay for!

Hockey Sticks

Besides hockey skates, hockey sticks are also iconic pieces of hockey equipment. Sticks were originally made of wood but now they are made of composite materials, including wood, aluminum, fiberglass, kevlar, and many things else.

If you have just begun your youth hockey career or you are a casual adult player, you may consider more affordable hockey sticks. An all-wooden stick may serve you well. But if you are in a youth travel league or in a serious adult league, it is worthy investing a more substantial stick.

Hockey Equipment List (part 1)

To start playing hockey, one of the first things you should know is the equipments that are essential to wear on the rink. Let’s look at the definitive hockey equipment list below.

Hockey Accessories

Hockey accessories consists of facemask and mouthguard. A facemask is used to protect your face from flying biscuits or tough blows to the face. A mouthguard is used to protect your mouth (and jaw) from injury.

Certainly, all of these items help to protect you against the slick blade of an ice skate. Therefore, these items are extremely essentials.

Some Oak Park skaters also choose to wear neck guards. A neck guard is the accessories to protect your neck against injurious blows. However, most hockey players choose not to wear it. If you are a first-time adult skater or a youth skater, wearing a neck guard is a good idea.

Hockey Elbow Pads

Even if you have joined the sport of hockey for years, you still can fall flat on the ice. When your feet fall right under you, your elbows will hit the ice first. In addition, flying pucks sting the funny bone. Therefore, high-quality elbow pads are very essential.

Hockey Gloves

Hockey gloves are an essential equipment. You should choose the gloves that are durable and flexible. While some skate players want looser hockey gloves to have a more comfortable feel, others would like to use tight-fitting gloves. The fit of your hockey glove depends on your personal preference but you may want a breathable glove that can provide continuous finger and hand protection.

Hockey Helmets

While playing hockey, always remember to use a hockey helmet to protect your noggin. A too tight-fitting helmet can lead to general discomfort, or even rashes, and headaches while an extremely loose-fitting helmet can wobble around and  affect visibility on the rink negatively.

Some Chicagoland skaters pick up visors or facemasks while others prefer the increased visibility and choose not to wear facial protection at all. A full facemask guarantees the most facial protection.

Bauer unveils protective masks for hockey players

Bauer Hockey has announced a new line of face-shield products with the aim of keeping players safe in the event when hockey returns to the ice this autumn.

The company, which earlier this spring started producing medical-grade face shields for front-line workers, is taking what it learned from that endeavor and applying it back to hockey, with particularly-designed shields for players, coaches and fans, according to a news release on Wednesday, June 17.

It is hoped that the new products can spur forward the sport’s return which, given the difficulties of physical-distancing in a contact sport, has encountered some challenges other sports haven’t had to deal with.

The on-ice shield for players is named the Bauer Concept 3 Splash Guard, which is the same to the traditional helmet shield, are designed to enhance coverage around the maintain and mouth a high level of vision and breathability.

The Concept 3 guard is hoped to be available in stores by August.

Craig Desjardins, vice president of product for Bauer Hockey said that it was a natural pivot for their team to shift from protecting players to staff members of the medical community amid the crisis, and now they were looking to continue our mission of protection as communities re-open and sports return.

Bauer also announced two new products that were designed for those in the stands – the Integrated Cap Shield attaching to a hat and a reversible fabric mask.

Bauer has partnered with Canlan Ice Sports, which operates sports facilities across the country, and all three new products will be utilized by Canlan’s staff, the release noted.

At the same time professional hockey has its own set of challenges since it aims to return to the ice, Vancouver has been floated as a possible hub city for the return of the NHL, it is unlikely to affect minor hockey’s return.

The Most Important USA Hockey Rules

Here is a list of seven most important USA Hockey rules that youngsters should learn by heart about the sport.

Holding the stick. Any player must start playing the sport by learning how to hold a hockey stick correctly. A player’s use of his stick is limited to playing the puck without gaining an unfair advantage against an opposing player’s body. The stick can’t be used to impede another player’s progress. 

Broken stick. A player with a broken stick must drop it and remain on the ice without a stick until there is a stoppage in play. He may participate in the action once he drops the stick.

Different penalties. A bench or minor penalty lasts two minutes, meanwhile a major penalty is five minutes. A misconduct penalty lasts 10 minutes long, though, unlike the other penalties, a replacement player is immediately allowed on the ice while it is being served. A match penalty means the player is removed from the match and is going to draw a suspension. A delayed penalty, served after the completion of other penalties, is used when additional penalties are assessed to a team.

Illegal checking. Coach safe checking to youngsters. There is no checking from behind an opponent, use of the butt end of the stick or checking with both hands on the stick when no part of the stick on the ice.

Face-off. One player from each team take a face-off. No other player shall be allowed to enter the face-off circle during a face-off.

Getting a kick out of hockey. Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones; however, a goal is not allowed if the puck was kicked by an attacking player and enters the goal directly or after deflecting off any player.

Off-sides. Players of an attacking team may not precede the puck into the attacking zone. However, a player actually propelling and in possession and control of the puck who crosses the line ahead of the puck is not considered off-side. An off-sides infraction results in a face-off.

Toronto, Canada, is getting a new women’s professional hockey team

Pro women’s hockey is coming back to Toronto.

Toronto has added an expansion team into the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), which has become the first Canadian team in league history. Six teams create the NWHL, which follows the CWHL ceasing operations last year, is the only North America pro women’s hockey league.

Although fans are encouraged to submit their ideas online for the new team’s name, color, and designs, where the new team will play and what the franchise will be called haven’t been determined.

The league is preparing for its sixth season with teams also located in New Jersey, Buffalo, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Boston.

Toronto’s ownership team is led by Johanna Neilson Boynton, who is the CEO and co-founder of Boynton Brennan Builders and played four years at Harvard University.

Tyler Tumminia, who received the Game Changer award from Sports Business Journal and was named one of the top 25 female executives by Bleacher Report in recent years, will serve as the chairman of the club.

Digit Murphy, who has led teams at Brown University and the CWHL for more than three decades, has been named the club’s president.

Although the club hasn’t named a coach or general manager, it has signed five players to contracts: goaltender Elaine Chuli, forwards Taylor Woods and Shiann Darkangelo, and defenders Emma Greco and Kristen Barbara.

The 2020-21 season is planned to begin in November, with each team playing 20 matches before the Isobel Cup playoffs start in March.

Murphy said, “Today is just the beginning,” and they have a lot of work ahead. Their Toronto’s team is led by women and they are providing jobs and opportunities in the GTA for hockey coaches, players, and staff. Their team will proudly represent Toronto to compete for the NWHL and will be dedicated to empowering younger female athletes through community education and engagement.

He added that they welcome everyone who wants to be part of a rewarding and challenging venture.

Best of current crop of NHL Networks (Part 1)

In this article, let us list out the best NHL hockey players

10. Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals

Holtby contributed to win at least 41 games over each of the past three seasons and was 131-42-23 in that span. He got the Vezina Trophy in 2015-16, when he defeated Martin Brodeur for the NHL record with 48 wins (48-9-7) and had a result of a .922 save percentage, 2.20 goals-against average, and three shutouts. He then recorded 42-13-6 with a 2.07 GAA, a .925 save percentage and a League-high nine shutouts, and ended up second in Vezina voting.

He means everything to the Capitals, thank to his calm, cool, and collected. He’s exactly what you would expect from a goaltender. The 28-year-old achieved the NHL First All-Star Team in 2015-16 and the Second All-Star Team last season and at least 63 starts each of the past three seasons, one of which is 72 in 2014-15. Holtby leads the League to many wins (177) since the 2012-13 season.

9. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Kucherov, 24, had NHL career highs in goals record (40, tied for the second place in the League), assists (45), points (85, tied for fifth place), power-play goals (17, tied for first place), power-play points (32, third place), game-winning goals (seven place), shots on goal (246) and penalty minutes (38) over last season.

He was tremendous, particularly during competition in March [with] 22 points … 21 goals after the All-Star break, when it mattered most, as the team was trying to make a push for the playoffs, He was the guy that stepped up and he is recognized as the only player not on a playoff team.

He had over 29 goals, assists 36 goals and 65 points over each of the past three seasons. Kucherov has 234 points (108 goals, 126 points) and is plus-63 in 285 NHL events, and has 42 points (22 goals, assists 20 goals) in 45 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Stanley Cup final: Bruins rise to lead the Blues

At the end of Game 1, The Blues stopped at the position of the losing party. Then, in the next game, Blues entered the series with more effort and determination.

Despite many efforts, when the whistle of the match against Bruins ended Game 3, Bruins soon overcame the Blues and took the lead in the series with a score of 2-1.

Bruins’ top stars are back to play, which is really great news for them. Bruins had a nice return performance after a few difficult games at the start. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are sure to deliver great performances. But Patrice Bergeron, who is being considered should join this game because he is having some concerns about health status. In addition, Bruins has powerful players in the Stanley Cup Final such as Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle, Noel Acciari, Johansson and Sean Kuraly – who have four goals after this game and are becoming a national hero during playoff match.

Blues fans are accustomed to disappointment, but this must still be a disappointing performance of all time when franchising. After waiting for 49 years to host the Stanley Cup FInal match, the Blues have nothing but disappointment on Saturday night. St. Louis was more like an inexperienced team at some point in this series. Even the two goals the Blues scored did not satisfy the viewers.

The big question is whether the current Blues really are an inexperienced team or the absence of talented people? The Blues squad lacked Oskar Sundqvist, as he was given a one-match suspension. Although the past is not very heroic, the Blues are considered a team that has proven to be quite resilient and they will have the opportunity to recover even once again at home in Game 4.

BUDGET FOR ICE HOCKEY & BASKETBALL

Many amateur players have to invest in their own equipment, and for many middle and lower class citizens, this is bad news in terms of finance.

In basketball, the first thing players need is a decent court. The ideal floor is made of concrete and is polished, but if you’re short on a budget then any type of floor will work. Even a grass field can be acceptable, although traction is inhibited. A decent basketball can cost approximately $10 to $60. You can choose to spending at $40 on the ball at the beginning. The basketball hoops cost a maximum of $40 as well, though any decent price would be $35 or lower. Apart from that, additional safety pads cost under $15 per player, though if you’re short on budget this can easily be eliminated. The most important thing you need is a decent pair of outdoor basketball shoes, which costs from $60.

For ice hockey, the budget is a bit higher. For one thing, this game cannot be played on any common field like grass or concrete. Players need a special polished and closely monitored pristine ice surface to play. Naturally, these surfaces can be found over water surfaces such as lakes and pounds, but we are strongly opposed playing there. The thin sheet of ice makes it too dangerous. Renting an arena is the best choice, which it can cost a fortune. Hockey sticks cost about $25, while a single puck is usually as cheap as a dollar or two. But the expensive part is the pads to protect chest, torso, knees, elbows, etc.

Payment and Success

If you choose to take the sport seriously and professionally, you should understand about the scope and payment that you’ll be getting.

The starting salary for the NBA is around $500,000 per season. Amateur leagues can pay as much as $2,500, and even some official high school and college leagues pay based on short-term contract.

For ice hockey, the scope is even less. The NHL and Olympics are the most important events, but it takes a lot of skill and strategy to qualify. The money paid out is also a bit less. The minimum income of an NHL player is somewhere close to $50,000 or $60,000, although the highest paid can get up to $2.5 million per season. Many high school associations also pay based on stipends.