Archives for the 'Junior Hockey' Category

Edmonton Oilers-owned WHL club off to strong start

Normally, the Edmonton Oilers hate to be following their top NHL rival, the Calgary Flames. But clearly, the success story of the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, who belong to the Flames, influenced Edmonton ownership to go out and acquire its own major junior expansion franchise. Reintroducing the name of the Edmonton Oil Kings harkens […]

Canada’s gain, Russia’s pain

I had the pleasure of covering Game Eight of the Canada/Russia Super Series for last night at GM Place. It pretty much encapsulated the entire course of the series (6-1 compared to seven wins and one tie). A colleague of mine who attended the games in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Red Deer told me that […]

Team Russia could use some assistants

When the Russians flopped with a tenth-place finish at the 2004 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, head coach Viktor Tikhonov blamed it on “the mistakes of the players” and “the lack of time” to prepare for the tournament. Tikhonov, predictably, refused to acknowledge that his 1984-style methods just hadn’t worked, and that his […]

Best in the West: Vancouver’s Top Ten Sports Power Brokers 1995-2005

Originally published in Full Tilt in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd Vancouver has changed drastically over the last 10 years. Back in 1995, there was only one Skytrain line, no giant Future Shop downtown, and no wireless Internet access at Blenz. Nobody had heard of Nickelback, leading restaurants like West and Feenie’s didn’t exist, about 50,000 […]

Edler eager to suit up for Sweden

Originally published on in 2005 By Lucas Aykroyd At this stage of Alexander Edler’s career, some observers might project the 19-year-old to be a poor man’s version of Nicklas Lidstrom. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. But don’t forget something else: both those Swedish defencemen were drafted in the third round of the NHL […]

Size and savvy are on Bobby Ryan’s side

Originally published on in 2005 By Lucas Aykroyd The surname “Ryan” has frequently been associated with American excellence, whether it’s the legendary baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan or Tom Clancy’s fictional hero Jack Ryan. The USA’s Bobby Ryan is hoping to join those illustrious ranks with a strong performance at the 2006 IIHF World Championship. […]

Vancouver’s Connections to World Junior Hockey History

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd Even though this is the first time Vancouver has hosted the World Juniors, the West Coast metropolis of 2 million has plenty of historical connections to this elite tournament. The legendary Ernie “Punch” McLean was best-known as the coach of the WHL’s New Westminster Bruins, which […]

Workin’ Overtime in CHL Playoff Hockey

Originally published in Prospects Hockey in 2004 By Lucas Aykroyd When a playoff game goes into overtime, you often hear dramatic rock songs like Europe’s “The Final Countdown” or Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” blasting through the hockey arena. But that’s to set the mood for fans. Coaches can’t let themselves get swept up in […]

From World Junior Gold to Memorial Cup Glory

Originally published in Prospects Hockey in 2007 By Lucas Aykroyd In 1958, a Canadian forward named Connie Broden won an IIHF World Championship in Oslo, Norway, and then a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens the following month. Since today’s senior World Championship rosters generally consist of players eliminated from NHL playoff contention, odds are […]

Victory Through Video

Originally published in Prospects Hockey in 2004 By Lucas Aykroyd For today’s hockey coach, neglecting to use video analysis effectively would be about as dumb as trying to go 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali in his prime–while blindfolded. You just can’t overlook a tool like this when every other coach is taking advantage. Right into […]