Archives for the 'Olympics' Category

What if Canada took all NHLers to 1988 Olympics?

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd On October 20, 1986, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that all nations would be permitted to use professional players at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada. “There are no restrictions,” IIHF President Dr. Gunther Sabetzki said. “Canada can use Wayne Gretzky if it wants to.” […]

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 […]

World Junior Magic Today, Olympic Medals Tomorrow

Originally published on in 2005 By Lucas Aykroyd While interest in the annual IIHF World Junior Championship is enormous in Canada, some hockey fans elsewhere in the world don’t get as pumped up about it. Their attitude is, “Hey, these are just kids.” But frankly, anyone who loves Olympic hockey should keep close tabs […]

The World of Hockey According to Bobby Orr

Originally published on in 2005 By Lucas Aykroyd When you survey hockey history, few players can rival Wayne Gretzky as the best of all time. But Bobby Orr is one of them, and while Gretzky has been preoccupied recently with coaching the Phoenix Coyotes and picking the Olympic team, as well as family matters, […]

Canada-Russia: A Clash that Never Gets Old

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd For hockey fans in the Great White North, there is no greater international rivalry than the one between Canada and Russia. That’s because historically the Russians have pushed Canada harder than any other nation. In saying that, there’s no disrespect intended toward the USA. Over the […]

Belarus stuns Sweden in Olympic upset for the ages

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd In one of the most stunning upsets in Olympic hockey history, Belarus defeated Sweden 4-3 Wednesday in quarter-finals action. Vladimir Kopat scored the winner on a freaky shot with 2:24 remaining in the third period. Coming down the right wing, the Belarus forward slapped a high […]

Familiarity may breed winning for Belarus

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Everyone has a comfort zone. In Team Belarus’s case, this appears to involve playing hockey against other former Eastern Bloc countries. The Belorussians may have tumbled down to Division I of the World Championships, but they can still take a bite out of their neighbors. Just […]

Finns face chance of a lifetime

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd For Finland, winning the 2006 Olympic gold medal in hockey would be the equivalent of Canada’s 1972 triumph over the Soviet Union in the Summit Series or the USA’s 1980 “Miracle on Ice” win over the Russians. It would be a unique, defining moment in the […]

Gretzky, Quinn address packed press conference in Torino

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd With about 200 journalists and photographers jammed into the Palasport Olympico press conference room on the evening of February 14, Wayne Gretzky, Team Canada Head Coach Pat Quinn, and the Hockey Canada Olympic executive staff of Steve Tambellini, Kevin Lowe, and Bob Nicholson sat down amid […]

Two teams? More than one nation can play at that game

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd Before each Olympic tournament, there’s lots of talk about how Canada’s depth could hypothetically enable it to ice two separate teams. But how would other countries fare if given the same mandate? Let’s investigate, using the Czech Republic and Russia as examples. Obviously, when creating rosters […]