As the World Turns
All one one day, a flurry of news and intrigue in international hockey.
The question is, however, how much do Canadians still care about all these bits and pieces, or are the Olympics all that matters now?
First came the suggestion last night from former Soviet goaltending great Vladislav Tretiak that a new eight-game series, this time between Canada and Russia, be held in an attempt to reprise the excitement of '72.
That, of course, is impossible. Too much has changed in the world and in hockey. The mystery, by and large, is gone, and so is the hate and mistrust.
But a series might still work if presented and understood in a different way, and if the Russians, at their end, could guarantee the participation of their top players. Too often in recent years the best and best-known Russians haven't been inclined to play for a variety of reasons.
But I think Canadians could get interested in this. Whether the NHL and badly fractured NHLPA would is, of course, another question entirely.
The second bit of international hockey news was that Steve Yzerman has been selected to be the GM of Canada's entry in the world hockey championships next spring.
For starters, understand that Yzerman will one day run his own team.
Or own it.
This is a great choice in that the worlds are a terrific proving ground, and Yzerman has so much cache in the hockey world that he'll be able to do all the persuading and cajoling that has to be done to get NHLers to go overseas in May.
The fact that the '07 worlds, really, mark the beginning of tryouts for the 2010 Canadian Olympic team won't hurt his efforts, either.
What's also interesting is that if Yzerman is successful and enjoys the process, you'd have to throw his hat into the ring for the 2010 Olympic squad.
You could have Yzerman managing and Wayne Gretzky coaching. Now that would be a Hall of Fame duo.
Finally, we've hit the deadline for Quebec City to demonstrate to the satisfaction of Hockey Canada that it is willing and capable of holding the '08 worlds.
The mayor of Quebec City made a big deal this week out of saying all the funding is in place. But Hockey Canada officials seemed just as concerned last week with organization, marketing and ticket sales.
If Hockey Canada decides Quebec City still doesn't have its act together and yanks the event, the sound of two solitudes colliding will be heard across the land.