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Mon, Dec 26th - 5:34AM




World Junior Hockey Championships

The annual IIHF World Under-20 Championships begins today in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The ten national teams competing are Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

Last year's championship took place in Buffalo, New York, USA with Russia beating Canada in the gold medal match. It was the 13th time Russia/Soviet Union have won gold. Canada has won the tournament 15 times, the Czech Republic, Finland and the United States have won twice and Sweden has won once. Next year's tournament will take place in Ufa, Russia.

Jan 5th, 2012 update

Sweden is this year's World Junior Hockey Champion. Today in Calgary, Sweden beat Russia 1-0 in the final. Canada took third place beating Finland 4-0.

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Thu, Dec 22nd - 4:23AM

ECHL

The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) was founded in 1988 and has 20 teams scattered across the United States. It is generally regarded as a tier below the American Hockey League. During the regular season, each team plays 72 games. 7 of the 8 Western Conference teams and 8 of the 12 Eastern Conference teams qualify for playoffs with the Patrick J Kelly Cup awarded to the play-off champion.

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Fri, Dec 9th - 4:25AM

NHL Realignment

On Monday, at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach, CA, the league announced its plans for divisional realignment for next season. The yet to be named conferences will be:

Western Conference: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver

Central Conference: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg

Eastern Conference 1: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto

Eastern Conference 2: Carolina, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

Each team will play every team outside its conference twice, home and away. Within their conferences, teams will play each other 6 or 7 times. 4 teams from each conference will qualify for the playoffs. The 1st and 4th place teams and the 2nd and 3rd place teams will play each other in the first round of the playoffs with the winners playing each other in the second round to determine the conference champions. Those 4 winners play in the semi-finals and finals to determine the Stanley Cup Champion.

--- 6 Jan 2012 update ---

The NHL Players' Association announced that they opposed the realignment. Even though the NHL contends it doesn't need the union to sign off on the changes, the league has decided to maintain its current alignment and playoff format for the 2012-13 season.

The labor contract between the owners and the union is set to expire Sept. 15. The issue of realignment is likely to be addressed during the negotiations of the new contract.

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Mon, Dec 5th - 4:24AM

NHL Player of the Month

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has been named NHL's player of month for November. Thomas won all nine of his starts, which included three shutouts one against Toronto, then two back-to-back against the Islanders and the Canadiens.

He played for several years in the minor leagues and Europe, before making it to the NHL at age 28, with the Boston Bruins. He finally emerged as the Bruins' starting goaltender at age 32. Thomas was the winner of the 2009 Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender and played as a backup for Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. Winning it, along with the Stanley Cup, at age 37, he became the oldest player and second American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in NHL history, after Brian Leetch. On June 22, 2011, Tim Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy for the second time in his career.
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Thu, Dec 1st - 4:31AM

Elite Ice Hockey League

The Elite Ice Hockey League is the highest level of ice hockey competition in the United Kingdom. The league was formed in 2003 and currently consists of ten teams. In seven completed seasons, the league has been won by three different teams. The Sheffield Steelers are the current champions.
Original Six TeamsGrand Rapids Griffins

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