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08-20-2012, 02:52 PM
Mr Writer
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Originally Posted by 86Habs View Post
As do I. A 7-game tune-up series against the U.S. (ignoring the obvious difficulties dealing with the NHL and NHLPA in order to make this happen) would be great prep time and allow the players to develop some chemistry in advance of the OGs. I'd envision:

- Obligatory / mandatory participation in order to be considered for Sochi 2014 (i.e, it would be a try-out camp and series).

- Games held in the U.S. and Canada, with a bias towards hosting the games on international ice surfaces to the extent they're available.

- We'd invite something in the range of 18-20 forwards, 10-12 defencemen, and 3-4 goalies. So limited rosters (you'd want to give everyone at least a reasonable chance to prove themselves in game action), but allowing sufficient space for young up-and-comers on the bubble like the Benns, Halls, Skinners, Seguins, etc. Obviously you'd want the bubble guys to see more of the action, and have locks like Crosby et al to focus more on finding PP and ES chemistry with their linemates.

- You'd really get a chance to see which of the young guys are OG-ready against elite competition, and the short-list going into the 2013-2014 season would be developed from there (instead of wasting HC's time and resources on players who obviously wouldn't make the cut).

If only they'd make this happen....I'd wager we'd see bubble guys like Kane, Benn, Helm etc. put a huge effort in and really make a name for themselves.

It would be something to see and a lot more interesting than any European tour the NHLPA can come up with... but a series like that would be for keeps, I don't think the players would treat it as an exhibition series.

The only two hurdles would be insurance issues for the players and

finding international Olympic ice on both sides of the border. Calgary could serve the purpose, but would the Flames give permission to the NHLPA for a few games involving locked-out players? Probably not.

Interesting idea though.

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