This is a screen shot from a EBEL game in Villach between EC VSV and EC KAC. Take a look at number 36. What's that rectangle he's standing in? You can see five identical rectangles ranged along the near boards, and apparently they continue on down the length of the ice to the other goal, and you can just make out an identical row on the other side of the rink. At least some of them have a cross in the middle. What are they for? Horseshoes?
The Champions Hockey League final took place yesterday in Oulu, Finland, between Oulun Kärpät and Frölunda of Gothenberg, Sweden. Though the tournament includes clubs from twelve European countries, it's dominated by the Finns and Swedes. Frölunda won 2 - 1. Source: IIHF.
Too many ads! I can't see the puck! Davos versus Lugano in NLA play. Source.
It's the 89th edition of the Spengler Cup.
The teams are:
HC Davos. The host team HC Davos has been the most successful participant historically, with 15 cups out of 40 appearances in the final game, which you would expect as they have played in nearly every edition of the tournament and have not missed one since 1992. Davos is currently second in the NLA, and is enjoying a good run in the 2015-16 Champions Hockey League, having reached the semi-finals (against Frölunda), after facing Färjestad, Pardubice, HIFK, Liberec, and Skellefteå.
Team Canada. Team Canada is an assemblage of Canadians who play in the European leagues, mainly in Germany and Switzerland. They have 12 cups out of 21 finals and have a record of consecutive appearances going back to 1984. Roster.
HC Lugano. Lugano play in the Swiss league. They have appeared in the tournament once before, in 1991, when they made it to the final.
AdlerMannheim. Adler play in the German league, which they won last year. This is their eighth appearance. Canadians: Andrew Joudrey, Ryan MacMurchy, Jamie Tardif, Glen Metropolit, Brandon Yip, Mathieu Carle.
Jokerit Helsinki. Jokerit is historically one of the strongest clubs in Finland, but they joined the KHL a couple of years ago and play in the Bobrov Division. This too is their eighth appearance. Canadians: Brandon Kozun, Pascal Pelletier, Daine Todd.
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. Avtomobilist play in the KHL's Kharlamov Division. This is their first time in the Spengler Cup tournament.
[Team Canada beats Lugano 4 - 3 in the final.]
Avtomobilist versus Jokerit in KHL action. Source.
Karlskrona HK has climbed the promotion ladder from Division 3 in 2001 to the SHL in 2015.
KHL. The plunge in oil prices has created serious difficulties for the KHL, whose clubs are heavily funded by Russian energy giant Gazprom. Atlant Moscow Region has folded, and 24 player contracts have been transferred to returning Spartak Moscow by way of SKA. Still, the league hopes to expand to China.
Sweden. The Svenska Hockeyligan (SHL), Sweden's top hockey league, expands to 14 teams. Karlskrona, Rögle and Malmö go up to the SHL and Leksand go down to the second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan. IK Pantern, IF Sundsvall, and Tingsryds AIF go up to the HockeyAllsvenskan, and venerable Södertälje SK go down to the third tier.
Switzerland. SCL Tigers are promoted to the NLA, Rapperswil-Jona Lakers are demoted to the NLB.
Finland. KooKoo has been admitted to the Liiga, increasing the number of teams in the top league to 15. The Mestis adds three teams to bring itself up to 12: Hermes, Jokipojat, and RoKi. Finland flat-out has the best and weirdest club names.
Czech Extraliga. Slavia Praha are relegated, Chomutov are promoted.
Slovak Extraliga. There was a lot of suspense this summer over whether Slovan Bratislava would quit the KHL to rejoin the Slovak Extraliga or perhaps EBEL, but in the end, no change.
In 1985 Tyler was the 43rd most popular name for boy babies in the USA. The name had risen to 21st by 1990. It peaked at 7th in 1995 and 1996, and fell back to 10th in 2000, 16th in 2005, 34th in 2010, and 63rd in 2013. Source. Canadian results will differ, but not much. The Nineties were carpeted with baby Tylers. What's appalling is not that they're now grown men playing in the NHL, but that they still call themselves Tyler.
The NHL Entry Draft takes place today and tomorrow.