Birkebein

Primarily for winter-sports. Things related to NHL, european Hockey and Cross Country Skiing.

The Norwegian Government just terminated the potential application for Oslo to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s now down to Almaty or Beijing. 

And I’m pretty sure the decisive moment in this process was when the media got their hands on the demands of the IOC. Not even the most megalomaniac rock bands could have written that raider. Let’s hope it’s an eye-opener for them.

Politicians quickly pointed out that many of the plans they’ve made concerning facilities and infrastructure, will still take place. And a new hockey stadium for Vålerenga was given particular emphasis! Glad to hear that, but these are politicians, so we’ll just have wait and see.

He can get as mad at me as my mom gets, some days.

—Mats Zuccarello on Henrik Lundqvist, on the Bleeding Blueshirts podcast. (via melodiousb)

Martin Ødegaard, 15 years old, is on the team when Norway’s football/soccer team meets Malta and Bulgaria. If he plays in any of those matches, he’ll be the youngest player to ever participate in the qualification for the European Championship by good margin. 
- Source
He’s already played for Norway in an exhibition match (or was that two?) and has in no way made a fool of himself. In fact, I’ll dare say he’s been one of the better players out there, but that might just be because the rest of the team is shabby. Let’s hope the pressure and the media doesn’t bother him.  

Martin Ødegaard, 15 years old, is on the team when Norway’s football/soccer team meets Malta and Bulgaria. If he plays in any of those matches, he’ll be the youngest player to ever participate in the qualification for the European Championship by good margin.

Source

He’s already played for Norway in an exhibition match (or was that two?) and has in no way made a fool of himself. In fact, I’ll dare say he’s been one of the better players out there, but that might just be because the rest of the team is shabby. Let’s hope the pressure and the media doesn’t bother him.  

“How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe’s top clubs?
As the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players’ union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.
The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league’s biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world’s population.
"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league’s international business.
"The NHL has labour stability and media rights stability," said Yaffe, who now runs Yaffe Sports Ventures, a New York sports advisory. "The last World Cup, even at the darkest hour of the league, with the CBA expiring a day after the Canada-Finland game in September 2004, was still a bright light for the sport and generated profitability. Now with the great domestic foothold for the league, what better time to look overseas for new ventures?"
To that end, officials with the league and NHLPA have discussed the possibility of establishing a four-year cycle that might see the league continue to participate in a mid-season All-Star Game, the Winter Olympics, a rekindled World Cup, and games between NHL clubs and those from Europe.
One concept discussed would see NHL teams play against clubs in hockey’s new Champions League, which was conceived after soccer’s hugely popular international tournament of the same name. The Champions League is in its first year and features 26 teams from countries such as Germany, Austria, Finland and the Czech Republic.
"We have been informed by the league and the union that they have not decided about their fall 2015 European plans," said Szymon Szemberg, the Champions League’s chief operating officer. "Once they do, we would like to coordinate our plans with them."
To be sure, discussions about new international ventures between the NHL and its players association are in their early stages, and it’s possible that the league and NHLPA might decide not to commit to any other international plans until after the World Cup in 2016.
Moreover, organizing international events are complex. Timing is an issue. Some NHL franchise owners would resist the idea of taking a mid-season break in February to play games against European clubs, one senior team executive said, citing insurance and player injury issues.
"This is a league that’s still pretty traditional," the team executive told TSN. "You would have some owners questioning any kind of pause in the schedule because it might affect a team’s momentum and the teams in the south would resist because that time in February after Super Bowl, before March Madness, is their time to shine."
In 2014, the NHL took a break in February to participate in the Sochi Winter Games. But the World Cup will be held in September 2016, before the start of the NHL season. That’s a time of the year that more easily lends itself to be used for international money-generating events, sources told TSN.
"You could easily start the NHL season at the end of October," said one official involved in talks between the NHL and its players’ association. "Guys nowadays are coming into training camp in great shape and then for the first month of the season, you have some teams with four- or five-day breaks because schedule makers don’t want to go up against the NFL and baseball playoffs.
"That means guys are practicing more during October and the truth is, they don’t need it," the person said. "During the shortened season when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they had one full practice. All year. You know how many full practices they had last year? Two."
International revenue will be crucial, especially for the union in coming years if the league is to expand its $3 billion-per-year business.
The union’s licensing revenue is down sharply compared to past years, a source confirmed, because the video-game and trading-card industries have been hurt by an overall slowdown in the economy, limiting their ability to pay rights fees to all sports leagues.
Even if the league and union are able to reach agreements with one another, as well as European teams, over international games in September, there are other possible challenges.
"You have European leagues starting their season a month before us, so you could have those teams taking a game against an NHL team very seriously," a source told TSN. "Then you have the NHL teams who look at this as an exhibition game. And that’s how players can get hurt."
The NHL has already toyed with international games. From 2008-2010, after the NHL rejected the proposal of buying the Champions League - a move that would have amounted to a $20 million investment to establish a permanent toehold for the NHL in Europe - NHL clubs including the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning traveled to Europe to play games against local European clubs as well as in NHL regular season games.
"The NHL has made modest investment overseas, but they’ve been distracted over the past 10 years because for a period, you have had teams in trouble, problems in leadership at the NHLPA and more recently, great success with the outdoor games, which frankly are easier to organize than international efforts," an NHL source told TSN.
The NHL and union in recent months have also discussed the league’s future participation in the Olympics.”
- Source
Now, I personally don’t think this is going to happen for a million different reasons, most of which has to do with the tightly knit web of contracts and insurances and whatnot. But I love the thought of NHL teams playing European teams. It would be fantastic for European hockey, and it would push European clubs and talents further, something that in the long run only benefits the NHL. Like pre-season training camps, it gives a lot of players the chance to prove they could be future NHL material. On the other side, should we see NHL and KHL take a proper interest in the CHL format, I’m worried that smaller clubs will be pushed aside, and that the development in the smaller hockey nations don’t get the boost that they need. So there are concerns for both sides here. 

How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe’s top clubs?

As the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players’ union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.

The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league’s biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world’s population.

"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league’s international business.

"The NHL has labour stability and media rights stability," said Yaffe, who now runs Yaffe Sports Ventures, a New York sports advisory. "The last World Cup, even at the darkest hour of the league, with the CBA expiring a day after the Canada-Finland game in September 2004, was still a bright light for the sport and generated profitability. Now with the great domestic foothold for the league, what better time to look overseas for new ventures?"

To that end, officials with the league and NHLPA have discussed the possibility of establishing a four-year cycle that might see the league continue to participate in a mid-season All-Star Game, the Winter Olympics, a rekindled World Cup, and games between NHL clubs and those from Europe.

One concept discussed would see NHL teams play against clubs in hockey’s new Champions League, which was conceived after soccer’s hugely popular international tournament of the same name. The Champions League is in its first year and features 26 teams from countries such as Germany, Austria, Finland and the Czech Republic.

"We have been informed by the league and the union that they have not decided about their fall 2015 European plans," said Szymon Szemberg, the Champions League’s chief operating officer. "Once they do, we would like to coordinate our plans with them."

To be sure, discussions about new international ventures between the NHL and its players association are in their early stages, and it’s possible that the league and NHLPA might decide not to commit to any other international plans until after the World Cup in 2016.

Moreover, organizing international events are complex. Timing is an issue. Some NHL franchise owners would resist the idea of taking a mid-season break in February to play games against European clubs, one senior team executive said, citing insurance and player injury issues.

"This is a league that’s still pretty traditional," the team executive told TSN. "You would have some owners questioning any kind of pause in the schedule because it might affect a team’s momentum and the teams in the south would resist because that time in February after Super Bowl, before March Madness, is their time to shine."

In 2014, the NHL took a break in February to participate in the Sochi Winter Games. But the World Cup will be held in September 2016, before the start of the NHL season. That’s a time of the year that more easily lends itself to be used for international money-generating events, sources told TSN.

"You could easily start the NHL season at the end of October," said one official involved in talks between the NHL and its players’ association. "Guys nowadays are coming into training camp in great shape and then for the first month of the season, you have some teams with four- or five-day breaks because schedule makers don’t want to go up against the NFL and baseball playoffs.

"That means guys are practicing more during October and the truth is, they don’t need it," the person said. "During the shortened season when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they had one full practice. All year. You know how many full practices they had last year? Two."

International revenue will be crucial, especially for the union in coming years if the league is to expand its $3 billion-per-year business.

The union’s licensing revenue is down sharply compared to past years, a source confirmed, because the video-game and trading-card industries have been hurt by an overall slowdown in the economy, limiting their ability to pay rights fees to all sports leagues.

Even if the league and union are able to reach agreements with one another, as well as European teams, over international games in September, there are other possible challenges.

"You have European leagues starting their season a month before us, so you could have those teams taking a game against an NHL team very seriously," a source told TSN. "Then you have the NHL teams who look at this as an exhibition game. And that’s how players can get hurt."

The NHL has already toyed with international games. From 2008-2010, after the NHL rejected the proposal of buying the Champions League - a move that would have amounted to a $20 million investment to establish a permanent toehold for the NHL in Europe - NHL clubs including the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning traveled to Europe to play games against local European clubs as well as in NHL regular season games.

"The NHL has made modest investment overseas, but they’ve been distracted over the past 10 years because for a period, you have had teams in trouble, problems in leadership at the NHLPA and more recently, great success with the outdoor games, which frankly are easier to organize than international efforts," an NHL source told TSN.

The NHL and union in recent months have also discussed the league’s future participation in the Olympics.”

Source

Now, I personally don’t think this is going to happen for a million different reasons, most of which has to do with the tightly knit web of contracts and insurances and whatnot. But I love the thought of NHL teams playing European teams. It would be fantastic for European hockey, and it would push European clubs and talents further, something that in the long run only benefits the NHL. Like pre-season training camps, it gives a lot of players the chance to prove they could be future NHL material. On the other side, should we see NHL and KHL take a proper interest in the CHL format, I’m worried that smaller clubs will be pushed aside, and that the development in the smaller hockey nations don’t get the boost that they need. So there are concerns for both sides here. 

GET Liga Scores after 6 rounds:

1. Sparta Sarpsborg - 13

2. Lørenskog - 13

3. Stjernen - 13

4. Stavanger Oilers - 12

5. Lillehammer - 11

6. Frisk Asker - 9

7. Vålerenga - 9

8. Manglerud Star - 5

9. Storhamar Dragons - 4

10. Kongsvinger Knights - 1

After slow starts Stavanger Oilers and Vålerenga have both upped their game, and are playing a lot more convincing hockey. But it’s obvious that among the better teams, anything can happen! Everybody knew Sparta had a good team this year, but nobody expected them to demolish Vålerenga in a 6 - 1 victory just a few rounds ago. Lørenskog hasn’t necessarily been as good as their potential (and results), but they are winning by one goal, or even on shoot-outs and are up in joined lead. Stavanger recently made a mockery of a weakened Storhamar by defeating them 9 - 1 at home. That’s insane. Hopefully Storhamar can pull things together. Otherwise Vålerenga are climbing, Stjernen have been better than expected, Frisk Asker play smart, Manglerud have taken some surprising points and Kongsvinger are as expected at the bottom. 

Will be interesting to see where it goes from here!

stupidlullabies:

Mats Zuccarello (5’7”) knocks down Samuel Morin (6’6”)

stupidlullabies:

Mats Zuccarello (5’7”) knocks down Samuel Morin (6’6”)

Even Norwegian media are now noting SKA St. Petersburg’s amazing start to their season. Today they beat Medvescak Zagreb 5-1 in the KHL, making that their 11th win in a row since the first match of the season. Not bad!

Even Norwegian media are now noting SKA St. Petersburg’s amazing start to their season. Today they beat Medvescak Zagreb 5-1 in the KHL, making that their 11th win in a row since the first match of the season. Not bad!

(Source: vg.no)

Norwegian media now confirms that Jon Ludvig Hammer (right) will be reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s (left, obviously) second during the World Championship match against Vishy Anand in November.
Jon Ludvig Hammer worked as a second for Carlsen in the last WC match as well, and in fact, was the only disclosed member of Carlsen’s team. Hammer’s role will no doubt be to prepare openings for Carlsen, and probably lead a team of seconds and an analytics team of very competent but undisclosed chess players during the matches. 
Jon Ludvig Hammer is currently Norway’s second best chess player at a current elo rating of 2630.
Source

Norwegian media now confirms that Jon Ludvig Hammer (right) will be reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s (left, obviously) second during the World Championship match against Vishy Anand in November.

Jon Ludvig Hammer worked as a second for Carlsen in the last WC match as well, and in fact, was the only disclosed member of Carlsen’s team. Hammer’s role will no doubt be to prepare openings for Carlsen, and probably lead a team of seconds and an analytics team of very competent but undisclosed chess players during the matches. 

Jon Ludvig Hammer is currently Norway’s second best chess player at a current elo rating of 2630.

Source

After two hits to his head within a period of a month just under a year ago, hockey player Marius Holtet (Färjestad, SHL and Norway respectively) hasn’t been able to play any hockey at all. 
Holtet has over 50 Olympics and World Championship matches for Norway, and 4 seasons in the ECHL/AHL after having been drafted by the Dallas Stars as the highest Norwegian overall pick ever (number 42).
Nine months after taking that second hit to the head Holtet is only just now able to cope with family life, as even the slightest stress or physical activity might induce head-aches or dizziness. 
"I’ve played hockey my whole life, and that has been the most important thing… It’s hard to just watch the game. The fact that I’m not out there, helping my team-mates might piss me off, and that isn’t good for my head."
Source
It’s simply uncertain if he might ever play hockey again. Here’s to Marius Holtet, and his health.

After two hits to his head within a period of a month just under a year ago, hockey player Marius Holtet (Färjestad, SHL and Norway respectively) hasn’t been able to play any hockey at all. 

Holtet has over 50 Olympics and World Championship matches for Norway, and 4 seasons in the ECHL/AHL after having been drafted by the Dallas Stars as the highest Norwegian overall pick ever (number 42).

Nine months after taking that second hit to the head Holtet is only just now able to cope with family life, as even the slightest stress or physical activity might induce head-aches or dizziness. 

"I’ve played hockey my whole life, and that has been the most important thing… It’s hard to just watch the game. The fact that I’m not out there, helping my team-mates might piss me off, and that isn’t good for my head."

Source

It’s simply uncertain if he might ever play hockey again. Here’s to Marius Holtet, and his health.

Alex Ovechkin can’t pronounce & say “hockey at its best” for a new commercial. 

(Source: alzner, via lileflottante)