The World Cup of Hockey is over. It received praise and it received criticism in its return. In a twist from previous tournaments, organizers decided to field a Team North America, consisting of players under the age of 23 from the U.S. and Canada, and a Team Europe, consisting of players from eight different countries outside of Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Russia. Both teams were called gimmicks. Against the odds — 33/1 to win the tournament when it began — Team Europe overcame a sluggish start in the pre-tournament round to nearly force a third and decisive game in the World Cup final versus powerhouse Canada. At the beginning, the addition of Team Europe, led by Anze Kopitar, to this
Earlier this week, we passed along word that Stars forward Mattias Janmark was spotted on crutches at the team’s practice facility. Now we know why. Janmark suffered a knee injury that requires surgery, GM Jim Nill said on Thursday. The procedure is expected to sideline the Swedish forward for 5-6 months, putting his return in the neighborhood of February-March of next year. It’s a big blow for the Stars. After surprising onlookers by making the team out of camp last year — a “great story,” according to GM Jim Nill — Janmark, 23, went on to have a pretty successful rookie campaign, scoring 15 goals and 29 points in 73 games. He also fared well in the playoffs, with five points in 12 contests.
The St. Louis Blues will have to start the season without one of their most dangerous forwards, Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz “will miss at least four weeks after injuring his left elbow during a training camp practice on Sept. 29,” the club announced today. It’s another frustration for the 25-year-old winger. Schwartz was limited to just 33 games last season, after fracturing his ankle in October. As for this latest injury, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock originally predicted that Schwartz would only need a “couple of days off.” St. Louis opens its regular season Oct. 12 in Chicago. If Schwartz is out until the end of October, he’ll miss nine games. Related: Schwartz signs five-year extension